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Family Finder
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All about FamilyFinder

The FamilyFinder Index is the index to all of the data online and on CD-ROM produced by Data is available both online and on CD and contains information from a variety of records, such as census records, marriage records, land records, military records, Social Security death records, and linked pedigrees.

Using the FamilyFinder Index and Data on CD-ROM or Online

To search the index, simply typle a name, and shortly you will see all of the possible matches. When you look at the names that are possible matches, you can see the general location and time period associated with that name. This information can help you narrow down which entries in the FamilyFinder Index might actually be your ancestor and which entries are just someone who has the same name as your ancestor. Reading the actual records that correspond to the names in the FamilyFinder Index will further help you determine if you've actually found your ancestor, or just someone with a similar name. When you verify that you have found one of your ancestors, you can add information from the CD to your family tree. The process is actually quite easy!

For example, let's say that Robert Cooper is searching for information about his great-grandfather, Michael William Cooper, who was from Alabama. Before he begins to look through microfilm indexes and records at his local genealogy library, he uses the FamilyFinder Index. Robert types his great-grandfather's name in the FamilyFinder Index, and it goes to work. After quickly searching through 220 million names, the FamilyFinder Index highlights the following name: "Cooper, Michael W." Next to it is "Married 1641-1944 AL, GA, or SC Marriage Index." Since Robert's great-grandfather was from Alabama and the time frame seems about right, this looks like a possible match. Robert clicks the More About button and finds out that this particular marriage index is contained on CD 3. This may be a title that Robert wants to look at.

When looking at the information about CD 3, Robert also learns the following: it contains approximately 190,000 entries. It is an index of marriage records from selected counties in Alabama and Georgia from 1641-1944 and in South Carolina from 1911-1944. He also finds out that he can get the following information from CD 3: the county where this individual named Michael W. Cooper lived at the time of the marriage, his spouse's name, and the date of the marriage. It's incredible how much information he can get from just the CD. Robert decides to order it so that he can access this information from his own computer. The information that he finds on the CD will then help him determine if this Michael W. Cooper is actually his great-grandfather.

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