Genealogy Databases: Out With the Old In With the New

[Editor's Note: The following is a guest post from the folks at FindTheBest about their new Locate Grave and Death Record databases.]

The Old

Searching for that long lost relative was once a daunting task to genealogists. With the creation of easy to use digital genealogy databases, genealogists have had increasingly more access to data about ancestors that was once relatively impossible to find without DNA testing or passed down family stories. Choosing where to retrieve your information is the hard part. Some databases charge a yearly fee and others simply do not have enough data to find anything useful. Similarly, certain databases specialize in particular records and can often lead you to the wrong solutions to your genealogy research. Before we discuss the new tools that start-up company FindTheBest has developed, let’s take a look at the tools that already exist in the genealogy software world.

 

This resource allows genealogist and anyone interested in searching for their ancestors to compare the genealogy databases that exist. As you can see, the databases can be filtered by smart rating, price per year, and free trial. This tool can be useful when conducting research and assessing which genealogy software will produce the best data.

The New

A new genealogy software has recently been developed by FindTheBest, a Santa Barbara based start-up. FindTheBest is an unbiased, data-driven search engine that helps people make quick and informed decisions. Genealogy has become one of the hottest topics for blog followers and the tools that FindTheBest has created will help readers find out more about their family lineage and ancestors. This post will walk you through how to use these genealogy tools so you can conduct research about family and friends that have passed.

Locate Grave

Locate Grave allows you to search for gravesite locations of family members and friends that have passed. The dataset provided by this tool contains almost seven million entries, majority of which is collected from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The main purpose of this genealogy software is to research and expand your knowledge about the location of the graves of veterans who have passed and their beneficiaries.

What makes Locate Grave so unique is the ability to apply several filters including first and last name, date of birth, date of death, and cemetery location. To try this tool out please see the link above. Here is an example of the resource:

Locate Grave - FindTheBest

For those who are interested in where their loved ones are buried, this tool can help find their grave. This tool is easy to use, free, and contains data from reliable sources. It is also easy to edit or add a listing if you see a listing that is inaccurate. The tool is designed to provide the most updated and accurate information and changes are encouraged to strengthen the resource. If you are having difficulties using this genealogy software please see the “guide” tab at the upper-left corner of the page for step-by-step directions.

Death-Record

Death-Record contains over 89 million deaths that have been announced to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Each detailed page of the deceased person contains personal information including social security number, date of birth, date of death, and country of residence. It should be noted that the SSA does not have files for all deceased person, so if an individual is missing from Death-Record, this does not mean that person is still living. To try this tool out, please see the link above. Here is an example of the resource:

Death Record - FindTheBest

The main purpose of this SSA death records dataset is to verify deaths, thereby inhibiting fraud. For instance, pension fund managers, insurers, the government, or anyone accountable for sending payments, needs to know if the recipients of the money are still alive. Additionally, it is encouraged that individuals use the database to expand knowledge of their genealogy and family tree. Death-Record can act as a family tree software for those who are interested in knowing more about their personal history.

The new interactive tools that FindTheBest has developed provides genealogists and all those who are interested in researching their lineage a free and easy to use resource to find graves of veterans and records of their loved one. The data provided in these tool are objective and data-driven, leaving you with information that can be trusted. Of the many genealogy software databases, FindTheBest has created a tool that is fun to use. They have many related resources that help bring genealogy data to the world and hopefully result in helping many genealogists research and find their family history.

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About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.