Wow, following a very round about path I just spent way too much time building a family tree over at Ancestry.com. I started out looking for used book stores and libraries in the bay area. This then led me to Google Book Search where I was testing out searching for some terms from older books (Google’s Book Search is pretty amazing by itself). This then led me to searching for “McCormick Family” which brought up a lot of old family history books. I was curious if any of these people were related, which led me to try out Ancestry.com to see if it had a way of filling in some of my family tree that I didn’t know.
The site is pretty amazing with the amount of source material that you can search through. I was quickly able to build up a tree going back to my grandparents and was able to find documents for almost everyone. The problem was that I had trouble taking it to the next level beyond that. I needed a few clues to fill in the next level of branches, which I didn’t have, and hit a brick wall with the search. I know that there are privacy concerns with private family information, but I wish there was a way for their systems to notice if some other user has a missing branch of my tree and offer to fill it in.
Overall a fun use of an evening.