Did you know that FamilySearch has a new partner, Geneanet? Along with Ancestry, FindMyPast, American Ancestors, and My Heritage, you can now sign up for Geneanet and access their vast genealogical library. Why would you want to add another partner? Hidden in the thousands of books and newspapers digitized by Geneanet might be just the clue you need. I’ll show you how to get started and give you an example of what I found.
Because of FamilySearch’s partnership with Ancestry, FindMyPast, American Ancestors, My Heritage, and now Geneanet, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have access to these websites with free LDS accounts. If you haven’t yet created accounts with these partners, this is a great time to sign up. I previously shared 5 Tips for Using FamilySearch Partners to get started with the other partners. Today, I’m going to focus on Geneanet.
First, you’ll need to create your personal account through familysearch.org/partneraccess. Click the blue button “Join for free,” then follow the steps to create your account.
Once you’ve created your Geneanet account, you can explore the website. Like the other partners, you can create a family tree, search records, participate in projects, become part of the community and more. Let’s just focus on one thing – the “Genealogy Library.” On the home page, click the “Search” tab at the top left corner, then click “Genealogy Library.”
Now you’re into Geneanet‘s Genealogy Library and you have access to hundreds of thousands of documents indexed for your research. You can enter a name and keywords right off the bat and see what you find, but you might be overwhelmed with how many hits are returned. What if you don’t get any results? I’ve discovered that not every name is thoroughly indexed, so to get the most out of this website, you’ll need to be a little tricky. As with any new website, take a few minutes and click the green “Browse help” button at the bottom of the screen to check out tips for searching. Once you’ve perused the search tips, you’re ready to browse the collections in the catalog. Click the red “Browse catalog” button to get started.
Lets just take a minute and appreciate the scope of this catalog. As of today, there are 745, 285 collections found. Most of those are books, but with over 15,000 newspapers and over 3,000 magazines thrown in. Also, notice how many countries are represented (only a few show up in the screenshot below.) Researching in Switzerland? You’ll find 15,717 collections. Geneanet is based in France, so the 364,136 French collections represent the largest for any country. Still the United States has a pretty substantial group of 186,010 collections.
Check the box next to the country that you’re interested in, and you’ll be able to narrow your search by cities, regions, or states within the country. I narrowed my search to Florida, then I could narrow even further by county or add a keyword or year search. I could also search for a specific title in the keyword box.
I’ve been researching Britton Knight in Florida territory about 1830 and found a fascinating account of him in The Territorial Papers of the United States. Interestingly though, his name was not indexed, even though it’s clearly on the page below. How did I find it? I just looked at each of the “Knight” references and happened to discover that the “Mr Knight” in the index turned out to be Britton.
This part of the book tells the story of Britton Knight willingly carrying a letter outlining issues with the Alachua land grant. I like to place the people I am researching in the context of the time and area that they lived. I had previously found Britton Knight in the 1830 and 1840 census records of Alachua, Florida and had located him in some court records. Discovering him in this book added a new dimension to his record. I liked how easy it was to search within the book and navigate from page to page. I noticed that the source of this book is FamilySearch. A search in the catalog under author name found the exact same digitized book, but I couldn’t easily search within the book. Geneanet‘s indexing isn’t perfect, but it’s a start!
I’m looking forward to using Geneanet to further my family history research. Sign up today and see what you can find.
Best of luck in your family history endeavors!
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