14 November 2013

Index Frustrations

     I know good and well that not all genealogy records are online.  But there's just something about FamilySearch.org that makes me forget that.  They just have so many records online that I expect to find the microfilm image I'm looking for every time I log in.  Unfortunately, that's not always the case.

     I've been looking at my Quattlebaum line, trying to flesh out the original records that I have on file.  This is a family that has been researched and written about by many people over the years.  Thanks to this, it was one of the first family lines that I was able to add to my database and trace overseas.  But instead of citing books and websites, I'd like to be citing the actual records.

     Tonight, I went on FamilySearch and found the "Index to estates, 1785-1949" for Newberry County, South Carolina.  I found a listing in the index for my 6th Great-Grandfather, Peter Quattlebaum's, estate administration.  The index listed the package, book, and estate number, so I clicked back through my browser tabs to find the actual record.  Which wasn't there!  The only probate records for Newberry county were wills, which my ancestor apparently did not have.  I about died!  This close!

     I don't know why I expect FamilySearch to have everything online.  There are tons of databases online that provide only an index to records.  And the index itself can be very helpful, providing you with a location in which to look for the actual record.  But I just have this expectation that if FamilySearch has an index, they will also have the microfilm of the actual record.

     Regardless of my unfulfilled and somewhat hyped expectations, sometimes things just don't go your way.  But there's always an alternative.  I now know exactly where the records are, and there are multiple ways to find it.  I can visit the Newberry County Courthouse, the South Carolina State Archive, or send a research request to the SC Archive (these records do not appear to be held on microfilm by FamilySearch).  I'll have this and other records soon and will continue to document my ancestors.

Peter Quattlebaum listed in a Newberry County Estate Index

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