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Diana, Goddess of the Hunt for Ancestors!
 
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WARNINGS
regarding Broderbund CDs and Online Databases at
GenealogyLibrary.com / Genealogy.com / Ancestry.com
 
Gender-switching in the numerical data on census CDs.
Missing surnames from supposedly covered states on census CDs.
Bogus 1810 census records for Tennessee.
Missing data re: slaves on census CDs.
Other glitches on census CDs.
Missing Census Pages at Ancestry.com
1860, Franklin Co., OH
Weird Indexing of the 1790 Census of Cheshire Co., NH
Ohio Marriages, 1851-1900 (Broderbund CD-236)
Pickaway County marriages for grooms with surnames beginning L thru Z are missing.
PLEASE READ:

I am not warning you against purchasing these CDs or subscribing to these services.  I bought Broderbund's Census Bundle of eleven CDs and Marriage Bundle of twelve CDs, and I subscribe to Ancestry.com, Genealogy.com, and GenealogyLibrary.com.  I would unhesitatingly purchase these CDs again, and I have no plans to discontinue my subscriptions to the mentioned online databases.  However...

As a novice genealogist, I naively expected that the census CDs were complete for the years covered.  Now, as an experienced genealogist, I can see how naive that expectation was.  There simply is no complete index to the US censuses, and Broderbund means it when they labeled the CDs as covering "Selected Counties."  And even as a novice genealogist, I knew enough not to expect the data to be error free.  What I did not remotely expect, even as an experienced genealogist, was fundamental and massive flaws in the databases, ones that wasted untold hours of my time and caused me enormous frustration until I uncovered them not to mention the worst effect, that bad data produce bad genealogy for everyone using these databases.

The lapse of integrity that allowed these databases to be published in this state I do not accept and I do not excuse, especially as most of these flaws were correctable some of them easily prior to publication.
I hope I can save you the wasted time and frustration you would otherwise experience by passing on to you what I've learned about these data.  With knowledge of these deficiencies, you can make good use of these CDs and services; and, until the day when there is an entire every-name census index and digitized images of all the census pages online (for free), I can still recommend the Broderbund Census Bundle and subscriptions to the censuses at Genealogy.com and Ancestry.com.  Simply use them with caution and, when you have an anomaly, investigate further!
UPDATE (9 Sep 2001):  the LDS has released the entire 1880 Census on CD.  This is a full transcription with an every-name index over 50,000,000 names!  On sale for only $49 at their web site Store.  The best bargain in the history of genealogical research.
UPDATE (Nov 2002):  the LDS has made the entire 1880 Census available online with search engine at their web site for free!  Way to go LDS!
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"The Cloud" is double-speak for "dumb terminal on a main frame." Been there; done that. Never again.
You are giving away not only your privacy, but control of your data, your apps, and your computer to a corporation. Is that really where you want to go?
The IT guys on the big iron hated the Personal Computer because it gave users freedom and power; now they've conned you into being back under their control again.
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