Wednesday, March 16, 2011
The Definition of Genealogy Content
A new genealogy search engine rolled in to town within the last 24 hours. Mocavo.com says it "provides genealogists access to the best free genealogy content on the web."
I headed over to the site and entered in my usual test searches. Results returned were mostly hits from FindaGrave.com and other cemetery web sites as well as genealogy message boards.
While these are good details, they are but a small piece of the information pie. It made me realize how much Mocavo's definition of genealogy content differs from my own.
I view everything as possible genealogy content. Everything. Court records tell me my ancestor lived on Oklahoma in the early 1900's. Facebook tells me my second cousin once removed lives in Louisiana and makes it easy for me to contact him. The town of Velma, Oklahoma shares its history, and valuable information about my great-great grandfather, on it's own local government website.
All of these are real items I have found for free online, yet they--as far as I can tell--are not considered genealogy content at Mocavo.com.
One of the search strategies I entered in to Mocavo.com was "John Robert Williamson" 1786 1861. While I did find something new in the 48 results that were returned, one big source was missing: significant historical information on the Williamson/Cloyd family line is available for free at from Cumberland.org. However, this website is not part of the genealogy content at Mocavo.
My Williamsons were extremely active in the Cumberland Presbyterian organization. Their website is a source of valuable information on my ancestors. I look to them for genealogy content. However, what about the other Williamson genealogists and hobbyists who may not know this fact about their line? A search on Mocavo will not lead them there. These users do not know what they do not know.
This piece is in no way a cut at Mocavo. Rather, I simply ask what is your definition of genealogy content? Mine is much wider than the sources I am seeing at Mocavo. I prefer to determine what genealogy content is or isn't instead of letting someone else do it for me.
Mocavo might be a search aid worthy of placement in your toolbox, but it is no Swiss Army Knife. Do not assume it alone, or any other single search engine for that matter, will meet 100% of your online research needs.