Historical records site Footnote
just announced its new Great Depression Collection
, anchored by an interactive version of the 1930 census that CEO Russ Wilding calls “a gathering place for the American story.”
Footnote members can attach family photos and stories to names on the census images and automatically create Footnote Pages for them.
That opens up at least one back-door genealogy research avenue, suggests spokesperson Justin Schroepfer: If someone left a note on your ancestor’s neighbor’s listing, you could contact the member through the site and possibly get in touch with the neighbor’s descendants.
Also in the Great Depression Collection are digitized and indexed documents from the era, including newspapers with articles on President Roosevelt’s New Deal and ads revealing how much your ancestors paid for groceries.
Along with this release, Footnote revealed a new home page and new search. Duplicate home page links to the same place have been eliminated for a more streamlined look, and there’s no longer a separate advanced search—you expand the search box on the home page to bring up additional search fields.
Footnote searches for plurals and stem names (such as Michael for Mike), but doesn’t automatically look for alternate spellings. I couldn’t find my Haddad ancestors in the 1930 census until I entered the enumeration district and sheet number as keywords—they’re indexed under Haddah. But you can look for alternate spellings by using an asterisk (*) as a wildcard to stand in for any number of letters.
Look for more search tips in our Footnote Web Guide in the July 2009 Family Tree Magazine (on newstands May 5).
The Great Depression Collection is part of Footnote’s subscription offerings. (There’s a limited-time special offer of $55.95.) Footnote also offers a pay-per-view option for many of its records.
The 1930 census actually went live yesterday, but Footnote postponed the announcement to work out a few bugs (it was killing me to keep my mouth shut, but I distracted myself by updating the abovementioned Web Guide).