The information on this site comes from official records and documents. From each record, one or more events are determined. For example, a census record (from 1850 on) generates at minimum two events, the person was living at the place cited in the census year, and the person was born about the year indicated by his age at the location listed on the census record. As of 8 June 2014 we have over 75,000 such events recorded for nearly 25,000 persons. Today it is 85136 records for 25021 persons. Note that as we gradually combine references to the same person under one record number, the count of persons actually goes down.
As time goes on we connect as many records as possible that refer to the same person, so that a search for the person lists all the records together. Where people are listed in groups (typically families) like census records, the list of associated persons is also shown, with links to each of the other persons. That can get a bit unruly when the group is all the occupants of a children's home or hospital, but generally it helps identify the correct family when searching for individuals.
Connecting records to the correct person is the essence of genealogy, and our goal is to be as accurate as possible, but sometimes we just have to guess -- is that record for Jr or his father? Which of the three people sharing the name is being referred to here. Experience gives us grounds to make educated guesses, but they are still guesses. There are bound to be some errors in any project this size. This site should never be cited as a source of information -- every assertion made here has a source reference, and you should consult (and cite) those sources for the information. And please bring any errors you find to our attention.
So far we have included every census from 1850 to 1940 (and are working on adding 1830 and 1840), plus some land owner records from plat maps, and names from local directories and phone listings. We also have many vital records that will be added to the database in the near future, church records, cemetery records, newspaper clippings, and much more.