On the 19th of August, the New England Historical and Genealogical Society (NEHGS) announced the launch of its new website, American Ancestors.org to host its ever expanding genealogical library. Visitors to the site can register free, but genealogists and family historians using this site will only have access to nine of the nearly 3000 online databases offered. They are The Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850; Missing Friends: Irish Immigrant Advertisements 1831-1920; Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati; SSDI to Feb. 2010; Index of Revolutionary War Pensioners; Gloucester, MA: Burials; New England Ancestors magazine; New York Wills: 1626-1836; Ware, MA Families. The rest of their databases are only fully accessible by subscription (starting at $75 per year for individuals). A preliminary search can be made for all genealogical databases, but results for non-free databases will ask you to become a member. The membership is worth the price. One look at the database catalog shows the website has a lot to offer in the way of online genealogical data. Here are just a few tantalizing tidbits: The Boston Sea Fencibles' Roll, Boston, MA: Boston Smallpox Innoculation Census of 1824 - Boston W. District, Ward 7; Thomas Lamkin of the Northern Neck of Virginia, Descendants; Nobleboro, ME: Elder Phinehas Pillsbury's Journal. There's plenty to explore besides the usual town vital records, censuses, and court records.
There are some glitches in running searches through the Firefox browser. When trying to browse the collection, sorting by state does not also work. When randomly searching all categories for California data, the results included "Death Notices from the New York Evening Post" among other erroneous hits. Also, if the advanced search results bears more than one page of results, when you try to go to the next page, it sometimes brings you back to the first page results rather than advance to the second page of results.
The web site also offers news features, a calendar of events, "The Daily Genealogist," "The Question of the Day," "The CEO Corner," and an online store featuring books, memberships, and specialty items. AmericanAncestors.org also offers research support in their "Connect" tab which gives you access to communications with the staff and a virtual tour of NEHGS.
At first glance, NEGHS has provided another service that family historians and professionals genealogists will love. Give them a chance to work out the kinks first but definitely put it on your bookmark menu.