If you’re stuck on an ancestor, try checking out the USGenWeb sites. I have found some very helpful information using these sites along with my other normal sites. Most of the time, they can give you very helpful information on a certain county. Some sites have tons of information available, and some don’t have much.
Anyway, what is it that some of these sites have some of the worst user interfaces ever, and some of them are gold mines? A lot of the county sites I’ve been to look like they haven’t been remodeled since the mid-1990s (and we all remember how good those sites were.) There are some good sites out there with very helpful user interfaces. I usually spend more time trying to figure out what’s what then I do finding anything useful. Now, I know that finding information isn’t always easy, even though I do find it frustrating that some sites just like everything back to Rootsweb or Ancestry. But, at least organize the information better. You’d think that being genealogists, we would have organization skills (though this is the pot calling the kettle black here.)
Though, like I said earlier, the majority of these sites are too helpful to pass up when you’re stuck or are looking for that one piece of info that could crack open your research. It’s probably just my web developing side ranting and raving about usability and design, but when I see flashing text and dancing, animated images I’m immediately pulled back into the darkness of mid-90s web designs. I’m tempted to volunteer for one, but all the ones in my area are taken and are down fairly well, such as the Ozaukee County site. But, I think the Milwaukee County site could use a nice overhaul. I know that there is a lot more information out there for that county.
Check them out, hopefully it will help you out.