Without a doubt, it is Ancestry.com and Fold3.com!
I could go on and on about the merits of belonging to such a site, but I would prefer to mention a recent success I had.
Asbury Alburt Moore always intriqued me. He must have intriqued my mother, too. I believe she met him only one time, for he died when she was six years old. She was his great-granddaughter, and was a Civil War veteran.
She frequently mentioned that one of her grandfathers had been a member of Morgan's Raiders of Civil War fame. That was the legend. However, I could never find any evidence of this.
Asbury was born and married in Grayson County, Virginia. I had no trouble finding his marriage record, nor in following him on the census as he eventually moved with other family members and neighbors into southern Ohio.
Then, I lost him. Through Fold3.com, I found his pension and his eventual death at the National Military Home in Dayton, Ohio. For years, he tried to obtain the money that he was entitled to as a veteran of the Civil War, particularly that of being an invalid due to war injuries. He fell on the ice in Tennessee, slipped under a wagon where a load of wood fell into his lap.
His pensions record showed a completely different wife and children than what I had recorded!
He died, never receiving the disability part of his pension. Basically, the government told him he couldn't have been too disabled from the wood falling into his lap, for he had a wife and seven more children! How disabled do you think you are?
Both mom, and then I tried in vain to locate his tombstone for years and years. Then, just a couple of weeks ago I signed into Ancestry.com and typed in his name.
The first thing the came up was a photo of his tombstone!!!
Asbury Moore tombstone.
It was as clear and beautiful as any picture I've ever seen! Another photo showed the beautiful area where it is located.
Soldier's Circle, Greenlawn Cemetery, Portsmouth, Scioto, Ohio
Belonging to these two sites has saved me hours of research and travel time, for they take me back in time and transport me to areas that are beneficial in the discovery of my ancestors. I offer many thanks to the fellow genealogist (and probably family member!) that posted these pictures.
It is a wonderful time to be alive and have the available of modern technology to further our research. Yep, some things cost money, but it would have cost me a lot more to have sent away for the penion file, and to traipse around looking for a tombstone. Now, this information is right at my fingertips.