I wish I had started using fold3 sooner in my quest for family information. Not only does it provide city directories, it also has military records and newspaper articles.
Using city directories, I have been able to determine not only where individuals lived but also their occupations. When I trace someone through the years, I can plot their journey on a map and also see when a business was established.
Military records also contain quite a bit of biographical information. Pension requests contain information not readily available from other sources. For instance I knew that my Ferguson family was from Charles Parish, York County, Virginia, but it was in John Ferguson's pension application that I found out that he was actually born twelve miles below Little York. I also now know that Little York is also known as Yorktown further helping me understand the geography. Knowing that the family spent the years 1811 to 1813 in Green County, Ohio will possibly help me unearth more information on the Fergusons.
Between using the old newspapers and city directories I was able to determine which of the two John Burbachs who died in Milwaukee, WI between 1892 and 1895 was the son of Herman and which was the son of John. One of the boys was her brother who drowned in the Milwaukee River and the other was her cousin. Newspaper articles helped me flesh out the story that began with a chance phrase I found when I googled the name "Burback" in HeritageQuest's old books area. The phrase "Burbach's boy drowned today" appeared in the personal diary of a Milwaukee policeman,