First, I went to Ancestry.com's public family trees and did a search using the information that I had about Thomas Williams and his wife. Now, I know that online family trees cannot be trusted, but they can certainly be used to provide valuable hints in researching your ancestors. From the many results that were listed, I gleaned information from the trees that had sources and seemed to agree with the basic research information I had about my second great grandparents and their children. Using the information from the trees I then began my search for my second great grandparents in the latest census records in which they would have been listed. After some time I found a Thomas W. Williams that was married to a Rebecca Oden in the 1880 census records of Chilton County, Alabama. Other facts such as birth, marriage, and death dates and geographical locations agreed with information that I had previously found in my research.
Now to the main point of this blog; when I clicked up the view record page option of this 1880 census the following screen came up on my computer. The right side of the screen was blank but after a short time a column appeared called "Suggested Records." The heading on this column said "These records may also be relevant to Thomas W. Williams:." In this column Ancestry lists records that Ancestry had found in their databases that could be records of the ancestor for which I was searching. In this case the suggestions provided me not only with links to Thomas W. Williams on the 1850 through 1880 census records but also provided links to marriage certificates to both of his wives, General Land Office records and Civil War records. Wow, all of this at one time - I am well on my way to finding out more about my second great grandparents.
One word of caution, do not trust the transcribed information on the view record page, ALWAYS view and study the original record on Ancestry. Before leaving any record you find on Ancestry, note the source information and the url of the page you are on so that you will able to go back to that record.
Happy ancestor hunting.