- Learning an Interesting Detail - When you're forced to browse, you actually look at the image, instead of finding a match from a search and just attaching it to your family tree. This may lead you to see on the page an interesting detail about your ancestor that you may have missed. Even for indexed collections, it's good to get in the habit of opening the image and reviewing it thoroughly.
- Spotting a Different Relative - You might find a familiar name that you weren't looking for. When I searched for my 2nd great-grandfather in the 1890 Census of Union Veterans of the Civil War on FamilySearch and didn't get a match, I decided to browse the pages in case his name was botched. I still haven't found him even though he was alive at the time, but I did find two other distant relatives, including one who I didn't know had served in the Civil War.
- Finding Bonus Material - You never know what you might find attached to the record book. At the beginning of scanned burials records for St. Patrick Parish in Caledonia, Haldimand County, Ontario, the following clipping from 1862 had been pasted:
Surnames of "the undersigned" at the bottom of this clipping (not included in the cropped image) are Brennan, Brown, Carroll, Collins, Conboy, Cullen, Cunningham, Dalton, Daugherty, Delaney, Donnelly, Downey, Doyle, Duffy, Evoy, Farrell, Hannan, Harris, Hayes, Higgins, Hogan, Hurly, Keating, Kelly, Kennedy, Lamond, Lennon, Madigan, Mangan, Mannix, McCarty, McGill, McGuill, McDonald, Meir, Murphy, Murray, O'Brien, O'Riley, Phillips, Reip, Ryan, Shea, Shehan, Smith, Sullivan, Sweeney, Walsh.
Browsing records is relaxing and fun for me (weird, I know!), and I enjoy reading interesting details about people even though they aren't in my family tree. So don't ignore collections that haven't been indexed or you may miss a great record for one of your ancestors.