Grandma and I subscribe to Ancestors.com and use it just about every day. They have census records indexed up to 1930, and have begun transcribing ship's lists. I've been looking for the ships that brought my grandmother and grandfather here from Germany. My grandmother was about 7 when she, her mother and 2 sisters arrived; my grandfather was about 16 when he arrived accompanied, I believe, by his 13 year old brother. One clue is that the census records list the year they said they immigrated. To check the information, I logged onto Ancestry.com to find their records. Well, it wasn't that easy. First of all, they aren't indexed under their surname of Goebel; in 1910 and 1920, they used Gabel. And in the 1930 census, the transcriber listed them as Gorbel; I notified Ancestry about that error. (The one sister was listed in one record as Mangler, instead of Manzler.) To find the Gabels/Gorbels, I looked for their next door neighbor's record, then went directly to the image of the census sheet.
Now, in 1910, my grandmother said she had arrived in 1884 and her sister said 1882; in 1920, they said 1886 and 1885; in 1930, it was 1884 and 1885. (I'm sure that 1884 is too late, because their mother was married in February; I suspect 1882 is correct.) My grandfather was consistent at 1891, but his brother listed 1892 and 1894.
The ship's list aren't indexed prior to 1890, so I've been looking at the actual images, beginning with December 31, 1882 and working backwards. Right now, I'm back to 07 October 1882. My hope is that Ancestry gets their ship's list indexed before I go much further.
I haven't tried to find my grandfather's ship yet. I'll need to use Gabel and Goebel for his surname, and Heinrich and Henry as his given name. Hopefully, the transcriber will have read the information correctly. And his brother was Martin Heinrich Goebel in Germany, but was Fred Gabel over here.
That's what makes the research so much fun - to work through all the twists and turns to find the correct information.