Join us this Tuesday, April 7 at 7:00 p.m. for a genealogy program about deeds. This program is free and open to all.
I learned from Laura DeGrazia, who spoke at our library last week, that Familysearch.org has recently added indexes to New York City vital records. You probably already know that for quite some time indexes to New York vital records are available at Italiangen.org, germangenealogygroup.com, Ancestry.com and stephenmorse.org. What makes the familysearch.org indexes a welcome addition is that they provide additional identifying information, such as parent names, and in the case of death certificates often the burial place. I can see this being useful not for just narrowing a search, but also in finding records on indirect relatives (For example, discovering sibling marriages using parent names) or just knowing where someone was buried without having to send for the certificate. However, what information is included in a record varies and there are occasional transcription mistakes (it isn’t always easy to interpret handwriting on some certificates). The indexes also give you the FHL film number with the link you can click on, which if you have a familysearch.org account makes ordering the microfilm easier. Here are the indexes that were added to familysearch.org on 20 March 2015:
New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909; 2,795,113 indexed records, no images
New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1866-1938; 1,740,063 indexed records, no images
New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949; 6,192,370 indexed records, no images,
Join us on Wednesday, March 25 at 7:00 p.m. for the program Spanning the Great New York Abyss: Connecting Generations When No Vital Records Exist. Laura DeGrazia, genealogist and former editor of The Record (New York Biographical and Genealogical Society publication), will discuss the research strategies and alternative sources that will help locate and link your ancestors who lived in New York before 1880. This program is free and open to all.
With today being St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it would be a good idea to put together a checklist for those of you having trouble finding out what county in Ireland your ancestors were from. These are not the only records to check, but I think they are a very good place to start. Ádhmór ort! (Good luck to you!) Irish American Genealogy Checklist
HeritageQuest Online just sent me the following information: “Tomorrow morning, the switch to the new version of HeritageQuest Online will occur automatically. All existing authentication methods will remain in place and intact. When your patrons log-in to HeritageQuest Online, they’ll soon experience the brand new interface – powered by Ancestry! If they’ve used Ancestry in the past, this interface will have a similar look and feel. From the user-friendly home page to cool and helpful features such as new Research Aids and interactive Census Maps, it’s a whole new, refreshing experience…and it’s just the beginning. Even more improvements will be added in the coming months! “
For those of us who were unable to attend RootsTech 2015, we can view some of the sessions by going to the webpage http://www.rootstech.org/?lang=eng. The program videos are free and require no registration to watch.
Another tidbit of news is that new episodes of Who Do You Think You Are? (the television show that explores the genealogy of celebrities) will be aired on TLC starting Sunday, March 8 at 10:00 p.m. The featured celebrities this season will be Julie Chen, Angie Harmon, Sean Hayes and Bill Paxton.
The Under-utilized Resources at the National Archives program scheduled for tomorrow evening (February 12) has been canceled by the speaker due to weather and travel concerns. We will try to reschedule the event at a later date.
If you discover that a relative’s cause of death was described as being an accident, you might want to check the newspapers to see if there was an article about the incident. New York newspapers back in the 19th and early 20th centuries seem to have reported such local news more often than today’s newspapers do, although I admit to having no statistics to back-up that claim. Of course the reason you should bother searching for a news story is because it could shed light on the incident or provide more information about the deceased. If searching by just the person’s name is unsuccessful, I suggest you examine the death certificate for more ideas on useful keywords for your search. That is because the certificate might give an exact location of death, nature of the accident, or the date of the incident and of course of the death. These facts might have been mentioned in an article, and if used as keywords can lead to successfully narrowing the search. Do keep in mind when searching newspaper databases, that you often need to be persistent and creative and try many different keyword combinations. I have attached an example of a successful search using Old Fulton Postcards for an article on a fatal drowning accident. Example
A few library patrons at our last genealogy program were unaware they could access some genealogy databases through our library. I thought this would be a good opportunity to explain how these databases can be accessed through your home computer. Click on the attached PDF to view the instructions.
If you are new to genealogy you should mark January 14 on your calendar. That is the date we will be having an afternoon program for beginners. A member of the Genealogy Federation of Long Island will be here to give you a general overview of how to get started. Feel free to invite your friends and family to attend. This is an unregistered program that is open to all. It will be held in our Community Room at 2:30 p.m.