Monday, August 11, 2008

Latest Additions - Online Death Indexes, Records and Obituaries

The Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records Directory has been updated with links to the following items...

Alabama
- Jefferson County: Birmingham Area Newspapers Obituaries Index, January 1943-December 1976 (update: more years added)

Arizona
- Maricopa County: West Valley Genealogical Society Obituaries Index 1998-2003 (update: year 2003 added)

Georgia
- Chattooga County: Death Notices from the Summerville News Newspaper 1927-1942 (also has some cemetery listings)

Illinois
- Cook County and Chicago section: Historical Cook County Vital Records - Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates (index searches are free/payment required to download copies of the records) ... See: Online Chicago and Cook County Death Records Indexes and Obituaries

Indiana
- Knox County Death Indexes, 1921-June 2002 & Vincennes Sun-Commercial Obituary Index 2002-2007 from the Knox County Public Library
- Perry County: Tell City-Perry County Public Library Obituary Finder (recent)

Kansas
- Johnson County District Court Public Records Search -- includes indexes for recent probate records and marriage licenses

Kentucky
- Boyd County Cemeteries & Ashland Daily Independent Obituary Index 1922-1945 -- from the Boyd County Library; also includes other genealogy indexes

Michigan
- Michigan Death Records 1867-1897 at FamilySearch Labs (includes scanned images from the death ledgers) beta testing
- Barry County Public Records Index - includes a death certificates index

Mississippi
- Monroe County: New Hope Cemetery Burials (Parham, Mississippi)

North Carolina
- New Hanover County: Oakdale Cemetery Burials -- in Wilmington, North Carolina

Ohio
- Fairfield County Cemeteries Surname Index
- Franklin County: Silent Home Cemetery Burials (in Truro Twp near Reynoldsburg)
- Washington County: 5,275 Burials in Washington County, Ohio Cemeteries

Oklahoma
- Muskogee Death and Newspaper Obituary Indexes 1918-1936 and 1954-2008 (update: more years added)
- Washington County: White Rose Cemetery Burial Search -- City of Bartlesville

South Carolina
- Greenville County: Greenville News Obituary Index 1917-1993 and 1994-present
- Greenville County Historical Records Search -- includes some older probate and estate records

Tennessee
- Tennessee Death Index 1914-1925 (update: year 1925 added)
- Tennessee Death Index 1949-2005 (not complete) "Partial Indexes from 1949-2005"
- Blount County Obituaries Indexes: includes Maryville Times Obituary Index 1906-1960 (over 16,000) & Index to Misc Obituaries 1867-1940 (over 11,000)

See: Online Searchable Death Records Indexes and Obituaries

Friday, August 08, 2008

Mamma Mia! and the Joy of Choosing Your Own Ancestors

Yesterday I went with my mom to see the movie Mamma Mia!. I am such a good son, taking my mother to see this completely ridiculous campy musical extravaganza. I also saw the Broadway musical version last year with my mom and two other friends. And now I'm going to admit that I'm an Abba fan. I've liked them since I was a young sprog and they were still together making records. And all married to each other. And I honestly thought I would hate Mamma Mia!. But I admit I liked the thing. It's just so silly and uplifting and fun. And it's filled with Abba songs. Tons of them. The movie is just about as much fun as the stage musical. And Meryl Streep looks like she's having a blast throughout.

Mamma Mia! Abba songs soundtrackSo now I know what you're thinking: What does Mamma Mia! have to do with genealogy? C'mon theatergoers, it's soooo obvious. The girl has three dads! And she doesn't know which one is really her dad. Sophie's mom had brief affairs with three men right in a row some twenty years ago. And now Sophie, who's about to be married, wants to know who her dad is. So she invites all three to the wedding. And they all show up. Mayhem and Abba songs ensue. C'mon if you had three dads wouldn't you dance around and start singing "Voulez-Vous" for no reason? While most of us are trying to figure out who our great great great great grandparents are, this poor girl has three potential dads lined up in a row and she doesn't know which one is the right guy. Hey, even own her mother, Meryl Streep, doesn't know. Now before you can say, "DNA test," please consider this: there are no Abba songs about DNA. Nope. Nothing about genetics either, or genealogy, or having three dads. And consider this: Sophie's dad is one of the following...

1. Remington Steele
2. Mr. Darcy himself
3. Some sea-faring Swedish guy

Er, actually that would be:

1. Pierce Brosnan
2. Colin Frith or Firth I can never remember which
3. A fine Swedish actor whose name I can't spell

Now would you have a DNA test, or perhaps just choose Mr. Darcy? Personally I think I'd run off with Sophie, who is just as cute as can be. Er wait a minute I've gone off track here. So pretend for a moment that you get to pick your ancestors. It would make genealogy sooo much easier. Yeah, I'm not sure if I'd want that Jane Austen dude as an ancestor, so I'm going with Remington Steele. Even if he can't sing. And for my grandparents... hmmm... let's see...

All right now back to some real genealogy. Everyone go click on some links over on the right side.

Friday, July 25, 2008

20 Things That Make Genealogy Fun

This is intended to be a bunch of silly nonsense. So please don't take it too seriously.
  1. In Germany all the women are named Anna Maria and all the men are named Johann. This was done to confuse genealogists.

  2. In Mexico all the women are named Maria and all the men are named Juan. This was done to confuse genealogists.

  3. In Ireland all the women are named Mary and all the men are named James Patrick O'Connor. This was done for "fun in the pub."

  4. In New Mexico the "Kevin Bacon Game" is called the "Juan Baca Game." No one knows who Juan Baca was, but everyone in New Mexico can trace their ancestors to him.

  5. In Boston the "Kevin Bacon Game" is called the "James Patrick O'Connor Game." And you're only allowed to play with a Boston accent. For tips on fine tuning your Boston accent see the Academy Award winning Martin Scorsese film, the Depahhted.

  6. The record you need is always at the end of the microfilm roll.

  7. The records at the beginning of the roll are clear and easy to read with beautiful penmenship. By the time you scroll to the end of the roll where the record you need is located, everything is a blurry mess.

  8. Oh nevermind. They're gonna digitize all of it soon anyway, right?

  9. You actually know what M237 means. You freak.

  10. All of your ancestors settled in Chicago. Whenever you can't find something about them you curse Mrs. O'Leary's cow.

  11. That same cow is probably responsible for the loss of the 1890 census.

  12. Stupid cow.

  13. You wonder why a non-profit religious organization can distribute National Archives microfilm better than the National Archives.

  14. You wish the founding fathers had thought up Social Security so the Social Security Death Index would begin around, oh, 1780 or so.

  15. When someone first tells you their last name you immediately convert it into a Soundex code. This kind of behavior is so not normal. Er wait a minute, since everything has been/will be digitized we don't need Soundex codes anymore, right?

  16. Your ancestors did not swim to America.

  17. You are not a Cherokee princess.

  18. None of your ancestors knew Jesse James.

  19. But my Apache princess ancestor knew Billy the Kid.

  20. So yeah, my ancestors are cooler than yours. Well of course everyone thinks that... Ok, number 19 is not really true.
Your ancestors really did swim to America. Perhaps alongside one of these ships: Finding Passenger Lists 1820-1940s (arrivals at US Ports)

Your ancestors are named Anna Maria and Johann. You'll love it here: German Roots: German Genealogy Resources

Your ancestors are named Mary and James Patrick O'Connor: Irish Genealogy Resources

You've been playing the "Juan Baca Game..." New Mexico Genealogy Resources

Don't know what M237 means? You do now... National Archives Microfilm Publication M237: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, NY, 1820-1897, which of course, has been digitized.

The Fate of the 1890 Census Stupid cow!

This is a revised and reduced version of my original "25 Things that Make Genealogy Fun" list. So yeah basically I stole this from myself. Please don't bother with the original one. Note lack of link.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Online Death Records and Indexes - New Additions and Updates

The Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records Website has been updated with links to the following items...

Arizona
- Arizona Death Records 1844-1957 (update: 1844-1877 and 1957 added)
- Miscellaneous Arizona Obituaries Index

Arkansas
- Craighead County Deaths & Obituaries Index 1885-2008 -- from The Jonesboro Sun

Colorado
- Pitkin County: Ute Cemetery Burials (in Aspen) -- includes some Civil War veterans

Indiana
- Putnam County Cemeteries - Listed by Township -- searchable by name (not complete)

Missouri
- Missouri Death Certificates 1910-1957 (update: death certificates for 1940-1944 and 1957 added)
- St. Charles County: St. Charles Library Local Indexes -- includes: Oak Grove Cemetery Database and St. Charles Local Newspaper Index (starts with 1988)

North Carolina
- Macon County Cemeteries

Ohio
- Franklin County: Obetz Cemetery Burials - Columbus, Ohio

Pennsylvania
- Philadelphia City Death Certificates 1803-1915 from FamilySearch Labs (being tested)
- Westmoreland County: Latrobe Bulletin Obituaries and Death Notices Index, December 18, 1902-present -- from the Adams Memorial Library

South Carolina
- South Carolina Death Index 1915-1957 (update: year 1957 added)
- Dillon County: Extracts of Obituaries from the Dillon Herald 1940-2008

South Dakota
- South Dakota State Archives - WPA Cemeteries Search -- pre-1940s (not complete)

Tennessee
- Tennessee Death Index 1914-1924 (update: year 1924 added)

Texas
- Texas Deaths 1890-1976 from FamilySearch Labs -- includes text summaries with some information from the death certificates (being tested)
- Harris County: Houston Funeral Home Records Index (for the Fogle West and Boulevard Funeral Homes)

Virginia
- Newport News: Daily Press Obituary Index 1898-1988 -- from the Newport News Public Library System

Washington
- Washington Deaths 1907-1960 from FamilySearch Labs -- includes text summaries with some information from the death certificates (being tested)

See: Online Searchable Death Records Indexes and Obituaries