Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ancestry adds Vital Records Collections

Ancestry announces the addition of many new vital records collections: today announced it has added 53 new historical vital record collections to its nearly half billion U.S. vital records, the largest searchable online collection of its kind. The foundation of family history research, civil vital records – recordings of births, marriages and deaths – were typically created at or near the time of the event andserve as an essential resource for the millions of Americans who are beginning or continuing their family history research. The new additions encompass 23 states, include more than 50 million historical records dating from the 1600s (some of the oldest U.S. records available) through to 2010 and have been made available through partnerships with state and local archives, county offices and newspapers. Many notable Americans can be found in the collections, including John Wayne, Ernest Hemingway, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Judy Garland and many more.
Interesting facts presented by these records include John Wayne’s birth name as Marion Robert Morrison, changed to the legendary stage name when he began working in Hollywood. “Gone with the Wind” star Clark Gable hailed from the small village of Cadiz, Ohio according to the Ohio Births and Christening Index (1800-1962). The Minnesota Birth and Christening Records (1840-1980) show that “The Wizard of Oz” star Judy Garland’s given birth name was Frances Gumm. 
More information is available in this morning's press release.
Some of the new vital record collections now available on date well back into the 17th Century including:
  •     Connecticut, Deaths and Burials, 1650-1934:Town clerks began recording births, marriages and deaths by 1650. These records are derived from microfilmed records of deaths and burials. This collection includes legendary names such as P.T. Barnum of circus fame and dictionary pioneer Noah Webster.
  •     Maryland, Births and Christenings, 1662–1911: This collection is extracted from more than 200,000 Maryland birth, baptism, and christening records sourced from church, civil and family records. This collection includes the birth of John Hanson, President of early America’s Continental Congress.
  •     New Hampshire, Death and Burial Records, 1654–1949:New Hampshire’s earliest records were in the mid-1600s, though laws requiring a statewide compilation of records were not passed until 1866.
  •     New Hampshire, Marriage Records, 1637–1947:Records in this collection are derived from certificates of intention of marriage and certificates of marriage for more recent years.
  •     New Jersey, Births and Christenings, 1660–1931:This collection is comprised of more than 2.3 million birth, baptism, and christening records. Information found here may include name, gender, race and birthplace.

Happy researching!

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