30 October 2014

California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994

Over 2.1 million images of birth and death records of various counties in California have recently been added to www.familysearch.org. These records which have been obtained from county courthouses cover the years 1800-1994. Not all the records are name search able as of today and a few counties are not included. However, the collection is a great place to search for your California ancestors.
The image below is the search results for Ben Cohen, who died on the 23rd of July, 1945.

Even though the search gives us great information, such as the names of his parents and spouse, it is not until we look at the original that more detailed facts are added. The original (below) provides the additional information that Ben Cohen was a Rabbi and that he and his parents were all born in Lithuania.

This should be another great resource for all those with family in California. As with all other records at FamilySearch, the collection is free and search able at home.

13 October 2014

Pennsylvania Obituaries, 1977-2010

In recent months, FamilySearch has been contributing a great deal of time and effort toward the indexing of obituaries. These will be a great tool for researchers in located their families. A great example of these records is the new database that FamilySearch has just published, Pennsylvania Obituaries, 1977 - 2010.  This collection, which as of today has over 96,000 images, is the collection of the Old Buncombe County, North Carolina Genealogical Society.
This collection is easily searched and as with all other FamilySearch collections can be searched for free at any time. In the standard search box (shown below), I did a search for all obituaries of the surname Cohen. 

The search results showed 277 different obituaries featuring the surname Cohen. The first few entries are shown below.

At this point, clicking on the name of the deceased will provide some more excellent information. In the example below I clicked on Ruth M Cohen. In addition to many great family relationships, I now also know the name of the newspaper where this obituary appeared, The Reading Eagle/Reading Times.

At this point, we are then able to go one step further and see the original obituary.

What a great source for the family researcher.