New England genealogy records top US updates

Find New England genealogy records for Vermont pioneers, Boston Catholics and Berkshire, MA residents among new and updated collections online. Also: vital records updates for Idaho, Nebraska, New York state and Tennessee.

Featured: New England genealogy records

Vermont pioneers. Subscription website American Ancestors, the home of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, has added 29 new volumes to its collection, Early Vermont Settlers, 1700-1784. According to the site, the collection focuses on “heads of families who were living in Vermont during this time period. These new sketches profile individuals from the towns of Sharon and Norwich. Fifteen of the sketches come from Sharon.” Additional sketches for Norwich are available at here and here.

Massachusetts church records. Genealogy Giant has updated its collection of Catholic sacramental records held by the Boston Archdiocese, which now contains nearly a million indexed records. According to the site, “The Boston Archdiocese, erected in 1808, is currently comprised of the Counties of Essex, Middlesex, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Plymouth in Massachusetts, but historically included the states of Connecticut, Maine, all of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.”  The index links to images published at American Ancestors.

Massachusetts probate. American Ancestors has also added 214,000 new case file papers covering 1901-1917 to its collection of Berkshire County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1761-1917. Wills and probate records are oft-neglected but valuable sources of genealogical information. Click here to read an article on using wills and probate records in your family history research.

More US genealogy records now online

Idaho vital records. has updated Idaho, County Birth and Death Records, 1863-1970. “This collection contains birth and death records from select counties in Idaho that took place between the years of 1863 and 1970,” states the collection description. “There is also a portion of marriage records that can be found within this collection.”

Nebraska births. Genealogy Giant has published Nebraska, Omaha births 1874-1887, with names, birth dates, and birthplaces, as well as parents’ names.

New York births. New at is New York State, Birth Index, 1881-1942, which also has browsable images of the indexes, in case searching doesn’t bring up the person you’re looking for. Use the state certificate numbers from the index to order copies of the original certificates from the state department of health (the collection includes a link). 

Tennessee deaths. Also updated at is Tennessee, Death Records, 1908-1958. These indexed images of death certificates come from the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Vital records are vital!

This post features a variety of vital record collections: births, marriages and deaths. That’s because they are essential for constructing your family tree. They uniquely identify your ancestors and they link them to their parents, spouses, and children. Learn more about vital records—and additional resources such as delayed birth records and Social Security applications—in Lisa Louise Cooke’s free Family History: Genealogy Made Easy Podcast, episode 4.

About the Author: Sunny Morton

About the Author: Sunny Morton

Sunny is a Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems; her voice is often heard on the Genealogy Gems Podcast and Premium Podcasts. She’s  known for her expertise on the world’s biggest family history websites (she’s the author of Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites); writing personal and family histories (she also wrote Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy); and sharing her favorite reads for the Genealogy Gems Book Club.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting Genealogy Gems!

Find Your Family History for FREE this Labor Day Weekend: NEHGS and Ancestry

labor day weekend free genealogy family historyBoth Ancestry and the New England Historic Genealogical Society are offering free access to selected U.S. databases in celebration of the Labor Day holiday.

Through next Wednesday, September 9, the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is offering free access to several of its census, tax and voter databases on

“The Census, Tax, and Voter Lists category is a collection of 40 separate databases containing a range of resources to provide information about the families who resided in the New England states between the 18th and 20th centuries,” says a press release.

Labor Day - NEHGS - art for social media“Other broader databases help to trace families as they moved to other areas of the United States. And a handful of European databases within the collection can assist researchers attempting to further document their family’s heritage.” Transcripts of U.S. federal censuses through 1880 and several state and town tax records are also included.

Registration is required at as a free guest user to take advantage of this offer.

As we reported yesterday, Ancestry is also offering free access to selected U.S. records over the Labor Day holidays. Their access includes (and celebrates the release of) an enormous new collection of U.S. wills and probate records. That collection alone is worth a fresh round of Ancestry searches–more than 10 million people are indexed from 170 million digitized pages of estate records from across all 50 states!

Do you know anyone with U.S.–and especially New England–roots who would want to know about these offers? Please share this post!


Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting Genealogy Gems!

NERGC: New England Genealogy Conference Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for the New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC) in Providence, Rhode Island on April 15-18, 2015.New England genealogy conference NERGC 2015

Lisa will be there–will you?

Lisa Louise Cooke will be a featured speaker for this conference along with The Legal Genealogist Judy G. Russell. Here are the lectures she’ll be giving:

Tech Day (Track 2) – Wednesday – 15 April 2015 – 10:45am – How to Turn your iPad or Tablet into a Genealogy Powerhouse

Tech Day (Track 1) – Wednesday – 15 April 2015 – 3:15pm – How to Use Google Earth for Genealogy

T-118 – Thursday – 16 April 2015 – 3:15pm – How to Use Evernote for Genealogy

S-329 – Saturday – 18 April 2015 – 3:15pm – Master Using Google for Common Surname Searches

S-344 – Saturday – 18 April 2015 – BANQUET – 7:00pm – The Google Earth Genealogy Game Show 

Click here for the program brochure. For online registration and to pay by credit card, go to the NERGC website.


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