The New Jersey Death Index tops this week’s list of new and updated U.S. genealogy records online. Along with a Native American census collection, our list includes family history records for Georgia, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Among the documents you can search for your ancestors are vital records, obituaries, digitized newspapers and even home movies!
Featured collection: New Jersey Death Index
The US records advocacy group Reclaim the Records has been able to secure copies of the New Jersey Death Index for the years they still exist. It’s the first public copy to be available online and it’s free to search! According to a recent announcement, the records exist for “about half of 1920-1924, all of 1925-1929, and then from 1949 to 2017.”
You can search a database of over 1.2 million records for 2001-2017 and click through to explore links to over 500,000 digital images for the not-yet-transcribed 1901-2000 data. “Most of the years of the index will at least give the age at death, from which you can infer an approximate birth year, but the later years of the index (after about 1985) also give the deceased person’s exact date of birth. Some of these records give a numeric locality code for the place of death and/or the place of residence of the deceased.”
Taking things a step further, Reclaim the Records is working with the state archive to secure additional records from the missing years. It also hopes to force the state to recreate missing years of the death index; we’ll report progress on that front as we hear about it. Search the New Jersey Death Index for free.
More US genealogy records now online
Native American records. The free Genealogy Giant, FamilySearch.org, has updated its collection of United States, Native American, Census Rolls, 1885-1940. Site visitors may now search nearly 250,000 records of “census rolls for various tribes. Original records are NARA Series M595. This NARA series also includes some vital records.”
Georgia. The Digital Library of Georgia has added a new collection of town and home movies that have been digitized by the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection. Better yet, according to the site, “DLG staff provided enhanced descriptions of these moving image resources that enable users to locate segments of the moving image footage without having to view the footage in its entirety.” The finding aid includes shot lists, Library of Congress subject headings, word-search capabilities and “a time-correlated description that connects the text search term to the corresponding moment in the moving image footage.” The Georgia Town Films Collection covers the towns of Fitzgerald, Bowman, and Athens; the Georgia Home and Amateur Movies collection comprises 126 home movies.
Illinois. Genealogy Giant Findmypast has published the browse-only collection, Illinois, Tazewell County, Obituary Card Index, which covers nearly a century (1914-2007) of obituaries published in the Pekin Times. The index includes the deceased’s full name, birth date, death date, and burial place.
New York. FamilySearch.org, has updated its collection, New York State Census, 1905. It now has over 7.7 million records available for free searching. State census records for New York are especially valuable, given that the state was the first U.S. home for millions of immigrants and their children, and since state vital records aren’t easy to come by.
Haven’t heard much about state-level censuses? Click here to read a little more about state census records.
North Carolina. You can now search (for free) over 150,000 records in FamilySearch’s database of North Carolina, Davidson County Vital Records, 1867-2006. According to the site, the collection includes “images of death records and marriage licenses recorded in Davidson County, North Carolina. Some of the individual volumes include an index and there are comprehensive indexes to some of the records. Index and images of birth certificates for the years 1914 through 1930 and delayed births certificates filed between 1940 and 2006 (for births occurring between 1869 and 2000).”
Tennessee. A free new website, ChattanoogaNewspapers.org, features about 6000 pages of old Tennessee newspapers. According to a report at Nooga.com, “The first batch of newspapers covers 1862 to 1907 and 12 different newspapers. Publications include The Chattanooga Star (1907), The Daily Times (1869-1895), The Chattanooga Daily Times (1875-1911), Chattanooga Daily Gazette (1864-1865) and others.”
Virginia. “The Virginia Newspaper Project has reached a major milestone: over a million historical newspaper pages have been added to Virginia Chronicle. According to an announcement at Virginia Memory, “Recent additions include: 1879-1959 of the Northern Neck News of Warsaw, additional West Virginia titles and the Idle Hour of Glen Allen.” The project is ongoing, so keep checking back.
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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.
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