22 July 2009

1915 Rhode Island census index available

FamilySearch is a testament to volunteers around the world working together to offer free Internet access to vital records and other genealogical records of value. The Record Search pilot site allows you to “search millions of indexed records for your ancestors. Browse through images of records waiting to be indexed. More records are being added every month.” These are the actual images of records. And it’s free.

FamilySearch published an index to the 1915 state census for Rhode Island. Currently, no images are available. The index includes the following information: name, residence, age, estimated birth year, birthplace, relationship to head of household, gender, race, father’s birthplace, mother’s birthplace, and film number, page letter, and line number. The census date was 15 April 1915. Records for Providence county, Providence enumeration districts (ED) 247-265 (Vol. 253) and 301-320 (Vol. 300) are missing.

The web site also includes U.S. federal censuses, Civil War index pension cards, World War II draft registration cards from 1942, and many international records. However, not all collections are complete. For New England, there are partial indexes for the 1855 and 1865 Massachusetts censuses and partial indexes for the Vermont Probate files 1791-1919. (Look for the percentage completed when searching a specific collection.) You can browse images from Vermont Enrolled Militia Records 1861-1867 and Vermont Land Records Early to 1900, but the name indexes are not available yet.

To help this site grow, you’re invited to help with this massive indexing program. I’ve done some census indexing for the FamilySearch site using their online data entry form. It’s actually fun and easy to do. After all, the more people who volunteer, the faster the collections go online.

10 July 2009

Massachusetts Archives offers searchable indexes online

The Massachusetts Archives at 220 Morrissey Blvd. in Boston, holds the “official records created by Massachusetts state government.” You’ll find Massachusetts vital records 1841-1915, pre-1841 vital records, and indexes to 1916-1971 vital records; passenger lists; census schedules; military records; judicial records, including probate, naturalizations, name changes, and divorces; witch-hunt records and Lizzie Borden (1860-1927) trial documents; papers on Maine, Plymouth Colony records, and the Massachusetts Archives Collection 1630-1799, also known as the Felt Collection.

The Mass. Archives also provides online indexes to several collections that are worth checking, whether you visit the Archives in person or not.

Index to Vital Records 1841-1910 (the index often includes maiden names on later records)

Other Resources

FamilySearch has published Massachusetts birth, christening, marriage, death, and burial records online. The New England Historic Genealogical Society also offers the Massachusetts vital records (birth, marriage, death) online as part of its membership benefits.

If You Visit the Archives

If you visit the Massachusetts Archives, check out the Commonwealth Museum located in the same building as well as the John F. Kennedy Library & Museum, located across the parking lot.