Sunday, March 17, 2013

Family History Library Look Ups; Using All Available Records!

One of the best ways to locate genealogy records is through the use microfilms from

Many genealogy records have been microfilmed and they are available for ordering from the Family Search website. These can be valuable because it allows you to research and locate a record that you might otherwise not be able to access.

For example I was researching a family in Michigan and I was trying to verify a birth year of the Great Grandmother in the family. "Betty" is listed in the 1930 and 1940 US Census as being 9 and 20 respectively. So we know she was born about 1921.

Preliminary research results in the SSDI determines their are two Betty's born in that county in Michigan. One Betty was born in 1920 and the other in 1921.

Here is the link to the Family Search Catalog - It will open in a new window.

I went to Family Search, clicked on "Catalog" and entered the search term of Michigan, Alcona  (Alcona is the county) and then searched. I scrolled to the vital records and found that the birth records from 1869 - 1953 have been filmed from the county courthouse located in Harrisonville, Michigan.

If you will recall the Betty I am looking for was born in 1920 or 1921. Film 963959 would contain those years.

At that point I would order the correct film online from the website and then wait for it to be delivered to my local Family History Center. I would then go there when they are open and view the record and photograph it or whatever for recovering the correct image.

I have about a week to ten days to wait for delivery of the film. I have to pay $7.50 for a short term loan or $18.50 for a long term loan. I then have to take the time and gasoline to get to my local FHC which is 20 miles each way from my home. In this part of MA if I locate the record as soon as I view the film, then I am looking at about 2 hours of my time and maybe more if the weather or traffic isn't cooperating.

Plan B?

I have affiliated researchers in SLC at the FHL that will assist in doing lookups right from the film in the library.

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