California Bill SB 1614 Signed
On September 19, 2002, California Governor Gray Davis signed a bill which will limit access to birth and death record indexes in that state. The final draft was not as bad as the original bill which I reported in this column in June. But it will still have an impact on genealogist because less information will be included on the records. More information on this bill can be found at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov.
One-Step Ellis Island Searching
The one-step search tool developed by Dr. Stephen Morse is back online thanks to JewishGen, Inc. In September, Dr. Morse had some legal problems with the Ellis Island Foundation over his web site but those problems have been worked out. The software that is at the JewishGen, Inc. site is a new and improved version of the original that appeared on Dr. Morse’’s site. If you are not aware of this search tool, it allows a search of the Ellis Island Foundation database that is easier and quicker to use than the one featured on the Foundations web site. It can be found at http://www.jewishgen.org/database/EIDB/
Questions & Answers
Over the past several months I have been asked a variety of questions by readers. This month I will share some of those questions and my answers.
How do I get a copy of my father’’s death certificate?
Birth, marriage, and death records, often referred to as vital records, are the responsibility of each individual state since there is no nationwide system. Most states did not have mandatory registration of births and deaths until after 1910. Each state is different as to the exact date that statewide registration began, so it will depend on when and where your father died. If it occurred before 1910, it may have been kept by the county in which he died. A phone call to the county clerk’’s office will tell you if the record exists and how to obtain a copy. An excellent reference book for this information is Everton Publishers The Handybook for Genealogists which is available at the Broomfield Library.
If he died after statewide registration, I find that it is easier to visit the state’’s Bureau of Vital Records web site. Most Bureau of Vital Records web sites give what time periods their records cover, the required information needed to order a certificate, printable ordering forms and a fee schedule. Many states allow online orders for certificates.
My great-grandmother immigrated from Ireland in 1890. How do I find her in Ireland?
It is almost impossible to jump across the "pond" and find someone in Ireland (or any country for that matter) without knowing at least a county or province. The first thing to do is collect all the information on your great-grandmother in the United States. Look at death records, obituaries, marriage records, and census records for your great-grandmother, her husband, her siblings and her children. One of these may have a county or town in Ireland listed. I found that my grandmother came from County Kerry from her brother’s Spanish-American War Military Record. All of her records listed only Ireland as place of birth. I was then able to find her birth recorded in Civil Registration Indexes at the Family History Library.
Your article on the Revolutionary War talked about patriots. What about the loyalist? How would I find information on them?
Loyalist, also known as Tories, made up about a third of the population in the colonies. Many of the loyalist fled to Canada after the British were defeated. There are numerous books and indexes about the Loyalist. Denver Public Library has many in their collection. I suggest you check the libraries catalog.