Wednesday, January 24, 2007

250,000+ certificates from 1905 to 1954 linked with index and images

NOTE: First info about this collection of online scanned images came from Meridian Magazine. To be sure, Ol' Myrt tried out this database using 12 of her ancestors, and this collection works beautifully. This is a taste of things to come (more images on the net). Here is the official news release from FamilySearch.org:

Utah Death Certificates Now Online
18 January 2007

250,000+ certificates from 1905 to 1954 linked with index and images

SALT LAKE CITY — FamilySearch, in conjunction with the Genealogical Society of Utah and the Utah State Archives and Records Service, announced today that the state's free online index to death certificates is now linked to original images of the historic documents. The integration of the index with free digital pictures of the death certificates issued from 1905 to 1954 by the state will open doors to additional information for family historians and genealogists with Utah ties. To search the index and view the certificates, users need to go to http://historyresearch.utah.gov/indexes/index.html.

The online index to 250,000+ Utah deaths was created by the State Office of Vital Records and Statistics and has searchable information limited to the name of the deceased person, their date of death, sex, and where they died. The Utah State Archives turned to FamilySearch to help them get the digital images online. FamilySearch digitized the images and provided the technology to link the images of the certificates to the state's online index. The linking process was completed in just a few weeks — incredibly fast for a project of this nature and magnitude.

The names of Utah's deceased are now very much alive, searchable, and viewable online — and for free.

"There is so much more information of family history importance that can be found on the certificate itself," said Glen Fairclough, processing and reference archivist for the Utah State Archives. Before making the certificates viewable online, Fairclough said patrons had to order copies through the mail for a fee or visit the state archives office in person.

"The value of viewing the image of the original death certificate is that it saves you time, money, and provides rich genealogy data for the family historian," said Paul Nauta, manager of public affairs for FamilySearch. Captured on a death certificate are the names and birth places of the deceased person's parents, place and date of the decedent's birth, marital status, occupation, permanent residence, place and date of burial, time of death, chief cause and contributory factors of death, and if applicable, where illness was contracted and the duration of the illness.

The user merely needs to type in an ancestor's name that died in Utah between 1905 to 1954, and they will be directed to a brief summary of the ancestor's death certificate with a link to view the original image. Users need to simply click on the certificate image to see a larger, high quality view of the original death certificate.

For more information about the FamilySearch digital image linking technology or services, record custodians should contact Brad Wilkes, wilkeswb@ldschurch.org

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