Friday, May 9, 2008

Update to U.S. vital records online

Vital records are those primary source documents genealogists have spent many hours, many dollars, and, at times, much frustration researching and acquiring. Today, the task is much easier (though not always less expensive), and the hope of finding a key record is much higher, thanks to the massive digitation efforts underway in many camps across the globe. In her article, United States Vital Records Online," Gena Philibert-Ortega observes, provides an update on vital records available in the U. S., noting, at this time, she is referencing only actual vital records documents, not all documents in which vital information may be found. So take heart -- even if the information you seek is not in vital records documents, it may well be someplace else. Among the records available online, a great many are indexes, which are subject to error. As the author points out, the information in indexes may vary across information providers. Information in one index may not include information revealed in another index, or information in one may be in error and another more accurate. So it's not all cakes and pies, kids. Even though more records are increasingly made available, considerable research is still required -- it's just a little easier today.

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