Posts Tagged ‘Ancestry Com’

Is it free to research records at the New York Archives?

September 9th, 2011 4 comments

Can I just walk into the New York Archives and look through records (census, birth, death, marriage) of my ancestors? I wanna see these records in person instead of online on And possibly find ones that aren’t on the site.
What exactly is microfilm?

I can tell you that you can go into the records centers in the UK and view the records for free, you have to get a CAIN card, which you get there on filling out a form proving ID and that then allows you to use the card to go in any UK archives or records center..the card is free and is normally valid for at least 5 years, they also do day cards for visiting genealogists………..I would suspect that in the US you will have a similar system, if you go onto their website and look for visiting information it should tell you on there.

Records are filmed ad put onto film or microfiche and that is what you look at.
Film is a roll of film containing the pages of the records, which you put into the film reader to view and can stop and take a photocopy of the record you want or transcribe the information.

Microfiche or fiche is the same, but looks like an index card and like a photograph negative, which you put into a fiche reader and can then view the records.

In the UK if you wish to view the real records you would write out a card, give it to the archivist and they will go and get them, you go into another room, wearing white cotton gloves which are provided you can then view the real records…..which are very useful as you can often see more information on the real records that doesn’t show on the film/fiche especially if they are poor copies and many are

On ancestry and any other website if they show images it is from the film/fiche although many are just transcriptions or collections and you are right to go and view records yourself as you will find far more there than online, not everything is online, it never will be and you have to check everything you do find online back to records anyway to prove they are correct or like may who have only ever done online searching they have no idea what is really available or if hey even have their ancestors. this website will help with records you already have at home ( page 20) and there is some good advice…read FAQ, documents, etc also has a good link page

Marriage records in Michigan.?

August 15th, 2011 5 comments

So I located the marriage record on-line for my great grandparents,born in the mid 1800s.The information about their parents names and where they came from,wasn`t there.So, I need to either travel to the town where the record is,or send them $15.00 by mail.Will I get a copy of the actual record?I need brakes on my car and with gas prices so high,I thought I would write for it,but then I worry,I will get the wrong record,or the information I need won`t be there.Mich has not released all the death records and a person has to be dead for 150 years before you can obtain a birth certificate.Anyone that has been dead that long,likely was not even born here.The reason I couldn`t find it before,my great grandmother`s last name was misspelled on-line,but not on the actual record.I have gotten more information from family search,than my worthless subscription.
You were all very helpfull.Hard to pick a best answer.

Having read your other question, I’m going to answer parts of both in one place.

I have pretty good experience with Michigan marriage records. First, you need to know that there are different types of "marriage records". This is a generic term for anything that documents a marriage, whether it be a marriage license or certificate issued to the couple, a return book, record book, marriage bond, or register book. Each of these will have different information about the couple. In Michigan each county determines what records they keep and what information will be on them. Some counties have made frequent changes. If you get information from the record about the parents is hit and miss. In Michigan they often have place of residence, but usually do not have place of birth or places associated with the parents.

Since you are looking for a copy, I suspect you have not located the record online, but rather an index or transcription of the record. This source should give you the precise information you need to find the copy they indexed or transcribed from. If it was from Family Search you might be able to take the source code information to a Family History Center and request the microfilm. If it’s from a published genealogy book you can sometimes request an inter-library loan from your local branch library, request a photocopy of the page of interest, or check Google Books.

A few tips about ordering records from public agencies: they will not do research and they will not guess, no matter how logical or obvious. They will look for exactly what you ask them to look for. If the date range you ask for is 1 day off, if a name is spelled 1 letter off, or if your information gives them more than 1 possible record you may get a note back saying the record could not be found. This is why the indexes online are helpful. They *should* be exactly as they appear in the record. In both cases this requires that someone is able to read the handwritten record (i.e. Elmira and Elvira can get confused). When you send away to the agency they will either photocopy the information from their books, or they will transfer the information to a form and this form is considered a copy (although not always certified).

GenWebs do not provide records, they provide a place where people can post information and links to helpful resources. What the GenWeb itself provides is free, but not all of the resources they list will be.

Where can I search for death records for FREE?

July 10th, 2011 6 comments

I have gone to several different sites but they all end up asking for money. I thought death records were public records and anyone should be able to search for a loved one but I’m hitting dead ends everywhere.

I put some links below. I wanted to deal with a common misconception first.

> I thought death records were public records

They are, and if you send the name and death date to the appropriate county courthouse, plus a check, which may be as little as $5 or as much as $35, you can get a copy. There isn’t any law that says a state or county has to spend tax money on a web site to make death records available for free.

By contrast, some records are NOT public; sealed adoptions records, and agreements hashed out between two parties in a civil lawsuit, for instance. You cannot get them no matter how much you pay.


These are all free. Some have ads at the top, which sometimes ask for a name and take you to a pay site, so be careful to distinguish between the advertisement and the input form. An index will have name, date and maybe something else; death records – 500 KB jpg’s of death certificates – are rare. Some of these say "Records" – I copied the page title – but are really indexes.

Social Security Death Index
1960ish – now; almost 90 million entries in November 2010.

53 million entries in November 2010, mostly the USA. Entries range; they may have one or more of:
Exact birth and death dates
A short biography/obituary
Links to the person’s parents’ graves and/or and children’s graves
Picture(s) of the person
The best ones have all of the above; the worst ones have just a name and year of death; "J. Smith, b. ????, d. 1912".

Arizona genealogy
Births 1855 – 1934; deaths 1844 – 1959. Real records, not an index. Number of entries not given.

California Death index
9,366,786 entries from 1940 – 1997

Kentucky Death Records
(Y!A only allows 10 links per answer, so I cheated. Change the "/ca/" in the URL for the California Death index to "/ky/" to get Kentucky.)
2,921,383 entries from 1911 – 2000

Maine Death Records
Change the "/ca/" in the URL for the California Death index to "/me/" to get Maine.)
401,960 entries from 1960 – 1997

Missouri Digital Archives
Real records; Year range 1910 – "50 years ago", so the upper limit changes by one every year. Number of entries not stated, but it too would grow over time. Not all counties are here.

Texas Death Records
Change the "/ca/" in the URL for the California Death index to "/tx".)
3,963,456 entries from 1964 – 1998

West Virginia Birth, Death and Marriage records
Real records; number of entries not stated. Years vary by county. Here are the first five counties, to give you a feel for it:

Barbour: 1853 – 1859, 1861 – 1969
Berkeley: 1871, 1875 – 1906, 1917 – 1970
Boone: 1865 – 1873, 1877 – 1883, 1885 – 1968
Braxton: 1853 – 1861, 1865, 1867 – 1969
Brooke: 1853 – 1860, 1862, 1865, 1867 – 1868, 1874 – 1880, 1885 – 1970

Walter Imbiorski mystery?

June 24th, 2011 5 comments

HUGE mystery. Walter and wife Pauline show up in 1920 Chicago census, with children Steven, Lawrence, Adeline. I find he had another daughter in 1915, who seemingly died. Per that census, he was born about 1888 in Poland. I CANNOT find him in any other census. Can’t find him in Illinois death index, findagrave, or google, except for recent obit of his daughter. He is not the Walter who died in 1944. He is not the Walter who was born in 1925 (1944 Walter is father to him).
EVERY Imbiorski in the SSDI is accounted for, and linked to my grandfather Andrew who immigrated before 1888, and his 4 sons. I have census for each of the Walter who FITS. There is an excellent documented file at rootsweb..he is not in that. I spent hours yesterday at familysearch, found tons of items, but nothing further on THIS Walter.
I don’t have, so if he has an immigration record, or full census showing when he came, I don’t have that. This ISN’T a common name where I could think there isn’t a relationship.. every other Imbiorski is documented and connected, as well as linked to Chicago. An Emborsky family in NY is likely to be a brother to Andrew, but that does not help here. Have been in touch with his granddaughter, who only knows her mom’s brothers name Steven. Want to be able to validate my connection to her.
Where did he come from, and what happened to him? What am I missing here, gang?
the key solution is posted here, but am leaving this open for anyone else to input… my thinking is that he and Pauline/Pearl died after 1950 (end of Illinois death index) but prior to social security death index which begins about 1960ish. I have a lead on what happened to Steven but not Lawrence…
I love this group!

Wendy, I checked Monavo and found a Walter Imbiorski who was born about 1896 and married Marie in 1920 in Winnebago County IL Archives Marriage Records

Ancestry also has a WW2 draft card for a Walter Imbiorski born 12 Dec 1881 in Poland, This would have been from 1942.

The full 1920 census info says
1920 United States Federal Census
about Walter Imborski
Name: Walter Imborski
[Walter Imbordki]
Home in 1920: Chicago Ward 16, Cook (Chicago), Illinois
Age: 36
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1884
Birthplace: Poland
Relation to Head of House: Self (Head)
Spouse’s Name: Pauline Imborski
Father’s Birth Place: Poland
Mother’s Birth Place: Poland
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Sex: Male
Home owned: Rent
Year of immigration: 1905
Able to read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members: Name Age
Walter Imborski 36
Pauline Imborski 28
Steven Imborski 9
Lawrence Imborski 3
[3 1/12]
Adeline Imborski 0

Ricardo Villalobos was born in the Philippines in 1881 & died in Seattle in 1970. Anyone know more about him?

May 31st, 2011 1 comment

I’m researching his genealogy for a friend of mine. I have had trouble finding his obituary in newspaper microfilm because I don’t know the exact date that he died. Does anyone know this or where I can go to find it out. He does not show up in the Social Security Death Index, or rootsweb, or Google searches typically bring up stuff about an unrelated Mexican singer of the same name.

Is there a (preferably free) place where I can access records from the censuses that the United States took in the Philippines while they were still an American colony? I’ve tried the National Archives in Washington State. They have everything else including the Panama Canal Zone, but for some reason they don’t have the Philippines even though it was a U.S. territory back then and there were at least three censuses taken by the U.S. in the early 1900s. doesn’t have the Philippine census either, nor can I find it anywhere else. Anyone know where I can find it?

Maybe yes or maybe no…You really don’t have much for sure to go on! I found this in the S.S.D.I.
Born 15 May 1882
Died Washington St
Feb 1969
Name : Mike Lobos
Unless you have something closer! I can"t believe that this guy
worked in this country for many years without a S.S. Card

Quebec, Canada Ancestry?

May 27th, 2011 3 comments

I saw one of my old questions and one anwser said i should put information on my Quebec ancestry because it was well researched and see if anyone could find anything. So here it is.
My GGGgrandfather Alfred Blondin was born in Quebec Canada Circa 1840, his brother was Stanislas. Alfred’s son was Joseph Blondin. Joseph Blondin moved to cook county Illinois and appeared on the 1880 census in the U.S. In Alfred’s death record it say’s his father was Jos, probably Joseph and born in Canada.

I believe I found the birth record in the Drouin collection for Quebec vital records, using (Canadian database.)

Since the record is in French and in a script that is rather hard to read without actually looking at the original paper record, this is what I can translate for you . . .

Religion: Catholique (Catholic)
Place: Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire, St-Hyacinthe (the name of the county), Quebec –
Birth year: 1840
Birth date: may be 24 July; The record is on a page dated "Vingt Cinquieme" (25th) and the month looks like Juillet (July.) Part of the written record is: "né hier soir" (born last evening/night), which would make the birth date 24 July.
Full given name: Narcisse Alfred Désiré Blondin
Father: Joseph Blondin, boulanger (baker – his occupation)
Mother: Hélène Robert (Robert probably was her maiden name. This was legal to do, even though she and Joseph were married. It was the custom in Quebec for a long time.)
Both were members of the parish "de cette paroisse," translates as "of this parish."
Godfather/Sponsor (the word in the document is "le parrain"): Antoine Robert
Godmother/Sponsor (the phrase in the document is "la marraine"): Rose Benoit tante de l’enfant (aunt of the baby)

That’s the best I can do.

If you wish to ask someone look up the actual/real record and send you an image of it, if they can, here is a link to a web page of a genealogy help list for Quebec province:
Be sure to read the info in the link: Guidelines For Requesting Help
The person on the list who covers St. Hyacinthe County is listed.

In case you are interested, this is the mailing/street address for the church:
Paroisse (Parish) Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire
2200, rue Girouard Ouest, C.P. 128
Saint-Hyacinthe, Qc, J2S 7B4

Unsolicited advice . . .

If you will be conducting more Quebec ancestor research, you may wish subscribe to the International databases of for just 1 month, do "a heck of a lot of research" in one month’s time, and then cancel the monthly subscription. There are some free resources for Canadian research, but research in Quebec online is very "tricky," (including "creative" spellings of surnames and what are called "dit" surnames.) A lot of those databases are just not available for free. The Drouin records are not available for free anywhere, as far as I can tell, unless you cross the Canadian border and use the Canadian databases of at a Canadian public library. 🙂

Whew! This is probably all more than you want to know.

Librarians–Ask Us, We Answer!
Find your local Public Library at:

Find your College/University Library at:

Best wishes

Where can I find free downloadable death records for pennsylvania 1923?

May 15th, 2011 2 comments

I’m trying to locate my great aunt -Margaret Dougherty – whom I knew nothing about until yesterday when I found a letter from a Mrs. Weston informing my great grandmother that she had died (1923) and was to be buried in the local church, the funeral was to be paid for out of the $300 she had in her bank account. With it I found a letter from margaret dated a year previous, begging her family to take her home so she could die in Ireland. I cannot seem to be able to access any online databases…i know she had been in a hospital

Where should I start?

You don’t say if Dougherty is your aunts birth name or married name.
I have done a search on and the only record I could find was a 1920 census listing a Margaret Dougherty aged 66,born in Ireland and living as a lodger at no.6 Bells Court,possibly flat or room 55. She was single and unemployed and unable to read or write.This was in enumeration district 122.Area5,Philadelphia,Pennsylvania. If this was her and she died in 1923 she would have been about 69/70 (1854–1923)
This seems to have been quite a large boarding house and there were quite a number of other Irish boarders there. If it was her,she may have got someone else to write a letter for her.
Cannot find a death record for her. Hope this helps.
edit: Just found some passenger lists but need a probable birth year to try to match up margaret as there are a number of people with the same name.

Anyone kind enough to search something for me on

April 28th, 2011 1 comment

Could anyone with an account please help me with my family search? There are 3 people that have records that I need to see to make sure it’s them and to learn more about where my family came from, it would be greatly appreciated!
The first one is 1930 United States Federal Census Record for Stana Radoman, and it says the residence is in St. Louis, Minnesota.
The second person is Milo Radoman. There are 2 records for him-New York Passenger Lists 1820-1957, and Minnesota Death Index 1908-2002.
The last person is Andrija (Andria) Radoman. There’s 1 record for him. 1910 United States Federal Census Record.

Any information would be greatly appreciated, this will help me so much with my search!
Thank you! 🙂

1930 United States Federal Census about Stana Radoman
Name: Stana Radoman
Home in 1930: Stuntz, St Louis, Minnesota
Age: 40
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1890
Birthplace: Yugoslavia
Relation to Head of House: Head
Race: White

Household Members: Name Age
Stana Radoman 40
Rade Raskovich 42

Minnesota Death Index, 1908-2002
about Milo Radoman
Name: Milo Radoman
Death Date: 26 May 1917
Death County: Saint Louis
State File Number: 012166
Certificate Number: 012166
Certificate Year: 1917
Record Number: 218933

New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957
about Milo Radoman
Name: Milo Radoman
Arrival Date: 15 Jul 1907
Birth Year: abt 1867
Birth Location Other: linbotigne
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Ethnicity/Race­/Nationality: Montenegrin
Port of Departure: Havre
Port of Arrival: New York, New York
Ship Name: La Bretagne

1910 United States Federal Census
about Andria Radoman
Name: Andria Radoman
Age in 1910: 40
Estimated Birth Year: 1870
Birthplace: Montenegro
Relation to Head of House: The Head of This Camp Lives Else Where (Head) [looks like this may be a logging camp??]
Father’s Birth Place: Montenegro
Mother’s Birth Place: Montenegro
Home in 1910: South Bay, Thurston, Washington
Race: White
Gender: Male
Year of immigration: 1907
Andria Radoman 40

How do I get birth/death certificate copies for a genealogy project?

April 11th, 2011 5 comments

I am trying to apply to a group, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (I had family that fought in the TX war for independence, have been in TX since the 1700s, etc). I have the genealogy work done, but now I need to actually prove the validity of the family tree and my connection to either an original Texas settler or (this is easier) a person who is already a member of the group. To do this, I will need to get copies of birth certificates from people going from myself back a few generations. My problem is that I am not on very good terms with my father’s side of the family, and there’s no way I can get my grandfather’s records (he is still alive) which effectively stops that search pretty low on the family tree. How else can I go about getting any records?

In some circumstances you can order on line.

Texas began to record vital information in 1903 but a lot of people who were born at home or died at home did not get recorded.
This was pretty much the case until after WW II.

Rootsweb(freesite) has the complete Texas Bureau of Vital Statistic Death Index1903 -2000. Now, you can save a lot of money for those who died between 1903-1976 if you order a copy from Clayton Library, 5300 Caroline, Houston, Texas. They will only charge you $3 for a copy.

You might get birth certificates also but I doubt if you can do so all the way up to 1976. States are clamping down on birth certificates to just anyone due to identity theft. Ancestry.Com has the complete birth index from 1903-2000. Your public library might have a subscription to Ancestry.Com.

If your grandfather is 75 years of age or older, then you probably can get his birth certificate without any problems in Texas.

I might add that Anglo settlements did not come to Texas until the 1800s. Moses Austin asked Spanish authorities for a large tract of land that he would promote and sell to Anglo American pioneers in 1820.

A Spanish settlement from the Canary Island was at San Antonio in the early 1700s.

Can you help me find my Italian ancestor’s immigration records?

March 30th, 2011 2 comments

I’m just stumped right now. His name was Vito Gerardi, born in 1877 in Italy. He immigrated January 10, 1886 to New York with his parents, Domenico Gerardi and Catherina (Nole) Gerardi. I *believe* he was from Avigliano, Italy, but that’s just speculation until the microfilm from the LDS library arrives in a few weeks.

I have found his naturalization records. I have found him in the 1910 Federal Census. I have found his marriage certificate. I have found what I believe to be the death records of his father, mother, wife, and daughter. I just can’t find any record of his actual immigration. I’ve looked on and Castle Garden’s website without luck.

Maybe some of you who are more skilled at this can either find more information or lead me in another direction. I feel like I’ve exhausted almost every source.

Also, would there be a website where I could look up passenger vessels by the date or the year or where they departed? That might help me narrow it down since I have his date of arrival. Thanks!

Several things to keep in mind. Prior to 1892, ships passenger lists could be sketchy. The only records may be for the entire family. New York harbor was only one of many ports of entry. The other major ports were Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston and New Orleans

CyndisList has links in several possible sections
Ports of Departure, Ports of Entry, Ships & Passenger Lists and Immigration & Naturalization

One Step Search Stephen Morse has both free & paid links in an easy to search format