Friday, March 7, 2008

A glimpse of the future, with free Ohio death certificates as well

The Ohio Historical Society has long held statewide death certificates from 1908 through 1953, indexed in two batches, 1913-1935 and 1936-1944; you're on your own if you need 1908-1912 or 1945-1953, and in any case actual copies cost $7 apiece sent by snail mail.

But Family Search Labs is on the case too. Their site is not for the timid: "FamilySearch Labs showcases new family history technologies that aren't ready for prime time. Your feedback will help us refine new ideas and bring them to market sooner. Have fun playing with these innovations and send your feedback directly to our development teams."

Your fun can include keeping up with their blog, volunteering to help index, or delving into Record Search (free registration required), where among other things you can search the full run of Ohio death certificates and view images of the originals for free, and browse the as yet unindexed 1905 state census of Wisconsin. I've happily made discoveries on both. They also have browseable the Illinois, Diocese of Belleville, Catholic Parish Records 1729-1956. That's a time span Midwesterners rarely get to work with.

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