Saturday, February 25, 2012

Society Saturday: New England Historic Genealogy Society updates the Barbour Collection

  I know not everyone has a membership at NEHGS's website, www.americanancestors.org, but if you do, there are some changes you should be aware of. NEHGS has updated their Barbour Collection index and included several new towns. My research town of Lyme is among the new additions. A transcript of the Connecticut vital records prior to 1870, the Barbour Collection is a starting point for searching early vital records. The Connecticut State Library offers a good history of the collection on their website: http://www.cslib.org/barbour.htm. The index is organized by town, so you may miss an ancestor living temporarily in another town or one whose birth, marriage or death was never registered. I've seen cases of births only being recorded in the town's baptismal records and never in the municipal records. However, if you do find someone recorded... you now know where to look for more evidence.
    I took a few minutes to poke through the new collection and to compare it to what I already knew. Ancestry.com also offers a Barbour Collection.  The search mechanism on American Ancestors is a bit fussier. You have to be in the correct database to begin a search. Once in that database, be sure to search only by last name. There are no options for misspelling or name variants. However, the results list is much easier to read. It's organized by name, event, and date, with no additional information  that might throw you off. I've seen Ancestry.com try to record out of state events in the wrong location. Good luck!


P.S. Thanks to Barbara for pointing out the fact that Ancestry.com and AmericanAncestors.org use different indexes for their databases. You can read about her experiences on her blog at  http://lifefromtheroots.blogspot.com/2010/02/surname-saturday-farnham-and.html As always, I'd suggest contacting the town once you've found someone on either database.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Bryna. With much of my research done in Connecticut, my birth place, I have used the original Barbour Collection the most, since I live near Boston. Now that NEHGS has put them online, more people can see them now.

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