Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tech Tuesday: Reviewing two more free Connecticut genealogy research databases....

   I stumbled across the Genealogy Helps blog while looking for local history blogs. The blog advertises free lookups in local history databases.  Their Connecticut database was constructed from a series of genealogies about the "ancient" families of Connecticut.  While I can't attest to the database itself  - I wasn't willing to part with my email address - I thought many of the titles looked familiar. A quick check revealed that at least a few were available on Google Books. Others should be available through interlibrary loan.  I'd prefer to look at sources in context.
   Death-records.net immediately sent up some red flags.  First of all, it claims to search all death records after 1897 through an online database. That search sends you through Archives.com.  I entered a name that I knew should turn up a death record and was informed that it did not return results, but that I could look at 6 other similar certificates for a fee. Why is this a red flag? Because the person I was looking for a) did die in Connecticut and b) died in during a period for which statewide death certificates have not been digitized. Second, you were informed if your ancestor died before 1897, you should request the certificate from the county clerk. Connecticut doesn't have county clerks. Better options? 1) FamilySearch.org has reliable indexes. Start there. 1) If a site uses the word county in association with Connecticut, look elsewhere. And call the town.

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