Virginia Vital Records

Virginia birth and death records from 1912 to the present, divorce records since 1918 and marriage records since 1936 are now available in an index form. Click here to access indexed information on open records.  In Virginia, death, marriage and divorce data become “public” information 25 years after the event; birth data are “public” after 100 years.

Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced the completion of a two-year, public-private collaboration between the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and Ancestry.com that fully digitizes the state’s vital records. To date, more than 16 million records have been digitized and indexed. Scanned images of the original, public* documents are available online through Ancestry.com. Access to the indexed information on the records is available free of charge through VDH’s Division of Vital Records’ and the Library of Virginia’s websites.

To view the actual record, you will need a membership to Ancestry.com.

Example of Index entry

birth-records-index

Virginia records available through FamilySearch.org include:

Virginia, Births and Christenings, 1853-1917 – Name index to birth, baptism and christening records from the state of Virginia. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and FamilySearch Centers. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later. No images are available.

Virginia, Deaths and Burials, 1853-1912 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Virginia Deaths. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and Family History Centers. This set contains 785,241 records. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later. No images are available.

Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940 – Name index to marriage records from the state of Virginia. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and Family History Centers. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records. A few records may be earlier or later. No images are available.

The FamilySearch indexes do give you more information.

Research at DAR Library Now Free to the Public

The DAR Library, one of the country’s premier genealogical research facilities, is now FREE to all researchers. In October, the entrance fee for use of the Washington, D.C. family history library was eliminated as part of ongoing efforts to make the extensive DAR genealogical resources more accessible to the public.

“We are so pleased to be able to now offer the DAR Library resources free of charge,” says Eric Grundset, Director of the DAR Library. “We invite and encourage anyone who may have been deterred in the past by the usage fee to come visit and explore our vast holdings. You never know what you may be able to discover about your family at the DAR Library.”

You can read the full article on the NSDAR website Research at DAR Library Now Free to the Public

Tennessee Family Bible Records

According to the Genealogy in Time newsletter,

the Tennessee State Public Library has put online a collection of some 1,500 family bibles that the library has been collecting since the 1920s. The collection consists of scans of all the pages in the bibles that contain notations such as dates of birth, baptism and marriage of various family members. In Tennessee, birth certificates were not required until 1908, making this collection particularly valuable for anyone with Tennessee ancestors (interesting fact: the US government still accepts a list of births in a family bible as one proof of citizenship).

When using Bible records, a number of things you should take into consideration include:

  • The information has NOT been checked to ascertain whether it is valid or not.
  • Families MAY have altered the date of a marriage in the Bible to make it look like the children were NOT conceived out of wedlock.
  • If the cause of death is included in the Bible, it may be different than the official record.
  • Some wealthy families may have also recorded the names and dates of birth of their slaves.

What’s happened to Rootsweb?

At about 1:30 p.m. MT on Monday, June 16, 2014, attackers targeted Ancestry with a Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS),’ wrote Scott Sorensen, chief technology officer for the site.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2661791/ancestry-com-hit-hackers-site-goes-offline-two-days.html#ixzz35N28c161

As of today, Sunday, June 22, 2014 Ancestry.com and  Find A Grave are again working although they may be slow. Apparently NONE of the websites hosted by RootsWeb/Ancestry are back up. With some of them you will receive the following screen

error-notice

With some of them including the freepages sites, you get no notice and just the connecting from your web browser. How long will these sites be down? No one seems to know and these sites are evidently low priority to Ancestry.

I am assuming the various mailing lists are also down since there has been no traffic on the ones I am subscribed too.

WHAT IS A DDOS ATTACK?

Hackers can use a network of ‘zombie’ computers to sabotage a specific Web site or server.

The idea is pretty simple — a cracker tells all the computers on his botnet to contact a specific server or Web site repeatedly.

The sudden increase in traffic can cause the site to load very slowly for legitimate users.

Sometimes the traffic is enough to shut the site down completely.

Top 10 Genealogy Mistakes to Avoid

I’m always telling folks that once you get the “genealogy bug” it is ADDICTIVE.  As a hobby, it can be fascinating as well as frustrating but very addictive.  Each step you take in researching your family can lead you to new ancestors. Sometimes you may even find stories about your ancestors and sometimes you may find things you might rather not know. If you are new to genealogy research or even if you are an old timer, there are ten key mistakes you might want to avoid to make your search successful.

Kimberly Powell advises:

Don’t Forget Your Living Relatives – YOUR family members are  YOUR most important source, and often the only source for the stories which bring our family history to life. Make sure you talk to them BEFORE they are gone.

Don’t Trust Everything You See in Print –  In your searching, you may have come across a written genealogy on your family or a family tree on the Internet.  Just because it has been  written down or published does not necessarily mean that it is correct. Everyone from professional genealogists to your own family members can make mistakes! Transcriptions of various records – censuses, cemetery records, wills, etc can also contain errors. How many times have you seen a census record that was transcribed and then looked at the actual records and found something totally different? The Internet is a valuable genealogy research tool, but Internet data, like other published sources, should be approached with skepticism.It too can contain errors and in some cases is totally wrong.

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