Posts Tagged ‘lds’

Historians and Genealogists are able to see Full View of Google Books Snippets

Who doesn’t use Google Books? If you do not then you are missing out on one of the largest collections of printed works that will lead to clues for historians and genealogists.

Those of you that do use often, know just how valuable of a research tool this enormous and growing collection is. There are hundreds of thousands of books that will help you find clues to your family history. By using all the normal types of keyword searches you are guaranteed to discover something that someone has published about your ancestors or relatives.

By searching for a full name in quotes and a one or two keyword like a location or event, up will pop several selections to choose from. Be creative, if you don’t find it right away, reverse the procedure, such as put a specific location in quotes and then maybe just a surname.

Many of these titles that are out of copyright are apt to be available in their entirety in pdf or electronic text format, and if so then you may download a full copy to your own computer to have and use at anytime, as you build a digital library of often rare books that would be priced way beyond the budget of the average armchair researcher.


Now comes the rub. Those dog-gone Snippets. If the book is still in copyright you might only get a small window of text that may or may not have enough clues to tell you what you want to know. You no doubt wish that you could see the whole page or a few pages from a chapter that would give you a much clearer view of data that you want to use in your research effort.

Well now there is a way to have that page or a few pages scanned, digitized and emailed directly to your inbox!

Wow! What a concept!

This exciting work around of snippets is brought to you by none other than those fabulous, wonderful volunteers that work at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Now part of the FamilySearch “Free Lookup Service” involves a contact form and procedure that allows researchers anywhere that have an Internet connection to contact the Family History Library and ask for digital copies of the page or pages of the specific title and page numbers that you found in your Google Books Snippet view.

A volunteer will locate the title in their collection and email you just the part that you need, for FREE!

Go to the FHL  online photoduplication request form and get started.

This news was one of the best gifts that I found under my family tree this season.

Merry Christmas everyone.
Dick Hillenbrand
Upstate New York Genealogy Blog

ps: If you have used this service or have additional thoughts about Google Books to share with our readers, please leave a reply in the comments section at the bottom of this blog post.

New York, State Health Department, Genealogical Research Death Index Starting to Come Online

Early this morning I logged onto to look at something on the 1855 NYS Census, when I noticed that there were now 33 collections, instead of the normal 32, in the New York State collection of actual scans of microfilmed records and data bases.

Glancing down through the list I discovered the newest title, having just become available as of December 19th,
 ”New York, State Health Department, Genealogical Research Death Index, 1957-1963″ -  Yippee!  It has started!

We have been hearing rumors that the NYS Health Department, Vital Records, Death Index was expected to be made available online in the future.  I have written about this in a previous blog post  and you will see three major articles that I have written about the NYS Vital Records at the top right hand side of my blog here at

1963 is the current 50 year limit that we must wait to look at the death record index.  So perhaps this is precursor to wonderful things to come.  Perhaps the 1957 to 1963 chunk is just a trial at LDS or just the first release of all of the remaining death record index listings back to about 1880.  Let’s hope so anyway.

After quickly looking for some immediate ancestors or family members that might have died during this short period of time, I could not find any, so I did a search on my surname HILLENBRAND and came up with one that I knew a little bit about. having worked on this line for some many years.  This is not my immediate family but is a second group that also lived in Syracuse and Onondaga County.

Here is a sample of what you can expect to find:

William L Hillenbrand, “New York, State Health Department, Genealogical Research Death Index, 1957-1963″
Name:     William L Hillenbrand
Event Type:     Death
Event Date:     28 Oct 1962
Event Place:     Syracuse, Onondaga, New York
Gender:     Male
Age:     85
Birth Year (Estimated):     1877
Death Year:     1962
File Number:     75441


NYS Death Index Sample


Note that you will find a date and place of death, age and an estimated year of birth.  More importantly you will find the all important “File Number”.  This is what you will need when you apply for a copy of the actual death certificate from the Dept. of Health in Albany.  If you apply to a local jurisdiction, city or town clerk’s office, the File Number might not be of any help because I am told that it was assigned in Albany, but it will speed things up for you at state level.

As stated previously the NYS Vital Records Division of the NYS Health Department started a collection of official notifications of Births, Deaths and Marriages commencing in 1880.  As also reported, many of these are lacking in the early years for what ever reason, but generally speaking from about World War I onward there is a good chance that you will find a record on your Upstate New York Genealogy research in this huge microfiche collection.

You may look at the full collection on microfiche at several libraries and locations throughout the state.  See previous posts for a listing.  The above referenced digital collection is the very first time that I know of that any part of this massive VR Index has been put online and I give major kudos to all parties involved that made this happen.

Here is how you can search this online collection.
Go to click on: [Search].
Scroll down to the bottome of the screen and click on: [United States]
Scroll down on the left to: [New York].
Then scroll down to third up from the bottom,
New York, State Health Department, Genealogical Research Death Index, 1957-1963

Note that this is a compiled data base taken from the microfiche and not copies of the actual fiche.

This fabulous news comes on the same day that sad news comes from my friend, F. Richard Barr who  just forwarded a blog post written by The Legal Genealogist, about the Closing of the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) until three years after the person’s demise.  This act was passed by Congress in the current Budget Bill and is expected to be signed into law by President O’Bama.  You can bet that there are people attempting to have this law extended to ALL of the SSDI at some time in the future.  Stay vigilant fellow genealogists.  We can not allow this to happen!

Enjoy the new online Vital Records Death Index.
Dick Hillenbrand
Upstate New York Genealogy

Kip Sperry Website

Kip Sperry of Utah is a well known lecturer and author on genealogical and historical subjects. He has created a webpage of very useful links for genealogists. You will no doubt have some new ideas after viewing his site.

Bookmark this site or add it to your favorites, and return often.

Thanks Kip.

Dick Hillenbrand
Upstate New York Genealogy

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