Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Find-a-Record Location Search

I recently wrote about a new companion product to FamilySearch Family Tree: Find-a-Record. (See “New FamilySearch Add On: Find-a-Record.”) In addition to the Research Assistant feature I described last time, Find-a-Record contains a Search feature that is like an über-catalog.

The Search feature finds and displays a list of record collections from multiple websites and repositories, with particular record types, about a particular place, and for a particular time period. Filter the search results for free sources, paid sources, online records, and offline records. Click on a result to see an online collection on its respective website or to see the catalog entry for an offline collection.

Search results from Find-a-Record

I performed a search for Oswego County, New York, for 1850-1950, free and paid, online and offline, and death records. Table 2 at the end of this article presents some results Find-a-Record returned. Find-a-Record labels each result as paid or free and online or offline. Note that Find-a-Record returned many results for wrong locations. Instead of Oswego County, some of the results were from New York City, Pennsylvania, Maine, and the Panama Canal Zone. While these are errors, other seemingly erroneous results are expected. You must expect results for wider areas inclusive of Oswego County, such as “World Miscellaneous Deaths…”

Find-a-Record is creating a catalog of the genealogical collections of major research websites and repositories. Table 1 lists those currently included. I don’t envy them. Getting the proper geographic coverage set for each collection is going to be Herculean. Trying to keep up with new collections is going to be Sisyphean.

I wish them luck.


Table 1. Repositories Currently Cataloged by Find-a-Record.
Data from the Find-a-Record website current as of 27 May 2014.

Name Indexed Notes 2,565 of 9,864 collections (26%) 344 of 417 collections (82%) Not indexing collections from Archives that also exist in Ancestry or FamilySearch.
BillionGraves   Planned for the future.
FamilySearch 1,716 of 1,731 collections (99%)  
FamilySearch Catalog 330,571 of 393,050 collections (84%) Indexed collections from the UK and the US. This may also include collections from other countries due to immigration and military service records.
Find-a-Grave   Planned for the future.
findmypast 144 of 922 collections (15%) Indexed instead of because the website is going to change soon.
Fold3 41 of 443 collections (9%)  
GenealogyBank 5,588 of 5,588 collections (100%)  
MyHeritage   Planned for the future.
NEHGS 467 of 669 collections (69%) 2,554 of 2,559 collections (99%)  
The National Archives of the UK   Planned for the future.
US National Archives   Planned for the future.
WorldVitalRecords 4,407 of 22,812 collections (19%)  


Table 2. A Find-a-Record search for Oswego County, New York returned these results and more.

Title Website Paid/ Free Online/ Offline
New York Deaths and Burials, 1795-1952 FamilySearch free online
United States Deaths and Burials, 1867-1961 FamilySearch free online
World Miscellaneous Deaths and Burials, 1767-1950 FamilySearch free online
United States Social Security Death Index FamilySearch free online
United States, Panama Canal Zone, Index to the Gorgas Hospital Mortuary Registers, 1906-1991 FamilySearch free online
United States, Obituaries, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1899-2012 FamilySearch free online
New Rochelle, New York deaths, 1853-1881 paid online
New York, Hebrew Burial Records (HFBA), Silver Lake and Mount Richmond Cemeteries, 1899-1991 paid online
Menands, New York, Albany Rural Cemetery Burial Cards, 1791-2011 paid online
New York, Veteran Burial Cards, 1861-1898 paid online
Index to Marriages and Deaths in the New York Herald, Vol. I: 1835-1855 paid online
New York Times, Obituaries & Marriage Notices, 1889 paid online
New York City, Deaths, 1892-1902 paid online
New York, Death Newspaper Extracts, 1801-1890 (Barber Collection) paid online
New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1948 paid online
New York City Death Records paid online
Death Notices from the New York Evening Post, 1801-1890 NEHGS paid online
New York: Death Notices from the New York Evening Post , 1801-1890 NEHGS paid online
Proceedings of the Senate and Assembly of the State of New York in Relation to the Death of Chester A. Arthur, April 20, 1887 WorldVitalRecords paid online
Index to Marriages and Deaths in the New York Herald, Volume 1, 1835 - 1855 WorldVitalRecords paid online
Annual Obituary Notices of Eminent Persons Who Have Died in the United States. For 1858 WorldVitalRecords paid online
Pennsylvania deaths and marriages as published in The Christian Intelligencer of the Reformed Dutch Church, 1830-1870 FamilySearch Catalog free offline
Mortality schedules of the United States census, 1850 - 1880 (New York State): New York City, ward 19, dist. 20, p. 775 - New York City deaths May 1870, p. 1704 1870 FamilySearch Catalog free offline
Stanley I. Reynolds collection: Vol. 1-6 Seneca County Newspapers Deaths Marriages, 1817-1963 FamilySearch Catalog free offline
Maine military records, 1700-1940: Civil War obituary files, Cummings, Woodbury - Haskell, Cyrus V., 1862-1938 FamilySearch Catalog free offline
Maine military records, 1700-1940: Civil War obituary files, Haskell, George F. - Mansfield, William, 1862-1932 FamilySearch Catalog free offline


  1. I like this site a lot. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. This is Huge! Doing genealogical research without the geographic referent is like tossing a dart at an incredibly complex dart board. Knowing what sources exist and where they are located is one of the great bug bears of research. I applaud Family Search for this great leap forward in mindful research.

  3. I am intrigued with this site, and I am checking it out right now. I have already found probate records I didn't know existed. I plan to blog about this myself later in the summer, and I will be sure to link back to this blogpost as my starting place. Thanks so much for sharing it!

  4. Sounds good but so far they have selected the obvious sites. What stands out as missing are the GenWeb sites.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.