Friday, October 26, 2007

Georgia Death Certificates Online

Another great announcement for family history researchers came out this week. The State of Georgia and the great folks at FamilySearch have worked to put images of the Georgia Death Certificates from 1919 - 1927 online with free access by researchers.

You have to love the States and FamilySearch who have partnered to put Death and other records online for us. Here's a hearty 'Thanks' to FamilySearch and the states involved in these projects.

Here is the official announcement of the new Georgia Death Certificates posting:

Georgia Death Certificates Now Viewable Online

Some 275,000 certificates from 1919 to 1927 linked with index and images

"SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—FamilySearch and the Georgia Archives announced today that Georgia’s death index from 1919 to 1927 can be accessed for free online. The online index is linked to digital images of the original death certificates. This free database will open doors to additional information for family historians and genealogists with Georgia ties. The index and images can be searched and viewed at (Virtual Vault link) or

The names of Georgia’s deceased from 1919 to 1927 are now very much alive, searchable, and viewable online—and for free. The online index to some 275,000 Georgia deaths is the result of a cooperative effort between FamilySearch Record Services, the Georgia Archives, and the Georgia State Office of Vital Records and Statistics.

FamilySearch digitized the records, and volunteers from both FamilySearch and the Archives used FamilySearch indexing technology to create a searchable online index from the digital images of the original historic documents. “These death records are obviously a gold mine for genealogists and historians. Certificates include age, county of death, parents names, occupation, gender, race and cause of death; these documents open all kinds of possibilities to researchers,” said Georgia Archives director, David Carmicheal.

The deceased person’s name, birth and death dates, sex, spouse and parents’ names and location of death were extracted from each certificate for the searchable database. The linked image of the original death certificate can reveal additional interesting facts and clues for the family historian─like the names and birth places of the deceased person’s parents, place and date of the decedent’s birth, marital status, occupation, permanent residence, and place and date of burial and cause of death.

Before making the certificates viewable online, Carmicheal said patrons had to order copies through the mail for a fee or visit the state archive’s office in person. The new online database will make it quicker and easier for patrons to get the information they are seeking.

“It is always exciting for family historians when they can freely search a vital record index online like the Georgia death records. The link to the original death certificate is an added bonus—it saves you time, money, and provides rich genealogy data,” said Paul Nauta, manager of public affairs for FamilySearch. The users just type in an ancestor’s name that died in Georgia between 1919 and 1927. They will see a brief summary of information from the ancestor’s death certificate with a link to also view the original image. Additional state indexes are currently in production.

The Genealogical Society of Utah, doing business as FamilySearch, is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources accessed through, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries.

FamilySearch is a trademark licensed to the Genealogical Society of Utah and is registered in the United States of America and other countries."

Another Genealogy Research Deal

I talked to one of the folks at footnote today asking if they had any good 'deals'. It seems that I found the right person in the right situation because he gave me a short duration annual subscription 'deal' to for my blog readers. The offer only lasts through Sunday, November 18th, so if you have any friends or family who are interested, pass the info on to them. They might as well take advantage of it while it is available.

Hmmmm... It just thought about it making a great Christmas gift if you have a family member who is also into family history and history related research. It is that time of the year to be thinking of gifts and my mind tends to dwell on family history 'stuff'.

If you sign up, be sure to spotlight some images and write story pages about your ancestors or any other 'historical' event that you have information about. Here's a link to a story page that I wrote recently.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Have You Tiddled Your Wiki Today?

I've mentioned creating your own Wiki several times in the past and wonder how many of you are actually using one. I love my various Wiki's and use them constantly. I've found that I use my TiddlyWiki the most. It is simple to use and doesn't take any special programming or coding knowledge. If you use any coding in your Word documents, you can use a wiki.

My Wiki's contain my 'cheat sheets' among other things. The 'cheat sheets' are lists of instructions that I don't want to memorize, but need to reference frequently. One example is instructions on how to record information for source types that I don't use very often. Another example is a list of links to family history resource pages that are only used on occasion but that I want at my fingertips, neatly organized and searchable. You know the resource links that I'm talking about. They are in these posts frequently.

TiddlyWiki lets you add a new Tiddler (entry) with one click. How hard is that? Additionally, you may also want to add a journal entry. It is just as easy to create as a wiki entry. Just click on 'New Journal' and there you are, a blank formatted page already dated and attributed to you.

You can link all journal and wiki entries by just referencing their titles in the tag field at the bottom of the entries. My entries / articles are all interlinked by subject and the 'thread' (topic, conversation, etc.) is easy to follow throughout all of them.

Additionally, you can do a keyword search for any specific word or words of interest. As an example, I tried to remember how many times I've written about using acid-free paper and sheet protectors and ran a search. One second later all of my entries containing 'acid-free' were listed on my screen and the words 'acid-free' were highlighted in all of them.

I also use my TiddlyWiki for research notes. When I create research notes in my Legacy database, I copy them and make an entry in my wiki. In Legacy, the notes are tied to a specific individual, event or place and I typically look them up that way. In my wiki, I can search them by topic, location, year, names, etc., covering all the entries at once.

How easy is it to install TiddlyWiki? It is simple. Just click on the "download software" on the left side of the page and then right click on the link "this link to empty html" and save it to your desktop or to a folder on your hard drive. If you saved it to a folder, make a shortcut to your desktop and/or to your Start menu.

TiddlyWiki is really just a big long web page. There are many links on the TiddlyWiki page to help 'beginners' and 'experts' alike.

After you save the TiddlyWiki page and start using it, remember to hit 'save' after each of your entries and to 'BACK IT UP' often. You'll quickly find that your wiki will become an 'enhanced' extension of your memory and you know how it feels to loose your memory, so back it up - often.

I'm frequently asked how often to back up your family history records or by extension, your wiki. I back mine up daily using Mozy. When you make your back up timing decision, you'll have to determine your threshold of pain. Once you've lost your files because you didn't back them up, you'll know how far you've crossed the threshold.

Download the wiki code and a it a try. Tiddle your Wiki today.