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Monday, November 15, 2010

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36. Have you heard a family history tsunami is coming?

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Waves of historical records are already rolling in like waves of a tsunami at FamilySearch where public documents from around the world are being made available at beta.familysearch.org. This new site will soon replace the current familysearch.org site
.

familysearch.org gets a facelift


Several resources have been integrated into this new site.  The most popular is the Historical Records Collection.  Let's walk through searching for a death certificate for Jane McCoy of Greenville County, South Carolina who died in 1919.
Lower left-hand side of page



If you scroll down to the lower left-hand side of the page, you will see a section that says "Browse by location."  This is a great place to discover what collections are currently available by geographical area.  Also, searching a specific collection will automatically narrow your results down by thousands of records.

                                                                                      Browse by location 



In order to search South Carolina death certificates, you will need to click on the link to USA, Canada, and Mexico collections.



The page will load all available collections for USA, Canada, and Mexico in alphabetical order.  Just scroll down to South Carolina Deaths 1915-1943.  You will notice the South Carolina Deaths 1944-1955 is listed just below it.  It does not have a camera icon in front of it like South Carolina Deaths 1915-1943.  It is an index without images.  

Since Jane McCoy died in 1919 we will select South Carolina Deaths 1915-1943. This database is arranged alphabetically by locality.  If you could not find an ancestor's death certificate, you could go to the correct locality and search for your ancestor page by page according to his or her last name.




We will now enter the first and last name, death date, and locality to find Jane.  Avoid entering too much information.



Click Search.  The Jane McCoy we are seeking is the first result.



When you click on the link "Jane McCoy," the page will open to the following index and link to the original death certificate. 




Click the image to see the death certificate.




You can save this image to your computer or print it.  You can also copy the address and share with other family members.  When they click on the link in an email they will be taken directly to this image.  Click to view the image in full screen:



Notice the zoom feature on the bottom right of the image in full screen.  Check the Historical Records Collection often for updates.  Be advised that some records are the property of affiliates of FamilySearch (ex. Footnote) , and you will need a subscription to view them or you may visit a family history center near you.

Do you want to participate in the great work of indexing the records being made available at beta.familysearch.org?  Visit FamilySearch Indexing to learn more.

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