Sunday, August 30, 2015

Fantastic Find: California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994 on

This Fantastic Find should be filed under New to Me.

I believe they have had this collection, California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994, for years, but hadn't quite realized what this database contained.  It's a hybrid of indexed and unindexed scanned images of various birth and death records from most county courthouses in California.

Using the index, I tried for Tibbetts, which is one of my ancestral lines.  I came up with a cousin, Lee Buckmaster:
His mother was Serilda Clementine "Tillie" Tibbetts.  An interesting thing for me is that Lee's grandfather Wesley Tibbetts was the brother of my ancestor Henry Tibbetts, and Mary Ann Messinger was the sister to my ancestor Catherine Messinger, Henry Tibbetts's wife.  Lee and I share the same Tibbetts/Burnight/Messinger/Miller ancestry.

My own pedigree for contrast.

Using the index part of this database revealed a Tillie Tibbets:
Lee's death certificate!
"California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 August 2015), Tillie Tibbits in entry for Lee M. Buckmaster, 06 Jan 1946; citing Death, Lodi, San Joaquin, California, United States, county courthouses, California; FHL microfilm 1,832,046.
That is so much more information than this index:
You'd never know he died of "Carcinoma of Lung."  For people doing genealogy for medical history this type of info is very important.

They have a huge birth and death collection for Los Angeles, which I will mine through as I've got loads of people there.

They may be continually adding to this database, as the description claims that Contra Costa (for example) is not represented, but browsing through the actual database reveals they have some death registers for that county.

Don't just rely on the indexing.  Some of FamilySearch's most amazing records are as yet unindexed.

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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