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Fw: A New Window on Bay State's Vital Records

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  • Jewelle Baker
    Hello Group..... Another bit of information gleaned from Sally with our thanks, read below: jewelle@coastalnet.com jewellebaker@suddenlink.net GenealogyPITT Co
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31, 2012
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      Hello Group.....
      Another bit of information gleaned from Sally with our thanks,
      read below:

      GenealogyPITT Co NC Friends In Research
      (Serving all Eastern/Coastal NC Counties)

      eMail scan by NAV & certified Virus Free

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Sally Pavia"
      Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 10:54 AM
      Subject: A New Window on Bay State's Vital Records

      A New Window on Bay State's Vital Records
      by Emily SweeneyGlobe Staff
      March 20, 2012

      Locked away in town vaults and basements for years, the historical records
      date to 1620 and include the scribblings of town clerks from days of yore
      and the names of Clara Barton, Paul Revere, John Hancock, John Adams and
      Benjamin Franklin.

      The old public records are slated to go online Tuesday, and for the first
      time ever, people will be able to browse through millions of them and search
      for their ancestors by name and location - for a price. The records,
      totaling approximately 17 million, represent decades of work by a former
      Massachusetts couple who spent 30 years traveling from community to
      community, collecting old documents from city and town halls across the

      "We knew exactly where to look'' said Jay Holbrook, 75, a retired researcher
      who began the project in 1982. "The clerks always have a basement. That's
      where the good records are.''

      Holbrook and his wife DeLene recently sold their microfiche collection of
      vital records to Ancestry.coma for-profit genealogical website based in
      Provo,, Utah for an undisclosed price. Ancestry.com representatives say the
      Holbrooks' trove is the most complete collection of Massachusetts vital
      records known to exist.

      Most of the records are, of course, already public and free, a point that
      Secretary of State William F. Galvin emphasized when told of the
      Ancestry.com sale. His spokesman said that vital records and other documents
      can be made available to anyone who asks for them at their local city hall
      or town hall. Vital records from 1841 through 1920 are also available at the
      Massachusetts Archives.

      "What they're doing is fine, but he [Galvin] wants people to know those
      records are available at city and town halls at no cost'' said Brian McNiff.

      Unlike the cities and towns Ancestry.com has taken public records management
      a step further by digitizing documents and creating a searchable database
      that it charges people to use.

      The records acquired by Ancestry.com document births, deaths, and marriages
      of residents of 315 cities and towns over 330 years.

      They include many notable names: One record states that Paul Revere died of
      old age at 83 on May 10, 1818. Another record shows that John Adams filed
      his intention to marry on Feb. 25, 1764 and tied the knot with Abigail Smith
      eight months later.

      The birth record for Clara Barton, who founded the American Red Crosss, she
      was born on Christmas Day 1821 and that her full name is Clarissa Harlow

      "We've been searching for a long time for a collection like this'' said Todd
      Godfrey, senior director of US content acquisition for Ancestry.com, which
      has 1.7 million subscribers who pay to browse and search online databases of
      military records, census and voter lists and other public records.

      (As we all knowAncestry tends to be expensive BUT most public libraries
      offer it FREE as one of their services to the public. So,if you don't have
      Ancestry at home, you can always do your researching at your local library.)

      Sally Rolls Pavia
      "We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds."
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