Monday, September 25, 2006

BMDs in Proquest Historical Newspapers on Ancestry

Ancestry has announced that they have added an online database of birth, marriage and death notices and announcements from the Proquest Historical Newspaper Collection, 1851-2003. The Ancestry page says the database has the following:

This database is a collection of birth, marriage, and death announcements from several major U.S. newspapers for a variety of years. Images of the original newspapers are included.

This database is a collection of birth, marriage, and death announcements for the following years and major newspapers:

** The New York Times (1851-2003)

** The Los Angeles Times (1881-1985)

** The Boston Globe (1872-1923)

** The Chicago Defender (Big Weekend and National Editions) (1921-1975)

** The Chicago Tribune (1850-1985)

** The Hartford Courant (1791-1942)

** The Washington Post (1877-1990)

** The Atlanta Constitution (1869-1929)

Note: There may not be records for all three vital events included in this database for each newspaper and year combination. Also, the above listed newspaper titles are the modern titles. Many newspapers have changed titles over the years and some of them included the words “weekly” or “daily” depending on how often it was printed. For example, the “Hartford Courant” used to be called the “Connecticut Courant.” You will see some of these historical titles in this database.

These newspapers were indexed using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Search results will provide links to images of the original newspapers.

Newspapers are great sources of vital information. They can be used to supplement and verify information found in other vital records and are especially useful as vital record substitutes when actual vital records are either inaccessible or non-existent.

If you have an subscription, this is a fantastic addition - a one-stop location for the data.

If you don't have Ancestry, you may be able to find this data in the ProQuest databases using a local library, but it probably won't have the vital records separated out - you'll have to do your search with words like "died" or "married" or "born."

All in all, this is a very worthy addition to Ancestry, as long as the OCR index was accurate. Has anyone tried this out?

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