Continuing my series exploring the databases available on commercial site www.Archives.com, I wanted to determine what United States Vital Records were available on the website.
The list of Vital Record collections (I did a "Birth" search on the Collections page) showed 60 collections (including not U.S. collections); it showed 71 "Marriage" collections; it showed 63 "Death" collections; it showed 27 "Divorce" collections. I'm not going to list them all - an interested reader can do these searches also.
I was most interested in the California collections, and how the results are presented.
1) For California Births, the collection is described as:
The search page for the California Birth Index has these fields:
* First Name [choice of Exact or not]
* Last Name (required) [choice of Exact or not]
* Middle Name
* Maiden Name
* Location (required)
* Event Type: Birth
* +/- [choices of 0, 1, 2, 5, or 10 years]
I put Last Name = "seaver," checked the "Exact" box, and saw:
After clicking on the blue "Search" button, I received 254 matches:
The matches were listed alphabetically by first name.
Unchecking the "Exact" box showed the same 254 matches. No wild cards are permitted for the surname search (only letters, spaces and dashes). The Birth Year range worked as expected.
I checked this same California Birth Index on Ancestry.com, using an exact search for Last Name = "seaver." There were 490 matches. An inspection of the list showed there were 261 results with Last Name = "seaver," and the rest had Maiden Name = "seaver." The results order was by birth date. I did not compare both list to see where the 2.7% difference in matches occurred.
On the FREE Family Tree Legends site, this California Birth Index, 1905-1995 has 260 matches for a Last Name = "seaver" Exact name search in birth date order. A "Soundex" search for "seaver" on this site resulted in 260 matches also.
I found my own birth record, and clicked on the linked name (I could have clicked on "View Full Record") and saw:
The information provided by the record includes:
* First Name
* Middle Name
* Last Name
* Birth Date
* Birth Location (note that this is a County, not a City - Archives.com does not specify this)
* Record Type
* Mother's Maiden Name
* Certificate (a link to buy a birth certificate at an exorbitant price is provided)
* Source Information
For comparison purposes, the Name, Gender, Birth Date, Birth County and Mother's Maiden Name are provided in the Ancestry.com collection, plus Source Information.
2) For California Marriages, the Archives.com database description is:
The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2012/01/finding-us-vital-records-on-archivescom.html