Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Rabbit Holes With Randy - Use the MyHeritage Public Records Index to Find Records for Living People

 This week's rabbit hole is one I go down almost every day, occasionally for an hour or so.  

1)  Because I have added so many living people, born in the 20th century, to my RootsMagic family tree as I find descendants of my 4th great-grandparents, or as I find census records, or marriage records, or obituaries of persons with children and grandchildren, I don't always have the birth dates or birth places for those living people.  

2)  One genealogy record collection that has birth dates is the U.S. Public Records Index on,, and - there are over 800 million records in these collections.  The databases can be searched by name, location and approximate birth year.  The user receives names, birth dates, addresses, telephone numbers, etc. in the results.  The records themselves come from public records - for example, telephone directories, voter registration lists, credit applications, and other records.

3)  The MyHeritage database results come in family groups.  Ancestry and FamilySearch provide the same information for individuals, but do not group them in family groups.  

For example, in MyHeritage Public Records Index, I searched for last name "Seaver" born "1905" and received many matches.  Here is part of the match list:

I was interested in Madge Tompkins Seaver, who is in my database, but I had only an approximate birth year for her.  Clicking on the orange "View Record" button, I see the partial (?) family profile for her at discreet times:

The record provides the person's name, alternate names, and possible relatives who are living in the household. [Note that I blanked out two names of persons who are probably grandchildren of Madge Tompkins Seaver because they are probably still alive.]

Over on the right side is the explanation of the Public Records Index, and any other records that MyHeritage has in their collections that their algorithms think are for the person selected in the search.

Further down the page are addresses and phone numbers (often with years) of the person selected for the search:

These records provide a snapshot of family members living in a place at a specific time.  There is no guarantee that the family listed is complete because people die or move away before the records are created.  Relationships are not provided, but the user can often infer relationships, but that needs to be proven by other records (birth, marriage, death, etc.).  These records provide a snapshot of family members living in a place at a specific time.  

4)  The same records are on and FamilySearch, and a search result will reveal the individual entries but not group them together.  

On, the same records can be found with the family grouping, but the birth day is not shown - only the birth month and year.  But it's free.

Other researchers use "people finder" databases to find individuals but there are very few free ones that provide a birth date now, and many take a lot longer to provide results as they try to hook you into a subscription.

I prefer the MyHeritage collection, but your process may be different.  It requires a subscription as does, but it serves my purpose.  

5)  These records provide clues.  Once I've found a birth date, I can go to, or and find more records for the selected person in the "Suggested Records" or "Record Match" list or by a search of the entire set of record collections. That effort may provide a birth place, death date, death place, spouse's name, marriage date/place, children's names, parents names, military service, probate records, etc. that more fully define a person's life events.

All of this provides information that I can add to my RootsMagic family tree database as time permits.  I don't source these Public Record Index clues - I do source the original records and database record indexes that I find on Ancestry, FamilySearch, MyHeritage and other websites.

Where are my carrots to give me energy to complete all of these tasks?  It's time for this genealogy bunny to have a snack!


Copyright (c) 2022, Randall J. Seaver

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