Sunday, September 19, 2004

Credit Where Credit is Due

Genealogists have to depend on the prior work of others who create or compile or index records. When someone has made record-gathering easy, it makes the genealogist's task easier. And as much fun as this is, there's enough frustration to measure as well.

Today's kudos go to the Secretary of State of Missouri, the Honorable Matt Blunt . His office has an easy-to-use, searchable database of birth and death records online right here. Last night, I was researching the James Long family of Kansas City, and was able to quickly find numerous records of both births and deaths on this site. For example, several of James Long's descendants had told me that the family had a baby named David who "died young," although they did not know how young or what caused his death. In a matter of minutes, I was able to ascertain, sadly, that David Long, son of James W. Long and Mary Elizabeth Johnson, died at home, 2711 Wyoming Street, Kansas City, on December 8, 1908--just one month after he was born. The cause of death was pneumonia. Using the Print Preview and Print features of my Mozilla Firefox browser, I was able to produce a clean, easy-to-read "Permanent Record of Death." I will pass the document on to two of David Long's nieces, who happen to be my mother and my aunt. In a time when many states have slim budgets for good recordkeeping, and others are driven by privacy paranoia, Missouri has done a great service for the public good. Here's the site again: Missouri Birth & Death Records Database.

While I'm at it . . . .

Might as well pass on some other praise also. I particularly like The SS Hypertree's
design and layout. I like the friendly tone of Janet's Genealogy Blog. Lorine McGinnis Schulze's The Olive Tree is chock full o' genea-info. Thanks to them all for advancing this endeavor.

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