Hundreds of thousands of historic records will be freely available online
Salt Lake City, Utahâ€”Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, and the National Association of Government Archive and Records Administrators (NAGARA) announced on July 24, 2008, that Judge Bill Spicer and the Probate Division of the Summit County Common Pleas Court in Akron, Ohio, were awarded a 2008 grant for the digitization of Summit County marriage, birth, and death records. The courtâ€™s grant was one of only two awarded in 2008. This significant grant will make it possible for Summit County to digitally preserve and provide free online access to select historical documents.
The project targets 1840 to 1980 marriage records for over 550,000 individuals, birth records prior to 1908 for over 46,000 individuals, and death records prior to 1908 for over 22,000 individuals. A free, searchable name index linked to the digital images of the original records will be available to the public through the probate courtâ€™s Web site www.summitohioprobate.com and the grant partnersâ€™ sites.Â Â
â€œAs a result of the grant, our Website, which was chosen as one of the 10 best in the country by the National College of Probate Judges, will now have the added distinction of being a model for the state and country for accessing historical court records,â€ said Judge Spicer. â€œNot only will it improve access, but by reducing the need to see the often-fragile originals, it will make the courtâ€™s job of preserving hundreds of thousands of original records easier. The project is a far-sighted and important effort in preserving local history. On behalf of the court and the citizens of Summit County, I thank the project sponsors for selecting Summit County Probate Court as its 2008 grant recipient.â€
This is the first year that this national grant was offered. It is sponsored by Ancestry.com and FamilySearch and administered by NAGARA. Under the grant, FamilySearch will digitize the original documents on-site in the Summit County courthouse by the end of 2008, and Ancestry.com will create an electronic index linked to the images. The entire project is scheduled for completion in 2009. The commercial value of the grant is estimated to be $150,000.00.Â
Summit County Probate Court
FamilySearch Public Affairs Manager
Public Relations Director
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The Ancestry global network of family history Web sites is wholly owned by The Generations Network, Inc. It consists of nine Web sites â€“ www.ancestry.com in the U.S., www.ancestry.co.uk in the UK, www.ancestry.ca in Canada, www.ancestry.com.au in Australia, www.ancestry.de in Germany, www.ancestry.it in Italy, www.ancestry.fr in France, www.ancestry.se in Sweden and www.jiapu.cn in China. Ancestry members have access to 7 billion names contained in 26,000 historical record collections. Tree-building and photo upload are free on all Ancestry websites. To date, Ancestry.com users have created more than 7 million family trees containing 700 million profiles and 11 million photographs. Nearly 5.8 million unique visitors logged onto Ancestry.com in August 2008 (comScore Media Metrix, Worldwide).