Your Quick Tips

Do It Yourself Copies
Many states are looking into or have already increased the price of birth, marriage, and death certificates. The days of getting a “for genealogical purposes only” copy for $.50 are long gone around here. This gets hard on the budget but the information is vital so I came up with a plan.
I took a certificate I had already purchased in my state and made a copy of the format of information on my computer. Then, when I go to the vital records department, I print out a bunch of copies and just fill in the blanks myself. I check the information I have filled in–and check it one more time to be sure it is correct. This allows me to get records of those “possible connections, but not sure” people than I would if I had to pay $5 or $10 for a certified copy. Some of the “possibilities” have turned out to have a connection!
Barbara Stevens
East Hartford, CT

Vitals at the County Level
When I began researching and recording my ancestry, I realized I had no official record of my father Tom Bell Baker’s death on 14 October 1930 in Aquilla, Hill County, Texas. As I was then living in Austin, the capital of the state, I went to the Bureau of Vital Statistics to secure a copy of this death certificate; but there was no record of his death there. Next I went to the County Clerk’s office in Hillsboro, county seat of Hill County, and a clerk there showed me a book in which deaths were recorded in handwriting, one line to each person. She explained that the lists of deaths were supposed to have been sent to the Bureau of Vital Statistics at a later date but this had not been done.

If I had not already known the name of his parents, place of his birth, and other details, I would have found only his name, date of death, and name of the doctor who recorded his death–certainly not the full information often needed by genealogists. Other researchers may encounter this same problem.

Verna Baker Banes

Save Postmarked Envelopes
Always save the USPS envelope of ancestry material. Even if you don’t need to reply, sometime later you may need to ask questions, or send something you discover. Write the name of the sender and the date you received the info.

Hazel R. Carr     
West Palm Beach, FL

If you have a suggestion you would like to share with other researchers, send it to: . Thanks to all of this week’s contributors!

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