Posted by on 11 October 2011 in 15 minutes with 15 collections, General, Record Collections

It’s day eleven of our ‘15 minutes with 15 collections’ countdown! Today, we’ve made our US Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage & Death Announcements, 1851-2003, completely free for everyone to use. It’ll stay that way until October 15th.

Newspapers have been running birth, marriage and death announcements ever since they were invented. Our collection includes cuttings from some of the USA’s largest publications across more than 150 years. As well as names, dates and places you’ll often find extra details, such as the name of the vicar at a wedding or the weight of a baby – we’ve found one reported at 28 pounds!

When you search for a name, we automatically look for other names that are similar. However, you can make your searches more precise by changing your settings. Click ‘Show Advanced’, then select ‘Use default settings’ underneath the Name boxes. You’ll see three options to refine your searches: ‘Phonetic matches’ includes names that sound similar to your entry, such as Eoign for Owen; ‘Similar variations’ looks for common variations, like Will for William; and ‘Initial variations’ includes records that just use a first letter, such as M for Martin. 

Come back tomorrow for free access to our Quebec Vital and Church Records, 1621-1967.

See all our free record collections this month

* Each collection will become available to search for free from 7am BST on the relevant day.  All collections will be available to search until 12 midnight BST on 15 October 2011.  To view these records you will need to register for free with with your name and email address.