Saturday 1 April 2017

Follow up to release of Alberta historical vital statistics indexes/registers

I have busy ordering registration documents during the last week and 1/2. How could I not? It's a genealogist's dream to have access to these valuable bits of history!

A few hints and tips from what I learned about the indexes in Alberta and access to them:

1. In scanning the typewritten death indexes, it's quite common that a handwritten entry or more are placed at the end of every year. There's no doubt that your "cntrl f" function will not read the handwriting, be sure to scroll and review all the pages for an accurate search.

2.  If you are ordering numerous registrations online, order all of them one after the other, preferably all before 3:00 pm Mon-Friday. If you order them separately, then, they are separate requests and you may be charged the mailing fee for each request.

3.  If you live in the Edmonton area, and are planning a visit to the Reading Room at the PAA, order the registrations online and click on "request to view at PAA in Reading Room". You will receive an email when they are ready for you.

Important: The maximum amount of photocopies, of any type, to receive the same day at the PAA is limited to approximately 12 pages. If the number of pages you need goes over the in-house limit, they will be photocopied in queue, and they will call you when they are ready, or pay the mailing fee to have them mailed out to you.

4. I searched for my Uncle Gerald in Google today (after a hint from a dear friend of mine).
"Switzer, Gerald" 1954
is exactly what I typed in.  The #8 hit, took me directly to the Deaths pdf online at the PAA. Over time, it will be easy for Google to pick up the typed words in the indexes. The handwritten entries? Probably not. Nothing searches better than your own two eyes.

I live within 20 minutes of the Provincial Archives of Alberta. It's been interesting (and fun!) to view the original registrations in person. If you live in the area, please do visit the PAA. There are so many genealogy resources there to help you in your research.

One ah ha! moment for me:
In my review of relative's vital statistic death registrations, a few of the causes of death were not a surprise. To see it in writing helped confirm the stories I was told by my Dad.  One that caught me off-guard was an 9 year old relative died from falling over a log and scraping her knee. She ended up with sepsis. How sad that something so "every-day", seemingly easy to treat nowadays, back then took this little one's life. This one document really cemented for me what family research is all about, honoring those that have gone before, understanding their trials and tribulations, and bringing their stories to life.

Have any tips or comments to share? Would love to hear from you,