07 May 2012

State by State Records Do They Exist.

In doing family history and collecting family history data. Have you noticed the varied information from different states you can obtain?  Even the years when the first recoded Birth, Marriage, Death and property was recorded in the individual states.
Are you ever dumbstruck as to why you can’t get records from one state while another has all information for who ever ask for it?  
Then to think that New York was long established record keeping, but that was only in certain areas.   New York/New Amsterdam  was a active port almost 200 years before the first European descended settlement was made up in the northwest region of New York.  The North West areas where not settled until 20 plus years after the Revolution War.    Can you get records for your ancestors who lived in that area?  Was it a religious ceremony recorded or civil? 
I have several branches of ancestors that were in Upstate New York or in Ontario before expanding into Michigan.  Both of these places are large black holes for documents.   I just can’t figure out why it’s this way.   Canada has the Quebec records stretching back to 1600…  While Ontario I am hard pressed to find 1800 documents.  A lot of my research data collection for both New York & Ontario has been found  by doing a Google search.  Thank goodness other folks have asked similar questions or given answers about my family members.   Or I would still be unknowledgeable for those lines.
Of course a road trip is in order.   Before one sets off on a road trip for genealogy research its really best to know times of when one can get into that office.  As in small towns and villages.  When is the office open and its hours to conduct business, is it closed a certain day of the week etc…?   Planning ahead will make your visit to the location much more enjoyable.  You will also want to know if the local library has a genealogy section and its days and hours of availability.
The only answer I have for Why information varies state to state 1. Date it came into the Union. 2. When the State began to require recording of Birth, marriage, death & property transactions. 
If you have Massachusetts ancestors and have seen documents from the 1600’s  then jump off a bit future inland you might not see another document until 1840. 
Happy Doc Hunting

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