Saturday, February 16, 2008

Texas Vital Records on Footnote

Since I have a 3-day free trial, my goal was to find everything I could possibly find on Footnote, and then cancel my subscription before they start charging. They are adding databases constantly, though at the moment I don't see enough hits for my surnames to warrant continuing my subscription. They also offer individual image download, though if there are more than four images, it's worth buying a month's subscription.

The two databases that show the most promise for me are in the process of being entered.

1) Texas Birth Certificates (1903-1910, 1926-1929)

I'm not sure why the years between 1910 and 1926 aren't part of the database. They are 47% finished. However, I have already found a few certificates for relatives of Myrtle Van Every, my maternal grandmother, who was born in Texas in 1900.

Her oldest sister, Minnie Van Every Benold, had two children between 1903-1910 (Shirley and Margaret). I found Shirley's certificate, as well as the certificate for Corinne Griffith, Shirley's daughter, born in 1927. I also found the certificate for Melvin Edwin Denyer Jr, who would have been Ebenezer's great-grandson. His father was Myrtle's first cousin.

2) Texas Death Certificates (1890-1976)

This is only 4% entered, but there are going to be a lot of certificates from this database that I know I will download. At least five of my grandmother's siblings, and both of her parents, for starters. And then there are nieces and nephews. I'll just wait until they're all there, and then buy a month. Though if there's a delay, there is one or two I might spend $2 to download individually.

I already have Myrtle's mother's death certificate. I ordered it because I knew she died in her fifties, and I wanted to know what from. I don't have her father's though.

There's also a very good chance that Margaret's mother, Ebenezer Denyer's wife, Sarah Hartley Denyer Foster will be in this database. It is she who I mentioned in November that declared she was 1/8 Native American. After Ebenezer died in 1872, she remarried in 1874, but alas, chose a husband with a very common surname. I was able to find Sarah and George Foster in the 1880 census, but not conclusively in the 1900 census. (There's a Sarah Ann Foster listed as a widow who might possibly be her, but there's no way to know for certain from the census alone.)

Myrtle's oldest sister, Minnie, was born in 1884, and she wrote a brief description of Sarah, and her recollection of the home Sarah and George lived in. She didn't write down years, or her own age, but I suspect she was older than 6 when Sarah died.

Of course, how much information is on the certificate, and whether it will be identifiable as my great-great-grandmother will depend upon the informant.

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