Thursday, September 16, 2010

Vital Records Access for Barnstable County, 1640-1920

A free public website, http://plymouthcolony.net/barnstable/vitalrecords/vrindex.html, is now available which displays transcripts and, where available, digital images of original Town Records (births, marriages and intentions, and deaths) of the 15 towns on Cape Cod.

It is a work in progress; Harwich has been completed, and a few other towns are now being phased in. The project must be supported by historical societies and town halls which have preserved copies of their old hand-written journals on disk. To include images of the original journal entries, a disk from the town hall's archivers is needed.

The web-pages are presented by town, event, and year of the event. A surname index for each town  provides easy access to a transcription of a family's records. For example,the transcription web-page contains the link http://plymouthcolony.net/barnstable/vitalrecords/harwich/harbirths1831.html to a photocopy of the original journal entry, thus replacing the need to contact the town itself for copies of the record. The goal is to consolidate one county-wide index for Barnstable County, so that, for example, when one looks up "Nickerson", it will then list links to all Nickerson vital records in the county.

How To Participate--This work is being done by volunteers, many of them seniors who on long wintry nights become reinvigorated by working on the project.  The project involves: opening an email from the coordinators with an attachment of a copy of a source document, and then copying the information into a spreadsheet on the home computer. To participate in the project, contact the local historical society in your town (see the Historical Societies link on the right-hand list in the blue section on the home page of this blog, to find how to contact your local historical society).

2 comments:

  1. I'm interested in helping on this project...especially for the town of Eastham. Can you forward my name to the coordinator? My e-mail address is nancy.daniels@comcast.net.

    Thanks!

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  2. I am an CCGS member and very interested in participating in getting the Orleans vital record information transcribed. I'm also an Orleans Historical Society member and thus have access to many years of Annual Reports. Please let me know how to get started! Email me at bouviermom@gmail.com.

    ReplyDelete