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Tuesday’s Tip (a day late): Connecticut vital records are all online right? or why you really still need to look at the books…

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I just ordered a vital records index for a Connecticut town, something that probably seems strange to most genealogists. Connecticut vital records are all online, right? Well, sort of.

What’s available online is only as good as the original index. The online index used by most websites is called the Barbour Collection. While it’s a start, it has mistakes, missed records, and is only complete until about 1850 – despite the fact that most descriptions claim that it runs through 1875. The index I just purchased for Lyme runs only through 1850 but has all the town vital records, as well as indexes for cemetery, church, and military records. I’ve found things that weren’t available in the Barbour.

The lesson of this exercise: start with the Barbour, but if it’s not there, don’t assume there’s no record. Instead, look for another index- or have me check the town records for you!

As always, feel free to contact me with questions.

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