28 April 2014

If you live in PA, NY, KS or VT -- did you know that you can FREELY access some of the records of your state in Ancestry.com?

Do you know that certain states have worked arrangements with Ancestry.com to digitize their records?

Do you know that as part of some of those agreements in-state residents can access those records on Ancestry.com for free?

I learned about this when Tim Gruber, Pahr-Access, sent an e-mail to Jan Alpert (past President of NGS) to let NGS know that the initial batch of Pennsylvania state death certificates (1906-1924) is now online through Ancestry.com with more to follow.

This e-mail also mentioned ...

Pennsylvania residents (and only Pennsylvania residents) have free access to this particular database as they do with other Pennsylvania State Archives records already scanned and made available online by Ancestry. Free access for Pennsylvania residents is accomplished by registering online at no cost or obligation through this link (please be sure to read the instructions carefully): http://www.portal.state.pa.us/. Pennsylvania residents who already have a subscription to Ancestry do not need to do anything as long as they continue to have a subscription to Ancestry.

If PA has this arrangement, might other states?  I did some searching and I can see that NY, KS and VT definitely have similar arrangements.

This really is a win-win-win.  States benefit from Ancestry.com and its ability to digitize large quantities of materials easily, residents and others benefit from these records becoming more readily available and Ancestry.com benefits from expanded offerings that attract more members.

Do recognize that these agreements only cover “some” of the records that Ancestry.com is digitizing for these states.  As a local resident, you do not gain access to “all” the databases for your state available via Ancestry.com.  Each state manages the access differently (state run portal, Ancestry.com portal, or one time access mechanism), so please do visit the links above to learn the details for your particular state.

Does your state have a similar arrangement with Ancestry.com?  Please let us know?

Editor’s Note:  For any of the records which are part of the aforementioned agreements between these states and Ancestry.com, if you live out of state, you will need a subscription to Ancestry.com to access these databases.  Though, many libraries and other facilities subscribe to Ancestry.com and provide free access to their patrons.

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