Tuesday, March 17, 2015

MI Death Certificate Images, 1921-1939, Are Up!

Even if you're not Irish, you may want to dance a jig anyway to celebrate the posting of death certificate images for 1921-1939 at Seeking Michigan.  We've been waiting a while, but they are finally available.  Deaths for 1940-1952 is currently index-only, and according to the website, it will be "added soon," though you can find it here at Family Search in the meantime.  Images will be added as they become legally accessible.  Death Certificates images for 1940 are anticipated to be posted in January 2016 and so on.

Since I only just found out about this, I'm going to post and run because I have some downloading to do. 

Happy Hunting!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Detroit News Index Cards Online

Seeking Michigan is at it again. They have just posted PDF files containing scanned index cards for the Detroit News clippings file. The Archives of Michigan received over one million of these cards at the end of 2014 and has now made them available online.  Someone has clearly been very busy. Items are indexed by subject so you may need to think creatively to find what you are looking for. You will also find cards for some individuals, but probably only if they were noteworthy in some way.

According to Kris Rzepczynski, an archivist at the Archives of Michigan, researchers can request the clippings for the items noted on the cards from the Archives of Michigan (archives[at]michigan.gov). Alternatively, if you can visit an institution that possesses the Detroit News on microfilm you can look up the articles yourself.

On the index cards, entries are listed by year with notations on the cards in the format: D9, 20-1, which I interpret to be December 9, page 20, column 1. Be aware that some cards are not strictly in alphabetical order. While searching for “Salpatrick” I saw several cards for “Sayles” interspersed with ones for “Sales.”

If you find any cards of interest, I recommend taking a screen shot of each card (press Alt and Print Screen [prt sc] and pasting it into a Word document) so you don't have to download the PDF with 500-1000 cards.

In my case, I found a card listing articles about the 1941 Christmas murder of my grandmother's sister by her estranged boyfriend. Most of the entries were from the time of the murder through his entry into the Ionia hospital for the criminally insane. I think I have this period covered in the Kalamazoo Gazette. However, a later entry (1947) was entitled “Recovers Sanity.” I could try to obtain this article in the Detroit News, but now that I have a date I can search around it in the Kalamazoo Gazette the next time I'm in town. Without an index I would have been hard-pressed to find this.

If you are looking for subjects and names closer to home, remember that the WMU Archives holds the Kalamazoo Gazette clippings files.