14 January 2014

ItalianGen and Ancestry make a match

New agreements and partnerships between commercial and non-profit genealogy organizations seem to be coming to light weekly. The latest popped up on Ancestry.com yesterday. Ancestry has placed ItalianGen.org's New York City vital record indices on Ancestry's website.

Last September I extolled the virtues of improvements ItalianGen had made in their search functions and look. Now, however, Ancestry has placed the same index online and one may search it with their tools. This is a good thing.

Back in the dark ages of my research when I was searching for my grandparents' marriage certificate, I had trouble finding it. Turns out, my grandfather's name, Joseph Wilson, had been written on the certificate and indexed for Italiangen as "Jos Wilson." When I searched on Joseph, those with the first name Jos did not appear in the results. When I searched on J Wilson, there were too many results.

Enter Ancestry whose search engine recognizes that if one enters "Joseph," it should also consider results for "Jos." It also allows one to search on both spouses names in the same query. Italiangen does not provide that option.

Ancestry's search form for NYC marriage certificates

Being able to match spouses would have saved me a great deal of effort. On Italiangen I had to going through results, clicking each spouse button to see if an indexed record was from my Joseph Wilson.

ItalianGen's search results for NYC marriage certificates
Ancestry's results include a well-placed link to the New York City Department of Records to order a copy of the certificate.

Of course, those who are familiar with Steve Morse's plethora of search options know that one may also search the ItalianGen indices via his site. While Morse does not provide a tool to search on both spouses at the same time and does not provide a link to the NYC Department of Records, he does provide a link to FamilySearch.org microfilm numbers. And, armed with that information, names of the couple, date of marriage and certificate number, one may choose to order a copy of the record via the FamilySearch Photoduplication Department.


  1. Luckily for me, many of my ancestors were from NYC and I've had great luck using the Italian Gen site for years. But having it available directly through Ancestry makes things even easier. So glad you blogged about this!

  2. You're welcome, Marian! Definitely an improvement for access to a great database.


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