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Vital Records Indexes Now Online

from the collection of the Davenport Public Library
Swenson Family

Just in time for October which is Family History Month, the Rock Island County Clerk's office has expanded its services for genealogists. Indexes of births, marriages, and deaths can now be searched online.

County Clerk Karen Kinney says in the past people had to come in to her office to find out if a record was even available. But now they can find that out first, and then come in to order a copy. 

"We're thinking it will help us out and it will help them out. It's a convenience we're going to offer, also it will help us out because we'd love to sell more vital records.

Marriage records for example can provide a lot of important information.

"You'll find out their parents' names oftentimes. Their occupations were listed then. Oftentimes the women were listed as housewives - that's changed considerably through the years. A lot of the men were factory workers and railroad workers."

Kinney says 2 to 3 times a week people come in looking for genealogy information - last summer a woman drove four hours to get to the clerk's office, and had a list of 25 names she wanted to look up. 

The online indexes includes birth records from 1872 through 1941, marriage records date back to 1832 through 1966, and death certificates are listed from 1878 through 1996. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.