FamilySearch’s Top 10 Most Searched Record Collections: Collection 3—United States Public Records Index, 1970–2009

January 21, 2015  - by 

The United States Public Records, 1970–2009 collection is the third most searched collection on the website. The public records index is a valuable tool that researchers should never overlook. It is an index of names, birth dates, addresses, phone numbers, and possible relatives of people who resided in the United States between 1970 and 2010.

According to the FamilySearch wiki article “United States, Public Records,” “In the United States, public records comprise an important class of genealogical sources. Public records are most often records collected and subsequently released by local, state, and federal government agencies. Many genealogists are familiar with public records such as the federal censuses and the Social Security Death Index. Other types of public records exist and often go underutilized by genealogists.”

This collection is an index of names, birth dates, addresses, phone numbers, and possible relatives of people who resided in the United States between 1970 and 2010. Not everyone who lived in the United States during this time will appear in the index. These records were generated from:

  • Telephone directories
  • Property tax assessments
  • Credit applications
  • Other records available to the public.

Birth information may be included for those residents born primarily between 1900 and 1990.

These records a gold mine of genealogical and family history information. They help in many ways to shape a family tree. For example, you can find the trail of a relative through various home addresses. These markers along a relative’s timeline might also provide leads to other useful information, such as the names of other family members and related records, which ultimately help unravel the history and life of an individual.

Mark Hamp, the project manager for the United States Public Records Index, 1970–2009, collection on, recently said: “This collection is especially important to those new to family history research. It can be a great starting point to help someone find missing relatives. This information could then help them find other family members.”

He added, “These records are for living individuals who have resided in the United States between about 1970 and 2009. They were generated from telephone directories, property tax assessments, credit applications, and other records available to the public. If you don’t know where to start your genealogy, you may find a father, mother, or grandparent in the U.S. public records. The collection shows a phone number and lists addresses and dates and the names of others who resided in the same household at the time the records were created. The collection doesn’t indicate relationships, but sometimes a missing name is all you need to get started finding your ancestors and your family’s history.”

No one doing their own family history research should skip searching public records. These records have so much to offer. That’s why they are the third most searched record collection on


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  1. Is there a way to comment about errors in this database.? Example Margaret A Kertis, Also known as Mary M Lochmandy. There were niece & aunt who lived together for a long time.

    1. You can try and get things corrected. If you need help beyond the help given on the site you can always call FamilySearch Support.