United States, Public Records - FamilySearch Historical Records
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United States Public Records, 1970-2009
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of the United States of America|
|Location of the United States of America|
|Record Type||Public Records|
|A third party aggregator of publicly available information|
What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]
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 2009. 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, and other records available to the public. Birth information may be included for those residents born primarily between 1900 and 1990.
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. Examples include county tax assessments, property liens, driver licenses, hunting licenses, civil and criminal court records, vehicle registrations, and voter registrations.
In addition to public records generated by government agencies, corporations and private organizations also collect and disseminate records about individuals. Examples of these include telephone and address listings, credit applications, and membership directories.
Public records are most useful to genealogists by providing information about a person's residence, often with associated dates of residence—much like a census record. These “residence events” are critical clues and help a genealogist find other records about individuals and families as research can be more narrowly focused to specific counties, cities, and even neighborhoods.
Public records databases often contain a conglomeration of many different public records sources and can be combined to reveal individuals who lived at a common address at the same time—giving clues to possible family relationships. Additionally, public records frequently contain telephone numbers and even birth dates. These records can be extremely helpful in placing individuals and families in time and locality and lead directly to the discovery of other sources such as cemetery, church, school, and vital records. Genealogists often use public records databases to identify and contact distant cousins for DNA research and kinship determination projects.
|NOTE Records in this collection contain data which has not been verified with other sources. Date ranges are not necessarily correct, and personal information about one person may have been combined with that of another. Please exercise caution when using information found in these records.|
These records have been gathered from multiple sources. The original sources are not available or identified.
How to Remove Your Record From This Collection[edit | edit source]
This collection is provided by PeopleFinders.com. All requests for record removal must be made through their site. The record removals will be reflected on FamilySearch.org as updates are received from them.
To remove your information from this collection go to Manage You Public Records page.
- Enter your search information and then click Find My Listing
- When you have located the correct record click the This is Me button
- On the Set Your Privacy Preferences page, click the Opt out my Info button
- Click the Security Check and Terms check boxes
- Click Continue to complete the opt out process
Image Visibility[edit | edit source]
Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.
What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]
The following information may be found in these records:
- Name variations
- Birth date
- Address or residence
- Dates of residence
- Phone numbers
- Associated persons
How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]
To search the collection it is helpful to know:
- The name of your ancestor
- The approximate date of birth or age
- The residence of your ancestor
Search the Index[edit | edit source]Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
- Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
- Click Search to show possible matches
How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.
What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Add the new information to your records
- Use the information to find the person in other records
- Analyze the entry to see if it provides additional clues to find other records of the person or their family
I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names
- Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties
- Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor
Research Helps[edit | edit source]
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the United States.
- United States Guided Research
- United States Record Finder
- United States Research Tips and Strategies
Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.