West Virginia Vital Records

West Virginia? Yes, most of my ancestors did not stray far from Philadelphia or South Jersey, but a Craner escaped to West Virginia. This wonderful state has a project to place scanned images of vital records on line. And, guess who I found? My escapee, Richard Craner.

This is exactly the sort of thing the internet should be used for. While some states are requiring photo id & proof of kinship to request vital records that are too old to be any use to identity thieves, others are making scanned images available. ( Arizona is another state doing this.)

Not to mention that New Jersey blocks out the cause of death, even on records over 100 years old. Now, why should it be a secret what my G-G-G-Grandfather Ansel Irelan died of in 1892?

Of course, New Jersey Vital Records does not exactly have the best track record when in comes to genealogy requests. How much easier it would be for them if they just scanned all those old records and put them on the internet. Then they wouldn’t have to deal with us pesky genealogists anymore!