The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

April 29, 2013

Frankie Meyer: Website great source for births, deaths, marriages

JOPLIN, Mo. — A great place to learn about birth, death and marriage information is

That website links to other sites that have state and county databases. Some sites offer the information free of charge, while others charge a fee.  

The types of online data vary considerably from state to state and county to county. As I have often stated, Missouri is the leading state for offering free, digitized, online archives. This week, I discovered that West Virginia also has some excellent digitized records.

Keep in mind that West Virginia was formed from Virginia during the Civil War. Consequently, if your ancestors lived in Virginia before that time, you will need to check the records of both states.  

To research the West Virginia records, click on that state when the above website opens. Next, click on the free database "West Virginia Death Records and Index 1853-1970." When the next screen opens, decide if you want to check birth, death or marriage records.

The state's birth records are recorded on register lists. The site has a form to enter the surname only or the complete name. I prefer to enter the last name only, and I also select "all counties."  

If you use my approach, the next screen will have a typed list of all babies who were born in the state with that last name, and it will list the counties where each was born. Click on the name of one of the children. The site lists the birth date, names of parents, sex and race.

Best of all, the site has a place to click to see a digitized copy of the original register list, which may have information that is not included on the typed list.

When I entered the surname Carlin in the search box, I received a list of 25 people with that name, one of whom was Eveline. When I clicked on that name, I learned that she was born in Harrison County, and she was a daughter of my great-great grandparents Asa and Maria Carlin.

I then looked at the digitized copy of her record and discovered two new facts about my ancestors. They lived on Coon's Run, and Asa was a carpenter as well as a minister.

A search of the death registers and marriage registers is done in a similar manner. Death registers list the age of the deceased, race, age, occupation, date of death, cause of death and marital status. Marriage records include the name of each spouse, the date and the person who performed the ceremony.


Suggestions or queries? Contact: Frankie Meyer, 509 N. Center St., Plainfield, IN 46168 or e-mail





Text Only
Globe Life
  • 041314_cj glass1.jpg Carl Junction students create projects, win awards at national contest with glass arts

    The students are part of a new glass arts class at Carl Junction High School taught by Jessica Sellars, a graduate of the school who earned her bachelor's degree from Missouri Southern State University and her masters of art education from Pittsburg State University. The art teacher taught for 20 years at Coronado High School, located in Henderson, Nev.

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • ryan richardson Ryan Richardson: K-9 unit receives protection from donors

    I know I write a lot about pet advocacy in this column, but for a moment, I want to write about pet heroes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 091108-Frankie-Meyer_c.jpg Frankie Meyer: Website helps locate library microfilms

    Family history researchers must be determined sleuths to learn about some ancestors who don't show up in easily-obtained records. This week, I learned about a free resource that will help in the search of elusive ancestors.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • images_sizedimage_032123610 Patty Crane: Reporter's mea culpa found in identity theft

    As I was browsing the library's list of new materials for March, "True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa" by Michael Finkel caught my attention.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 091108-Frankie-Meyer_c.jpg Frankie Meyer Website helps locate library microfilms

    Family history researchers must be determined sleuths to learn about some ancestors who don't show up in easily-obtained records. This week, I learned about a free resource that will help in the search of elusive ancestors.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • images_sizedimage_312124454 Linda Cannon: Gardening book helps plan for spring

    In springtime, many of us think of gardening, so, come snow or sleet or whatever, it's time to get into those gardening books and see what improvements can be made to our yards (or decks or patios if that's all you have).

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • ryan richardson Ryan Richardson: Pet deposits legal in Missouri, vary by state

    Building upon last week's column about what goes into moving and renting with pets, I wanted to touch on something that I wasn't too sure a lot of people were familiar with. I had a few people ask me about the legalities of a pet deposit and how it applies to residents in Missouri.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 091108-Frankie-Meyer_c.jpg Frankie Meyer: Website allows access to news archives

    Between 1982 and 2011, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress worked together to develop a program called "Chronicling America." Each year, NEH gave monetary awards to institutions in various states to digitize 100,000 pages of old newspapers that relate to each state's history.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 040214 LIFE barbershop2_c.jpg Barbershop choirs grow in popularity thanks to singing TV shows, pop culture

    Singers call it the "angel's voice." The phenomenon occurs when a group of singers reach an identical chord, voices blended together as one, the harmonics justly tuned and balanced, creating a new frequency of sound that can "literally raise up the hair on the arm," said Don Snow.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 091108-Frankie-Meyer_c.jpg Frankie Meyer: Berries were big business in Southwest Missouri history

    Recently, I noticed some blooms on my strawberry plants on the patio, and I was reminded of my youth in the Ozarks when children often earned money by picking strawberries in the fields of local farmers. I, along with my sisters, brother and all the other children in the area, looked forward to the experience each summer.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo