Copyright 2011, CABS for Reflections From the Fence
The other day I showed you a Soundex chart from some research I was doing in the state of Washington, it was an edited version because all I was interested in sharing with you was the code.
Today, I am going to go back to that chart, but, here is the entire chart, all columns represented:
So, if you want to pull Enola's birth certificate, you go to the catalog at FamilySearch, pull up Washington Vital records, births, and find a VERY long list of films. So, you go to the films for 1918, Spokane CITY, note that is CITY, not county, and find film 1819344. Pull the film and proceed to locate the record.
I was in pretty good shape plugging away like this till I got to the index films that cover 1940 -45. Oh, oh, here is what I got:
Note, that the county or city names are gone. So, what do we have, OK, the 216 is the Soundex code, surname, given name of father, a female given name, which I discover later is the child's name, F or M, you can figure that column out. Next we have stuff like 171, 082, 271. What does that stand for?? Next is a group of 3 numbers/letters. We can pretty well guess that O 20 45, for example is for October, 20, 1945, and we would be right in that guess. Some entries have a number in the last column, some do not.
Common sense tells us what most of the columns are, educated guessing tells me that those 171 and 271 are county or city codes, which I will need to break/figure out before I can pull film. That last column is probably a certificate number.
First things first, that county/city code. Back at the catalog entry for Washington births I find:
See instructions at beginning of each set of years for complete explanation of contents in index.
So, I pull the very first index film for these years, and find:
NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No explanation. I am totally bummed, and OK, disgusted.
So, I decide to work on something else, until, somewhere down in the dark and sometimes confused recesses of my memory banks, I remember VitalSearch.
I remember they used to have county code number charts. I surf over, I click around a bit never passing into the "gotta pay realm" and find:
All thanks to the county code charts!