The Alaska, Vital Records, 1816-1959 collection includes birth, marriage, death, and probate records from Alaska's territorial days. If you've ever used Ancestry.com, then you'll be comfortable searching for your Alaskan ancestor, limiting the type of records you want, and viewing images of the original records.
To try it out, I searched for Andrew Kashevaroff, first curator and librarian of the Alaska Territorial Museum and Library. I found his death certificate from April 3, 1940. The search tool is user-friendly, and I can find this result even if I search for variants on his name like "Kashevarof" or "Kashevarov".
|A portion of Andrew Petrovich Kashevaroff's death certificate.|
I noticed that Kashevaroff was buried in Juneau, which took me to the Evergreen Cemetery map. Searching it showed where Kashevaroff is buried in the cemetery, but there was a discrepancy between the death record and the cemetery record. The death record says he died on April 3, and the cemetery website says he died on April 6.
|Using the Evergreen Cemetery map, I could easily find Kashevaroff's grave to see what's actually printed on the headstone.|
The headstone of Kashevaroff's grave shows that he died on April 3, 1940, not April 6. One possible explanation is that the cemetery recorded the burial date, since that would have been when his body came to the cemetery. This slight discrepancy highlights the importance of primary source material like the vital records from the Alaska State Archives.
|Clicking on this image will open a larger image.|
- Millions of images, one Alaska. Juneau Empire, September 9, 2015. Subscription may be required.
- Let's get digital: Making Alaska's archives accessible. Juneau Empire, November 17, 2013. Subscription may be required.
- Previous blog post about the Evergreen Cemetery map.
- Previous blog post about Betty Miller's Vital Records of Alaska and the Yukon, 1898-1936.