Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sorting Saturday: Ready for the Call from Vital Records?

I've become so accustomed to waiting....waiting....waiting for vital records after I snail-mail a request that I was a bit startled when the good folks in the health department of Elkhart County, Indiana, called me two days after I dropped my request for records into the mailbox.

To back up, I was working my way through the Larimer family history Our Larimer Family, written by John Clarence Work of Lancaster, Ohio in the 1950s, when I saw that hubby's mother had written corrections on the death dates of Brice S. Larimer (1819-1906?) and Lucy E. Bentley Larimer (1826-1900?), her great-grandparents. Ancestry family trees didn't agree on the dates, either.

Brice S. Larimer & Lucy E. Bentley 1847 marriage certificate

The Larimers zoomed to the top of my genealogy to-do list when an Ancestry message about a different part of the family tree led me to new info about the Larimers and their burial place in Elkhart County. I called the county and was told to download a form from the website and mail my request, along with a money order.

The genial clerk from Elkhart called me just two days later to clarify a couple of details and tell me that yes, she had both Brice and Lucy's records. And by the way, Lucy's mother's name wasn't the same as I had listed on my request, but the clerk believed that all the other details matched. Oh boy, a new genealogy mystery!

But there's more. I had sent more money than necessary, she said, so would I like any other records from Elkhart, as long as they were filed in 1888 or later?

Ooooops, I hadn't anticipated such responsive service, and I asked to call her back after I shuffled through my files. I quickly compiled a "wish list" of relatives, called, and rattled them off to her. Again she returned my call to finalize the record order. By Tuesday, I should have the copies in hand.

Thank you, Elkhart County, and you can be sure I'll have my family files in order the next time I send you a request!


  1. How wonderful that someone called you to clarify your requests and to offer additional records because you sent more money than required! That must have made your day.

    I wish I had ancestors in Elkhart County!

  2. Lucky, isn't it, that my husband's family came from Elkhart, keeper of good records AND with one of the friendliest personnel I've had the pleasure to deal with!