Every now and then items get posted online that genealogists may not have considered before. In all my years of searching for documentary evidence of my ancestors, I’ve never searched for auto registrations. That just changed!
The following excerpt is from the page for Early Auto Registrations, 1905-1917, located at the Florida Memory website. As most of you know, the site is published by the State Library & Archives of Florida.
This collection contains Florida’s first automobile registrations, which were recorded by the Florida Department of State between 1905 and 1917. Each registration, which was handwritten in a ledger, indicates the name and post office address of the registrant plus the manufacturer, style, horsepower and factory number of the vehicle. Each entry was dated and assigned a unique registration number, which was sent to the registrant on a certificate.
Local historians can use these records to identify the earliest automobile owners in a given Florida community. Genealogists will find them useful for determining whether and where their ancestors may have registered automobiles in Florida during the 1905-1917 period.
Searches can be made by name, county, and automobile type. A screen like that below will come up showing the hits. Click on any name and get a digital image. Click on the image and zoom to read the original document.
I did a search for anyone by the surname of Canfield and came up with four of them.
Four hits for 3 individuals were found. They were for:
Heth Canfield, of St Augustine. He drove an 18 horsepower Schact dely car (most likely delivery car), registered Oct. 1, 1913
C.G. Canfield, of Ft. Lauderdale. He drove a 30 horsepower Velie touring car, registered April 30, 1914
W.C. Canfield, of St. Petersburg. He drove a 25 horsepower Ford touring car, registered February 25, 1915.
W.C. Canfield, of St. Petersburg. He later drove a 37 horsepower Hudson touring ca, registered November 13, 1916.
See the following illustration.
Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.
Do you know of any similar databases for old auto registrations? If so, please add a comment about it. I could find none using a Google search. Thanks…