Genealogy Research ~ Death Certificates

Brick Walls – Down

At times we encounter ‘Brick Walls’ in our family history research. Months and years of searching for information to break through the wall seems to be an exercise in futility.

I’ve lived in that state of frustration for over 40 years in relation to one of my 2nd great grandfathers …. and then, last week, the wall crumbled.

Through a series of cumulative events so unique that they wouldn’t even be considered by a fantasy writer, I received notes and tips that led me to the documents needed to destroy the wall. As I write this note, I’m looking at the documents that I never dreamed of finding. They still don’t seem real. The quest to find them started before our marriage. Before our children were born. Goodness… I was still in junior high school back when they were built of mud and straw.

The key event that precipitated my good fortune was the day I posted the information about my ancestor on the web. In my case the key post was on my own family history site, but within the same week, old, musty postings to genealogy forums I’d made almost twenty years ago have also resulted in responses to the same question.

Moral of the story. No matter how hopeless the quest for an ancestor seems, if you use the tools available to us today, eventually, you’ll find the clue you need to break down your own brick wall(s).

Don’t give up. Don’t loose faith. Remain active in your quest.

Death Certificates and Records on line – Free

A number of states have posted death certificates on their websites that are free downloads. If you haven’t looked to see if there are any that you need, take some time this week to download them for use as primary source documents to support your genealogical data. Some sites list the primary details but not the images.

Alabama
1881 – 1952
1908 – 1974

http://bit.ly/eawYK2

http://bit.ly/hIuCph
Arizona
1854 – 1958
http://genealogy.az.gov/
Arkansas
1882 – 1929
1945 – 1963

http://bit.ly/hoGPhR
California
1940 – 1997
http://vitals.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ca/death/search.cgi (no images)
Connecticut
1772 – 1934

http://bit.ly/fsruiM
Delaware
1855 – 1955
1815 – 1955

http://bit.ly/fvVGXL

http://bit.ly/hxBpoj
Georgia
1914 – 1927
1928 – 1930

http://bit.ly/dPYG2t

http://bit.ly/eBFXNz
Hawaii
1862 – 1919

http://bit.ly/f98VV6
Idaho
1911 – 1956

http://bit.ly/fy9d2g
Illinois
1916 – 1947

http://bit.ly/glje7f
Iowa
1850 – 1990

http://bit.ly/iif8sf
Kansas
1885 – 1930

http://bit.ly/hwl38G
Kentucky
1843 – 1970

http://bit.ly/fcVKBv
Louisiana
1850 – 1875
1894 – 1954

http://bit.ly/eyRcNf
Maine
1960 – 1996
http://portal.maine.gov/death/archdev.death_archive.search_form
Massachusetts
1795 – 1910
1841 – 1915

http://bit.ly/gAAWpD

http://bit.ly/g6eCiD
Michigan
1867 – 1897
1800 – 1995

http://bit.ly/g5fu93

http://bit.ly/hqzNvy
Minnesota
1904 – 1907 1955 – 2001
http://people.mnhs.org/dci/Search.cfm
Missouri
1910 – 1958
http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/deathcertificates/
New Hampshire
1654 – 1947
1784 – 1949

http://bit.ly/fwtar5
http://bit.ly/i0VugV

New Jersey
1720 – 1988
http://bit.ly/hExfCn
New Mexico 1899 – 1949 http://www.usgwarchives.org/nm/nmdi.htm
North Carolina
1931 -1994
1898 – 1994
1906 – 1930

http://bit.ly/gbBKiB

http://bit.ly/gMVt9G
http://bit.ly/ik9rGu
New York
1795 – 1952
http://bit.ly/iawJcU
Ohio
1854 – 1997 
1908 – 1953

http://bit.ly/gwqrpa
http://bit.ly/fwjavP
Oregon
1903 – 1947
http://bit.ly/exgrno
Philadelphia
1803 – 1915
http://bit.ly/dXjoQB
South Carolina 1915 – 1943 1944 – 1945
http://bit.ly/eW5OKh

http://bit.ly/dIbKS8  (no images)
Tennessee
1914 – 1925
http://www.tennessee.gov/tsla/history/vital/death.htm (partial list)
http://bit.ly/fPpGBW
Texas
1964 – 1998
1903 – 1973
1890 – 1976
http://bit.ly/eHFzw1
http://bit.ly/hS0XcI
http://bit.ly/gBaW8w
Utah
1905 – 1956
http://archives.utah.gov/research/indexes/
Vermont
1871 – 1965
http://bit.ly/hLaPmJ
Virginia
1853 – 1912
http://bit.ly/ghwqcR
Washington 1907 – 1960
http://bit.ly/hjv0DJ
West Virginia 1863 – 1958
1854 – 1932
1853 – 1970
http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_select.aspx Dates vary by County
http://bit.ly/fq5pNF
http://bit.ly/foDQQz
Wisconsin
1835 – 1968
http://bit.ly/gWIo2V
All States http://www.cyndislist.com/deaths.htm#States for links both $$ and free

Note: most of the "bit.ly" links are to FamilySearch.

Copyright (c) Lee Drew 2011-04-14 12:35:00
The URL for this post is:
http://www.famhist.us/2011/04/14/genealogy-research-death-certificates/
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About lineagekeeper

Family history research is a favored avenue of relaxation. It is a Sherlock-like activity that can continue almost anywhere at any time. By leveraging a lifetime involvement in technology, my research efforts have resulted in terabytes of ancestral data, earning me the moniker of Lineagekeeper. And yes - We are all related to Royalty.