Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Michigan Death Certificates 1897-1920 Online

The Archives of Michigan and the Michigan Historical Center have made nearly a million death records from 1897-1920 available on their "Michiganology" website (previously at the "Seeking Michigan" website). Update: more years are now available.

You can download copies of the currently available death certificates for free at: Michigan Death Records 1897-1920

For a list of more online Michigan death records and indexes see: Online Michigan Death Records Indexes, Obituaries and Cemeteries

For information about online death certificates for some states, see: Online Death Certificates (USA)

This article was updated on 3 February 2020

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Tips for Finding German Genealogy Records for Your German-American Ancestor

After I posted Tips for Finding Your German Immigrant Ancestor's Hometown in Germany last month, someone asked me what the next step was. She already had the name of her immigrant ancestor's hometown and didn't know where to look for further research. So here are some suggestions that may be helpful...

Is Anything Online? - German Genealogy Records on the Internet
Some German genealogy indexes and digitized records are available online. Here's a handy starting point: Online German Genealogy Indexes and Databases.

German Genealogy Records at the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City
I usually start a German genealogy research project by checking the FamilySearch Catalog to see if they have any digitized microfilm records for the place where my German ancestor lived. Doing a "Place Search" in their online catalog for the name of the town can tell you whether they have digitized microfilmed records for that town. You may also want to search for the broader region or for nearby towns.

Be aware that other German towns across Germany may have the same or similar names as the town you're looking for. To help find the correct location you might try checking German maps or German gazetteers.

Church records are often used for doing genealogy research in Germany so it is helpful to know your ancestor's religious affiliation. If your ancestral family's place of residence doesn't have a church they may have gone to one in a nearby town.

German Genealogy Records in Germany (if not available from FamilySearch)
If FamilySearch doesn't have the records you need, then you can try writing letters or emails to local parishes, civil or religious archives, or civil registration offices in Germany. The book, Ancestors in German Archives: A Guide to Family History Sources, can be a helpful reference (try your local library). Some German archives have websites. Many of these are listed in the book, or you might try a Google search for the name of the archive you need. This directory may also be helpful: Deutsche ArchivPortal

The Germany Letter Writing Guide from the FHL may be helpful for writing to German parishes and archives. There will usually be fees for any research requests you have (even if records are not found). In some cases, you may want to hire a local researcher in Germany, especially if you need extensive research done.

Disclaimer: you may not be able find records for your German ancestor using this guide. These are merely suggestions.

The next article in this series: How I Found Some Genealogy Records for My German Ancestors

This article was updated on 12 May 2020

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Tips for Finding Your German Immigrant Ancestor's Hometown in Germany

This article was updated on 24 March 2020.

Here are some suggestions where you might find the German place of origin (city, town, or village) for your immigrant ancestor who came to America from Germany. Knowing the name of the town can help you take your genealogy research back to Germany to look for German genealogy records.

Ship Passenger Records (arrivals)
Hamburg Passenger Departure Lists Other Sources - Death Certificates, Obituaries, Naturalization Records, Biographies, more...
Disclaimer: you may not find the place name in any of the records listed here. These are merely suggestions.

This outline was derived from the "Find your Immigrant Ancestor" section of the Basic Reasearch Guide for German Genealogy. It was created for the Germanic Genealogy Society of Colorado.

You can download a printable PDF version of this outline from: Genealogy Roots Blog Files: Finding Your German Ancestor's Hometown

Next Article in this Series: Tips for Finding German Genealogy Records for your German-American Ancestor

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Latest Additions - Online Indexes for Obituaries and Death Records

This list kept getting longer and longer and so I thought, time to post it...

The Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records Directory has been updated with links to the following items...

Arizona
- Arizona Gravestone Photo Project (has over 61,000 gravestone photos from across Arizona)

California
- Early California Population Project (contains baptism, marriage, and burial records in the California mission registers from 1769-1850, documenting nearly 110,000 early residents)
- Lassen County Obituary Index (for various newspapers and years)
- Sacramento Historic City Cemetery Burials 1849-2000 (PDF file)
- Siskiyou County Obituary Index

Illinois
- Adams County: Quincy Historical Newspaper Archive 1835-1919 (update: more years added)
- Sangamon County: Oak Ridge Cemetery Interment Records, March 1858-July 1918 (in Springfield, IL)

Indiana
- Elkhart County: Wakarusa Public Library Obituaries
- Washington County: Crown Hill Cemetery Burials, Salem, Indiana

Kansas
- Norton County Cemeteries
- Norton County Obituaries Indexes

Kentucky
- Allen County Genealogy Database (includes some death indexes and cemetery burials)

Maine
- Cumberland County: Portland Diocese Catholic Cemetery Burials (ongoing project)

Massachusetts
- Worcester County: Worcester Evening Post Deaths Index 1897-1898 (with some from 1899)

Michigan
- Calhoun County Death Index, c. 1930s-recent
- Hillsdale County Cemeteries
- Kalamazoo County Genealogy Records (includes vital records, cemeteries, probate records and more)
- Oakland County: Machpelah Cemetery Jewish Burials (Ferndale, Michigan)
- Wayne County: Woodmere Cemetery (Detroit) Some Early Burials (ongoing project)

Mississippi
- Monroe County: Pearce Chapel Church Cemetery

Missouri
- Jefferson County Newspaper Index 1866-1910 (includes birth, marriage and death notices)
- St. Louis: St. Peter's Cemetery Burial Search (St. Peter's Evangelical United Church of Christ)
- St. Louis: Missouri History Museum Genealogy and Local History Index (includes: Missouri Republican death index, 1870-July 13, 1871 & 1880-July 2, 1881, also indexes many other sources)
- St. Louis County: Cemetery Records, St. Paul's Evangelical Church, Creve Coeur

Montana
- Lewis and Clark County: Helena Independent Record Obituary Index Jan-1984 to Dec-2006 (also has some cemetery indexes and other genealogy indexes)
- Yellowstone County: Vital Statistics from Early Billings Gazettes 1882-1901

New Jersey
- Monmouth County Archives Searchable Genealogy Databases (includes Coroner Inquests Index 1786-1915 and other indexes)

New York
- Franklin County Cemeteries
- Steuben County Cemeteries

North Carolina
- Craven County: New Bern Obituaries and Death Notices Index (update: several years added)

North Dakota
- Stark County: City of Dickinson Cemeteries Burial Database (PDF files)

Ohio
- Franklin County: Union Cemetery Burials, Columbus, Ohio
- Hamilton County: Rest Haven Memorial Park Cemetery Burials (Cincinnati)
- Montgomery County: David's Cemetery Burials, Kettering, Ohio
- Washington County Genealogy (includes some burials and an index to 17,792 Obituaries 1987-1999)

Oklahoma
- Carter County Cemetery Burials

Oregon
- Multnomah County: Portland Historic Pioneer Cemeteries Search

Pennsylvania
- Philadelphia Jewish Exponent Obituary Database

Tennessee
- Tennessee Death Index 1914-1927 (Update: year 1927 added)

Vermont
- Vermont Probate Files 1791-1919 at FamilySearch Labs (not yet complete)

See: Online Searchable Death Records Indexes and Obituaries

Monday, December 01, 2008

St. Louis, Missouri Death Records Indexes and Obituaries

The online death indexes directory now has a new separate webpage for St. Louis, Missouri...

Online St. Louis Death Records Indexes, Obituaries and Cemeteries

There you will find links to online St. Louis and Missouri death indexes, obituary indexes for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, some cemetery burial indexes, a St. Louis Coroner's index, ordering information for Missouri death certificates, and more.

For other Missouri cities and counties see: Online Missouri Death Records Indexes, Obituaries and Cemeteries

Monday, November 10, 2008

Online Death Records and Indexes - New Additions and Updates

The Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records Directory has been updated with links to the following items...

Alabama
- Dale County: Ozark Dale County Public Library Obituary Database

Arkansas
- Saline County Cemeteries

California
- Butte County Obituary Indexes (presently includes surnames beginning with A-F only)
- Butte County Vital Records Index 1854-1897 (from local newspapers)

Illinois
- JGSI Online Death Index Project - includes some Jewish Cemeteries in the Chicago Area
- Lake County: Cook Memorial Public Library Obituary Index 1894-March 10, 1988 from the Lake County Independent and Waukegan Weekly Sun, Libertyville Independent and Independent Register

Kansas
- Edwards County Cemetery Burial Records Directory 1881 to Present (also has other genealogy indexes)
- Labette County Obituaries Index 1990-2008 (also has marriages and anniversaries index 1990-2005)
- McPherson County: McPherson Public Library Obituary Index 1872-present
- Miami County Birth, Marriage, and Death Indexes 1885-1911

Kentucky
- Daviess County: Owensboro Area Obituary Index and Abstracts, 1842-present (ongoing project)
- Henderson County Public Library Obituary Finder 1984-present

Louisiana
- Louisiana Death Index 1911-1956 (includes some earlier entries)
- Caddo Parish: Oakland Cemetery Burials (in Shreveport)
- Grant Parish: Liberty Chapel Cemetery Burials (in Williana)

Maine
- York County: Burials in the First Parish Cemetery of York, Maine

Maryland
- Records of Jewish Cemeteries in Maryland (PDF files of cemetery burials in various Jewish cemeteries in Maryland)

Michigan
- Southwest Michigan Obituary Index (work in progress - has 89,000 entries; for Allegan, Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties)
- Emmet County Clerk Death Record Search
- Saginaw County: City of Saginaw Cemeteries Search

Minnesota
- St. Louis County: Hibbing Cemetery Database (PDF files)

Nebraska
- Nebraska Gravestone Photos -- over 80,000 gravestone photos from across Nebraska

New York
- Allegany County: Woodlawn Cemetery Burials -- in Almond, New York
- New York City/Queens: Mt. Lebanon Cemetery Burials (Glendale, New York)

North Carolina
- Cherokee County Genealogy Records -- includes some cemetery burials and a death index 1913-1927

Ohio
- Huron County: Willard Memorial Library Obituary and Birth Announcement Indexes
- Montgomery County Genealogical Society Indexes -- includes cemeteries and some obituaries

Oklahoma
- Coal County Obituaries Index and other Genealogy Indexes

Pennsylvania
- Clarion County: Eccles-Lesher Memorial Library Burials Database
- Somerset County: Obituary Notices Published in Several County Newspapers, 1970-2004

South Dakota
- Lake County: Obituary Index of the Madison Daily Leader 1930-2007

Tennessee
- Tennessee Death Index 1914-1926 (Update: year 1926 added)

West Virginia
- Wood County: Burials in Some Parkersburg Pioneer Cemeteries

Wisconsin
- Newspaper Index for Dunn, Pepin & Barron Counties from 1862-1930 (indexes announcements of births, deaths, anniversaries, and probate notices listed in the local newspapers; also has Dunn County cemetery indexes and other items)
- Fond du Lac County: Ripon Obituaries and Cemetery Records

Wyoming
- Lincoln County: Star Valley Historical Society Obituaries and Headstones
- Niobrara County Library Genealogy Archive: Obituaries and Cemetery Burials -- also has birth records

See: Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records