Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Celebrating 10 Years of the Online Death Indexes Website

This is the story of how a small list of online death indexes became a website...

My grandfather is missing. He's been missing since 1948, years before I was born. When I first started doing genealogy, finding what happened to him became a priority. In the late 1990s, when he would have been in his mid-90s and likely deceased, I began looking for online death indexes to see if I could find him. There weren't many death indexes on the Internet then. The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) was online, but he's not listed there. I had already checked it numerous times on microfiche at LDS Family History Centers. So I started looking for other death indexes. I believe the first full state index to go online was the Kentucky death index (1911-1992), provided by the University of Kentucky. At the time I wondered who else would put up death indexes. I was hoping for a lot them.

As I went along I made a list of the death indexes I had searched and saved this as a text file on my computer. In June 2000 I converted the list to HTML and added it as a single webpage to my German Roots genealogy website, which first went online in 1998. It quickly became the most popular webpage on the site. It seems a lot of living people are looking for dead people.

The original webpage had about a dozen links to death indexes. By late 2000 Rootsweb had put up death indexes for California, Maine and Texas (plus Kentucky). Michigan and Virginia had historical indexes. I also had links to the SSDI, Find-A-Grave and other resources. And I kept looking for more.

By 2003 the original death indexes webpage was getting really long so I divided it into two pages: Arizona to Mississippi and Missouri to Wyoming. I soon realized I would probably need three pages, then four, so why not fifty? So I decided to develop what was once a small text file of online death indexes into an entire website. I set up deathindexes.com in November of 2003 and made a separate webpage for each state. Then two people emailed me asking for a District of Columbia page, so that got added too. Since then I've gotten a lot of email comments, suggestions for additions, and encouragement from people who use the website, which is nice. I also seek out more death indexes as I work on various genealogy projects. And sometimes I just go bounding around looking for them. I use the death indexes website myself all the time. It think it's quite useful :)

The website includes links to death records indexes, newspaper obituaries, cemetery burials and probate records. A few states and some individual counties now have online digitized death certificates that can be downloaded. Links to these are also listed. Updates to the website are posted right here in this blog, which you can subscribe to using a feed reader or by email -- see the subscription options over on the right side or at the end of this post.

I still haven't found my grandfather. I have searched for him in every index listed on the website. Even the earlier ones I know he wouldn't be in. I test and evaluate each link before it gets added to the website. I might as well use him as my guide. This journey began in 1948, before I was born. It began for me in the late 1980s. And it still continues... Do our ancestors, even the ones we never knew, influence us? I think so. Actually I think their influence is huge. Which is probably why we spend so much time looking for them.

You can find the death indexes website at: Online Searchable Death Indexes, Records, Cemetery Burials and Obituaries. This month (November 2013) marks the website's 10th anniversary.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Celebrating 15 Years of German Roots

This month marks the 15th anniversary of my German Roots genealogy website, which was launched in October 1998. The original idea was to have some useful tips and online resources for Americans with German ancestors, including suggestions for researching back to a person's German immigrant, how to find the immigrant's German hometown, and what to do next. Many directories of online genealogy records got added along the way. Those are probably what the German Roots website is best known for.

Directories of Online Genealogy Records
In 2000 I added a new webpage of online US death indexes and it quickly became the most popular page on the German Roots website. Three years later that webpage became quite large so I divided it in half, and then decided to spin it off into its own website with a page for each state. That single webpage on the German Roots website became the Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records website, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary next month.

Similar directories of online genealogy indexes were added to the German Roots website, for both U.S. and German records. Here are some of the most popular:

Online Birth and Marriage Records and Indexes (USA)

Ship Passenger Lists and Records on the Internet

Online Searchable Naturalization Records and Indexes (USA)

Online German Genealogy Records and Databases

The military indexes page was spun off into its own website in 2004. See: Online Military Indexes and Records

Wee Monster Genealogy
As some of you may remember, the German Roots website originally had this URL: http://home.att.net/~wee-monster. AT&T Worldnet was my ISP at the time and Monster was the name of my dog, who was wee in stature. That changed in 2010 when Worldnet closed down their personal webpages. Now the German Roots website is at http://www.germanroots.com/. If you still have links that use any of the old "wee-monster" URLs, they will no longer work. But you can find a handy guide with updated URLs of the most popular "wee-monster" webpages here: Wee-Monster Genealogy Webpages

As the German Roots website celebrates its 15th anniversary I hope it has been a useful tool for some in finding their ancestors.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Online Indexes for Cemeteries, Obituaries and Death Records - Latest Additions

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

Arizona
 - Arizona Death Records 1844-1962 & Birth Records 1855-1937 (update: year 1962 added to death records and year 1937 added to births)

California
 - Los Angeles County: Downey Cemetery District Records (from the City of Downey, California); See: Online Los Angeles, California Death Records and Indexes
 - San Mateo County: Union Cemetery Burials (in Redwood City, California)
 - Santa Clara County: Los Gatos Death Certificates 1868-1930 (update: more years added)

Colorado
 - Foothills Genealogical Society: Genealogy Indexes (assorted indexes for Clear Creek County, Gilpin County, Jefferson County and Park County, including cemetery listings for the first 3 of those counties)

Delaware
 - Delaware Death Records and Index 1855-1961 at FamilySearch (update: more years added)

Florida
 - St. Johns County Deaths 1800-2011 (also has other genealogy indexes; from the St. Augustine Genealogical Society)

Georgia
 - Cobb County: Marietta City Cemeteries (includes burial listings for Marietta City Cemetery and the Marietta Confederate Cemetery)
 - Lumpkin County: Chestatee Regional Library System Genealogy Indexes (includes some obituary indexes for Dawson County and Lumpkin County)

Illinois
 - Cook County: Maywood Herald Obituary Card Index, 1885-2002 from FamilySearch
See: Online Chicago and Cook County Death Records and Indexes
 - Rock Island County Historical Society Obituaries Index
 - Rock Island County Genealogical Society Indexes (includes recent obituaries and funeral memorial cards)
 - Tazewell County: Pekin Times Obituary Search
 - Southern Illinois Obituaries (Alexander, Pulaski and Union Counties; includes obituaries and death notices from: Cairo, Illinois Newspapers 1848-1905; Pulaski County Newspapers 1905-1925; and the Jonesboro Gazette 1858-1939)

Indiana
 - Lake County: Hammond Times Obituaries Index 1939-1991 and 1998-2012 (update: more years added)
 - Rush County Genealogical Society Obituary Index (from the Rushville Republican Newspaper)
 - Indiana Resources from the Allen Public Library Genealogy Center (update: more counties added)

Kentucky
 - Hardin County: Elizabethtown City Cemetery Burials
 - Henderson County Public Library Obituary Finder 1963-present (update: more years added)

Maine
 - Maine Veterans Cemetery Records, 1676-1918 from FamilySearch
 - Waldo County: Grove Cemetery Burials (Belfast, Maine)

Michigan
 - See: Recently Added Michigan Death Records and Obituaries Indexes

Missouri
 - See: Recently Added Missouri Death Records and Obituaries Indexes

Nebraska
 - Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society Index (indexes probate, mortuary and marriage records, and other items for assorted years)
 - Lincoln County: North Platte City Cemetery Burials
 - Washington County Genealogical Society Indexes (includes obituaries and marriages)

New Mexico
 - Taos County Genealogy Indexes (includes indexes for deaths, cemeteries, obituaries and other items)

New Jersey
 - Middlesex County: Willow Grove Cemetery Burials (New Brunswick, New Jersey)

New York
 - New York State Genealogical Research Death Index 1957-early 1963 -- does not include New York City (update: entries for early 1963 added; ability to search online added)
 - Bronx County: Hart Island Cemetery - NYC's Public Burial Ground Database (for deaths 1977 and later); See: Online New York City Death Records Indexes and Obituaries
 - Erie County: Deaths and Obituary Indexes from the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library

North Carolina
 - County Records in the North Carolina State Archives: Estate and Wills Indexes (update: more counties added)
 - Onslow County Genealogy Indexes (includes Onslow County Cemetery Index, and many other items)

Ohio
 - Cuyahoga County: Cleveland Cemetery Interment Records, 1824-2001 (from FamilySearch)
 - Cleveland Jewish Cemeteries Database
 - For the above two items see: Online Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, Ohio Death Records Indexes
 - Scioto County: Portsmouth Public Library Genealogy Indexes (includes a cemetery search, plus indexes for early deaths, marriages and wills, and other items)

Oklahoma
 - Oklahoma County: Obituaries Index, Death Registers and Other Genealogy Indexes (update: more indexes added)

Oregon
 - Clackamas County: Northwest Heritage Obituaries Index (indexes over 16,000 obituaries from over 100 years of Canby, Oregon newspapers)
 - Tillamook County Obituaries Index 1955-2012 (update: more years added)

Pennsylvania
 - Pennsylvania Death Records Indexes 1906-1962 (update: year 1962 added)
 - York County: Bethlehem Steltz Reformed Church Cemetery Burials (in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania)

South Carolina
 - South Carolina Death Index 1915-1961 (update: years 1960 and 1961 added)

Tennessee
 - Tennessee Valley Authority Cemetery Relocation Database (a list of more than 20,000 TN graves removed from areas that were to be flooded or from isolated sites to nearby burial places)

Texas
 - Bexar County: San Antonio's Eastside City Cemeteries - Burials
 - Collin County: Plano Star Courier Name Indexes 1918-1923 and June 2003-December 2011 (update: more years added)
 - Harris County: Baytown Sun Newspaper Index and Hill of Rest Cemetery Burials (Baytown Sun Newspaper Index includes obituaries 1931-present)
 - Harris County: Kingwood Observer Obituary File Index 1993-2008

Utah
 - Utah Death Certificates Index 1904-1961 (update: year 1961 now indexed)
 - Veterans with Federal Service Buried in Utah, 1847-1966 from FamilySearch

Washington
 - Kitsap County: Puget Sound Genealogical Society Obituaries Index (also has some cemetery indexes)

Wisconsin
 - Wisconsin Cemeteries Database for Marinette, Oconto and Shawano Counties

This is a list of the most recent additions. There are many more links for death records indexes at: Online Searchable Death Records Indexes, Obituaries and Cemetery Burials

Missouri Cemetery, Obituary and Death Records Indexes - New Additions

Links to the items listed below were recently updated or added to: Online Missouri Death Records Indexes, Obituaries and Cemeteries ...

Missouri Death Indexes - Newest Additions
- Missouri Death Certificates Index and Images 1910-1962 (update: year 1962 added)
- Marion County: Grand View Burial Park Cemetery Index (in Hannibal, MO)
- Moniteau County Cemetery Burials and Death Indexes
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch Obituary Index (covers 1880-1930, 1942-1945, 1960-1970, and 1992-2011) update: year 1970 added; See: Online St. Louis, Missouri Death Records, Indexes and Obituaries

Monday, June 10, 2013

Michigan Death Records and Obituaries Indexes - New Additions

Links to the items listed below were recently updated or added to: Online Michigan Death Records Indexes, Obituaries and Cemeteries ...

Michigan Death Indexes - Newest Additions
- Michigan Death Certificates Index 1921-1952 at FamilySearch
- Clinton County Death Records Search 1934-present
- Grand Traverse County: Traverse City Record-Eagle Index (the index includes birth, marriage and death announcements from the Traverse City area from 1868 to approximately 1985)
- Kalamazoo Valley Genealogical Society - Genealogy Index (includes cemeteries, obituaries, funeral home records and more)
- Kalamazoo County Clerk Vital Records Search (includes death certificates and marriage licenses)
- Livingston County: Brighton District Library Genealogy Indexes (includes: Brighton Press and Argus Obituary Index, and indexes for death notices, cemetery burials and marriages) this is an updated listing with additional databases
- Shiawassee County: Owosso Argus-Press Obituary Index 1862-2011

Monday, April 01, 2013

Online Naturalization Records Indexes (USA) - Latest Additions

The Online Naturalization Records and Indexes Directory has been updated with the following links...

Alaska
 - Alaska Naturalization Records Index (large PDF file) from courts of Juneau, Petersburg, Skagway, Wrangell, Nome and Cordova - circa early to mid-20th Century

California
 - San Luis Obispo County Naturalization Records Index
See: Online California Naturalization Records and Indexes

Colorado
 - Clear Creek County Naturalization Index 1867-1906
 - Denver and Pueblo Federal District Courts Naturalization Records Indexes 1877-1952 (coverage varies by place and type of record)
 - Las Animas County Naturalization Index 1878-1906

Indiana
 - Indiana Naturalization Records Indexes (for about 30 counties)
 - Lake County Naturalizations Index

Michigan
 - Sanilac County: Sandusky District Library Naturalization Records Index

New Hampshire
 - Hillsborough County: Manchester Naturalizations and Declarations of Intention Index 1863-1888

New Jersey
 - Burlington County: Trenton Naturalizations Index 1838-1967
 - Camden Naturalizations Index (for the Camden, New Jersey Federal Court, which covers these counties: Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, Cape May, Cumberland and Atlantic; indexes petitions 1932-1981 and declarations of intent 1933-1964)

New Mexico
 - New Mexico: Last Name Index to Naturalization Records 1860-1963 (U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico)

New York
 - Essex County Naturalization Records Index 1836-1906 (update: more years added)
 - Madison County Naturalization Records 1819-1953
 - Richmond County Naturalization Database 1883-1959 (coverage varies by type of document)
 - Westchester County Archives Naturalization Records Index 1808-1955 (update: more years added)
See: Online New York Naturalization Records and Indexes includes New York City and State

Pennsylvania
 - Delaware County: Naturalization Records Index 1795-1990
 - Westmoreland County Naturalization Records 1906-1982 (includes digitized images of the documents)
See: Online Pennsylvania Naturalization Records and Indexes

West Virginia
 - West Virginia Naturalization Records, 1814-1991 at FamilySearch (includes a variety of naturalization records for 32 of West Virginia's 55 counties; coverage varies by county)

Wisconsin
 - Green Bay Area Research Center Genealogy Indexes (includes: Brown County Citizenship Records, 1829-1984; Calumet County Citizenship Records, 1850-1955; Kewaunee County Citizenship Records, 1850-1950; Manitowoc County Citizenship Records, 1848-1955; Outagamie County Citizenship Records, 1852-1963)
 - Oshkosh Area Research Center: Naturalization Records Index (naturalization indexes from c. 1840s-1970s for Dodge County, Green Lake County, Marquette County, Oshkosh City, and Winnebago County)

See: Online Naturalization Records and Indexes - USA