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A Death Record Search May be Only the Beginning

Don't Stop with Merely a Date

A death record search for an ancestor may give you such information as the ancestor's date and place of birth, or a mother's maiden name. These are but a couple of things you may learn from a death registration.

Doctor

Grandma in back yard
1949 My paternal grandma in our back yard

Additionally, some death documents will give the name of the doctor who certified the death. It may also give information about the immediate cause of death, contributing factors, how long your ancestor had this condition, when the doctor last saw him, whether there was an operation before the death, and even whether there was an autopsy after death.

Again, this can lead to further paths to pursue in seeking additional information about your ancestors. I have members of one of my families who had Bright's Disease - a not uncommon thing to find traveling through families. It may help someone now in determining what is causing a problem.

Parent Names

In some death record searches you can find your ancestor's father's name and the maiden name of the mother. In others, perhaps only the father's name is listed. In many cases, the mother's name is her married name.

If you have never known the maiden name of your ancestor's mother, this may be the place you will find out - and that can be very helpful information to have.

Name and Date

If you can find the county, region, state, or other government document for your ancestor, your death date searches will find at least the name used by your ancestor, and the date of death.

This may not be a small thing. Lots of times, people did not go by their officially registered birth name. Here you may find the name your ancestor actually used, and thereby gain information for further searches for her.

Geographic Area

Another piece of information your death date searches may find is the location of the death. In our current times we usually think of this as the hospital (or nursing home) where your ancestor died. In older times, it is often the home address, in a town or in the countryside. So you may learn that your great aunt Minnie died on lot 7 of concession 10 of Goderich township.

Again, this information can lead you to other documents - or at least give you a smaller area to search for schools, churches, cemeteries, all of which may contain additional information about your ancestors.

Informant

Nowadays, deaths are usually registered at the hospital where your ancestor died. In older times, however, when most people died at home, someone had to go to the designated office to register the death. In many cases, it was a son or brother of the deceased who did this. Sometimes the registration required not only the name, but the occupation and address of the person reporting the death. In some case, the informant also had to declare his relationship to the deceased.

Again, you have a chance to learn more about the family tree from the death record search. The informant may be a brother or other relative that you never knew existed.

Funeral and Burial Information

Death record searches for some jurisdictions and times include the name of the funeral home, the date of the funeral, and the cemetery where the deceased will be buried. More information to follow up on. Don't ignore it.

The Date is Only a Peg - Find Out What's Hanging There!







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And if you ever decide to discontinue, every issue has a form for stopping the newsletter.

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