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I See Dead People! Amazing Ways to Use Death Records for Family History Research

Who said that the dead can’t speak? When it comes to genealogy and family history research, a variety of different records can actually give voice to your dead ancestors. MyHeritage offers an amazing collection of death records at Death, Burial, Cemetery & Obituaries. These records go beyond the death date; you can often learn the cause of death, who attended the funeral or burial, and more. In honor of Halloween, access to these records is being offered for free from today until November 1, 2023.

Search Death, Burial, Cemetery & Obituaries on MyHeritage 

Death Certificates and Indexes

Many researchers start their search for death records trying to locate death certificates or indexes listing death information. Keep in mind that for many places, these certificates were simply not issued nor were they required by local and state governments until the early 20th century.

Here is an example of a New York State Death Index record for my 2nd great-grandfather Elmer A. MacEntee (1881-1948) located in a search of the Death, Burial, Cemetery & Obituaries collection at MyHeritage:

Scroll down and locate the actual record image:

To save the record to your computer, click the Full Screen icon and then click the Download icon in the upper right corner:

For United States researchers, MyHeritage gives you access to the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) records. You won’t find an actual record image, but the data listed includes important data including birth date. Here is an example for my great-grandfather Elmer J. MacEntee (1911-1971), the son of Elmer A. MacEntee above:

Obituaries and Death Notices

The majority of death record databases at MyHeritage for obituaries and death notices published in newspapers are indexes, many times you can actually access an image of the obituary. For Vera Lucenda Austin in the California, San Joaquin, County Public Library Obituary Index, 1850-1991 at MyHeritage, here is the record and the actual obituary pasted to an index card:

Burial Records

Consisting of church or synagogue records as well as governmental records, burial records offer a great deal of detail about the person buried. For the famous artist René Lalique of glass-making fame, here is a burial record from the France, Church Burials and Civil Deaths collection at MyHeritage:

Cemetery Records

Cemetery records include more than just images of gravestones. Often you can find indexes maintained by a cemetery listing the person buried, basic birth and death information, and even the grave location. For cemeteries where a deed was purchased, an index will list the name of the person purchasing the plot and the date.

The New York, Brooklyn, Green-Wood Cemetery Burials collection at MyHeritage contains detailed records for burials at this historic cemetery. Listings include burial number, lot number, and even the name of the funeral director:

Tap Into Help Resources for Death Records at MyHeritage

MyHeritage provides valuable educational resources to help you locate the death records you need to expand your genealogy research. These include:

Cemetery Records – MyHeritage Wiki

Death Records – MyHeritage Wiki

Obituaries – MyHeritage Wiki

The post I See Dead People! Amazing Ways to Use Death Records for Family History Research appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.

Source: My Heritage

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