Saturday, May 31, 2014

Online site for death records and indexes is a must visit for genealogists

I'm a firm believer in using vital records and their substitutes whenever you can find them in your genealogy research. In fact, they are so important that several years ago I compiled a guide that I handed out to my students that was a comprehensive listing by state of online vital record links. Many found that guide useful in digging out obscure and important vital records in their research.

The death certificate is the most commonly used record to record the death event. This is the death certificate issued by the city of New Orleans in 1905 for my 3rd great grandfather, Captain Thaddeus Damascus Van Horn, CSA Cavalry. It contains a wealth of genealogical information.

Like anything else in our lives, mine got real busy and I haven't had a chance to update that guide in quite some time.

An example of another type of death record, the obituary. This one is for my great-great aunt Belle Randolph Van Horn (one of my all time favorite relatives).
But I had in my list a really cool little hidden genealogy gem for death indexes and records online at It is still there and active. Since the death event is such an important part of our research, I highly recommend you save this site for future use in your research. There are a lot of death records and their substitutes and I have put some of them here in the post to illustrate some things you should looking for.

And who knows maybe that vital record research guide may pop up here in the blog someday in the near future.

Another death record substitute is the tombstone. This is my Van Horn family tomb in Lafayette Cemetery #1 in the Big Easy - New Orleans, Louisiana. There are eight members of my family buried in this one family tomb. Due to its unique gothic architecture, this tomb and the one next to it have been seen in various Hollywood movies and are also featured in the tours conducted in this cemetery.