Friday, February 3, 2012

Missouri Death Certificates Now Available Through 1961 Online!

To the non-genealogist, the idea of using death certificates in research may seem morbid.  This (usually) is the last record created documenting the life of a relative, aside from an obituary and possibly probate records.

But these single sheets of paper can be a treasure trove of information.  The majority contain the date, place and cause of death, along with date and location of birth.  If the "informant" providing the information was close to the deceased, parents names (including the ever-elusive mother's maiden name!!), spouse's name, address of usual residence, occupation, and social security number.  Other information included is the funeral home taking care of the arrangements with the date and place of funeral and burial.

"The Missouri Death Certificate Database, containing death records created after 1910 and over 50 years old, makes that information available online through a searchable index that links to a digitized image of the original death certificate. The index can be searched by first name and last name, county, and by year and month.  Once a name is selected, a digitized image of the original certificate can be retrieved." (Source: Missouri State Archives website).  Once retrieved, the image may be printed and/or saved to your own computer in PDF format.  The best part? It's FREE!!  To begin your search, go to: Missouri Death Certificates Database.

If you have questions or comments about these records, please contact the Missouri State Archives at  For death certificates less than 50 years old, contact the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services through their website here. 

Happy hunting and good luck with your research!!


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