27 June 2014

Death Online, or where to learn about online searchable death indexes

This is the first in a sporadic series where I talk about some of my favorite resources, sometimes put aside for awhile and then re-remembered in the course of a research project.

One such resource is Joe Beine’s website Online Searchable Death Indexes & Records.  I sometimes joke that if anyone looked at history of my online searches, they would wonder if I was nefariously planning something since I often search on death + online to get to Joe’s site!

Just yesterday I was focusing on seeking out death records, I think for Kentucky.  In the course of my research I stumbled across Joe’s website, immediately slapped my head, and wondered why I hadn’t thought to look there first.  I mean, I used to always start with his website.  I think I’ve been doing so much NC research lately (and I know where to look for its records) that I was a bit rusty in taking advantage of my old bag of tricks.

This great resource has a dedicated page for each state and a few places, like NYC, also have a dedicated page.  For each state he starts with any statewide resources and then lists any county records he has identified.  For the statewide resources, the typical order seems to be death records/certificates/indexes found on Ancestry.com and/or FamilySearch, followed by a mention of newspaper obits found via Obitsarchive.com and then any local or regional Obituary resources. 

For each resource, you can assume it is free unless he states (requires payment) or has otherwise indicated if there is a fee.  He will often tell you the time period covered by the listed resource.  Every item has a hyperlink to the landing page for the actual resource. 

This website is a great, quick and efficient way to easily find out what obvious sources for death records might be available online for the locale you are researching.  If not much is listed, it tells you pretty quickly that much of your research will be taking place offline instead of online.

As always, do recognize that any online list is obsolete almost as quickly as it is written and Joe does regularly update this page.  He posts notices on the associated Facebook (FB) page, Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records and if you Like this page (with or without notifications) you will be informed of any updates.

So, do take a few minutes and check out Joe's page -- I think you will be very happy that you did!

Editor’s Note: I have just talked about one of Joe’s useful resource pages.  He has created several of them and you can access the whole bunch via Online Genealogy Records and Resources.

Editor’s Note: If you know a neat resource of great help to family history researchers, please do drop me a note.  If it’s one of my favorites also, it could show up here or as a Mini-Byte.  If it’s new to me, I’ll check it out and I might then also write about it or post a quick link on the NGS FB page.  Thanks in advance for any tips!

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