Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Death Records, more than just a "Certificate"

If you think "death record" is the same as "death certificate," learn a little more about this valuable group of records.

For those of you who purchased the Groupon offered back in March, your report probably contained (or will contain) recommendations to obtain some type of death record. For other projects your expenses probably went towards some type of death record as well as recommendations for obtaining more. The latest "Genealogy Pointers" from Genealogical Publishing Company contains a nice brief article about the variety of death records available. You can read this article in the Genealogy Pointers archive by clicking the link below and scrolling through the PDF until you come to the article.

The report you receive for any type of project contains recommendations based on the research completed. Particularly for the Groupon projects which are so short, this usually only results in recommendations for between one and four types of the death records mentioned in the article. You can still consider obtaining all of these types of records. It is unlikely all exist for one person but you don't know which exist until you check.

Whether your project is complete or you are still deciding exactly what research you want performed, consider obtaining as many of these death records as you can. Many of these are great records for beginners to obtain as they don't require a great deal of analysis to understand and can be obtained just by knowing the name and date and place of death of the person. Often one record provides additional information needed to obtain another type such as a death certificate providing a social security number, cemetery name, and funeral home name.

Obtaining any of these records before you hire a professional can save time. If the professional researcher has to order them they may wait for them to arrive before continuing research on that person. If you can provide copies at the start of your project, you can easily save between one and six months of waiting time. Also, don't forget to check with other relatives and see if they have copies of some of these types of records. It will save you time and money.