Jessica Harden and Kris Rzepczynski, Archives of MichiganLook7819
Today is Seeking Michigan’s sixth birthday, and the Archives of Michigan is thrilled to announce that images of Michigan death certificates from 1921-1939 are now available for free here at Seeking Michigan. The index for records from 1940-1952 will be made available in the next few weeks, with additional certificate images to be released each year as privacy restrictions are lifted; for example, 1940 images will be released in January 2016. Together with the records from 1897-1920 that have been available here for years, this collection makes Seeking Michigan the one-stop destination for more than 2.6 million free, publicly-available 20th century death records for your Michigan ancestors.
This collection of death records, which is a partnership with the Michigan Department of Community Health and FamilySearch, covers a critical period in the growth and development of Michigan. Here, researchers will find evidence of the influx of Eastern European immigration, the emergence of Detroit as the automotive capital of the world, and a state crippled by the Great Depression. Those ancestors that immigrated to Michigan, worked the assembly line, and struggled to make ends meet can all be found here.
If you’re already used to searching Seeking Michigan’s earlier death records collection, the new collection will seem very familiar. You can search up to four different data fields at once, and instructions for searching can be found here. You can search both collections at once by selecting both of them in the menu that drops down when you click the advanced search button at the top of every page on Seeking Michigan.
An individual’s last name, first name, county and township/village/city of death, birth year, age, and parents’ names are all indexed and searchable. Additional information, including the person’s occupation, cause of death, burial location, and birthplace is listed on the certificate itself. The death certificate for Harry Houdini shown here is representative of the kind of information researchers can glean from these records. (Click on the image to see a larger version.) Houdini died in Detroit after being punched by a fan at a show in Montreal several days earlier.
Michigan death records from 1897-1952 are now all in one place, here at Seeking Michigan for free. We are so excited to share this resource with the genealogy community. Enjoy and happy searching!