Florida Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Florida Deaths, 1877-1939 .
This Collection will include records from 1877 to 1939.
The record consists of printed death certificate forms filled in by hand and/or typed.
The data was obtained from the Florida Department of Health and Vital Statistics Vital Records. Although Key West and other Florida cities began keeping vital records as early as 1865, statewide registration officially began recording birth and death events in 1927. The records cover virtually all the people who died in Florida during the noted years.
Death certificates were created to record deaths in Florida in compliance with state law to answer the need for accurate statistical data on deaths and epidemics. They were also used in connection with the probate of wills and the administration of estates.
Information pertaining to death is reliable; including death, name of the attending physician or attending medical professional, name and address of the funeral home used, and the exact date and place of burial. Other information is dependent upon the reliability of the informant.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- "Florida, Deaths, 1877-1939." Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City.
This collection may include information previously published in the International Genealogical Index or Vital Records Index collections.
A full bibliographic record is available in the Family History Library Catalog.
The key genealogical facts found in most Florida death certificates may include the following information:
- Dates of death and burial
- Frequently, birth date of the deceased
- City, county, and state of death
- Name and location of the cemetery where buried
- Frequently, the country or state and sometimes the town and county of birth for the deceased
- Name of the deceased
- Names and birthplaces of the parents of the deceased
- Name of the informant, who is often a child or other family member
- Age and race of the deceased
- Sex of the deceased
- Residence or address of the deceased, often including length of residence at that place or in the United States, if foreign-born
- Whether the deceased was single, married, widowed, or divorced at the time of death
- Residence and occupation of the deceased
How to Use the Records
Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Name indexes to deaths make it possible to access a specific record quickly. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
When searching the index it is helpful to know the following:
- The place where the death occurred.
- The name of the person at the time of death.
- The approximate death date.
Use the locator information found in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestor in the death records. Some on-line indexes, such as indexes to FamilySearch Historical Records, will take you directly to an image. Compare the information in the death record to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
When you have located your ancestor’s death record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find or verify their birth records and parents' names.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
- Use the residence and names of the parents (if the deceased is a child) to locate church and land records.
- Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
- Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
- The name of the undertaker or mortuary could lead you to funeral and cemetery records which often include the names and residences of other family members.
- Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
- Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the deceased who may have died or been buried in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
Keep in mind:
- The information in these records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).
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Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
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