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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tuesday's Tip - How To Search California Death Indexes and Death Certificates

Tuesday’s Tip is a daily blogging prompt at Geneabloggers.com used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites. What advice would you give to another genealogist or family historian, especially someone just starting out? Remember when you were new to genealogy? Wasn’t it great to find tips and tricks that worked for others? Post your best tips at your genealogy blog on Tuesday’s Tip.

I was trying to research a missing relative recently and the last we had heard of her was a letter in 1970 from Los Angeles, CA. So I was trying to use Ancestry.com to find a death certificate. But all Ancestry.com has is the CA Death Indexes and that doesn't do anything but give you a date of death and the death certificate number. I went to a Facebook page called Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness - RAOGK USA. I gave them the information and they made suggestions. One lady told me how to use FamilySearch.org to look up death certificates. It's a little complicated so she kindly gave me the instructions on how to do it. So this is HER tip:

To find the death certificates for L.A. County on FamilySearch, it can be a little tricky. They are not indexed so you cannot use the search engine.  L.A. County has death certificates thru 1960. L.A. City has d/c's thru 1963.

In a nutshell, you need to browse images but don't worry, you don't have to search every single page. There are index books with d/c #'s. Once you find that number, you can find the d/c - they are in numerical order.

1. Click on the map and choose California. Below the search engine is a list of CA collections. Scroll down & click on "California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994".

2. You'll see another page to search by name - forget thatand look below where it says "View images in this collection". Click on browse images.

3. You should see a list of counties and towns to choose from. Los Angeles is for L.A. County, outside of the city. Los Angeles, Los Angeles is for deaths in the city. Sometimes I check both.

4. After choosing L.A., it will bring up the books of death certs by year and; by number. First, you need to find the number of DC by searching in one of the many index books included in this list toward bottom. Find year you need. The last names are indexed in alphabetical order (by 1st letter of last name) so after jumping around to different pages, you should find the page you need. Most are handwritten with name and date of death and each has a death cert #. Write it down.

5. After you have the d/c number, go back to list of all books, find the book of death certificates for that year and for the number range you need. They are in numerical order so take a guess and start searching different page numbers until you've found the number you need.

Thank you, Tricia Lemon Putnam and all those who have tried to help me on Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness - RAOGK USA!!!

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