Wednesday, April 01, 2015

MICHIGAN DEATH CERTIFICATES, 1940-1952

The Archives of Michigan is thrilled to announce that images of Michigan death certificates from 1921-1939 are now available for free 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 at the site 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 Michigan ancestors.

This 1921-1952 collection of death certificates and indexes, in 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.

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 decedent's occupation, cause of death, burial location, and birthplace is listed on the certificate itself.

Michigan death records from 1897-1952 are now all in one place, for free! My colleagues and I at the Archives of Michigan are so excited to share this fantastic collection of records with the genealogical community. And, as luck would have it, Seeking Michigan is also celebrating its 6th birthday this year. Enjoy and happy searching!

Kris Rzepczynski
Senior Archivist, Archives of Michigan

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