California, Death Index, 1905-1939 (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: California, Death Index, 1905-1939 .
This Collection will include records from 1905 to 1939.
The collection consists of digital images of the death index located at the Office of the State Register, Sacramento, and the Butte County Courthouse, Oroville. The index is arranged alphabetically by the name of the deceased.
The counties included in this index as well as their codes are listed in the following chart. They are also found in the Catalog section "California death indexes, 1905-1988 ; 1940-1994".
|19||Los Angeles||39||San Joaquin||
|20||Madera||40||San Luis Obispo||
Use these codes for the following larger Cities: 60 Alameda, 70 Los Angeles, 80 San Diego, 90 San Francisco.
California began indexing death records from various counties before July 1905. California became a state in 1850 with 27 original counties. Although the state ordered the keeping of records, this order was NOT enforced and each county kept records according to the notion of the local County Recorder. Today, there are 58 counties from that original 27. Thus, some counties will have records from an earlier date than others. Very few records, if any, are available before the 1860s.
CODES for Age Unit:
1 - Years
2 - Months
3 - Days
4 - Hours
5 - Minutes
A - 100 years or over
[blank] - Unknown
Caveat: Some of the pages in the index, did not get filmed or were missing when the index was originally filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah in 1990.
The California Death Index record may include:
- Name of decedent
- Initial(s) of spouse
- Age (coded Units of Age)
- County of death (coded by County and larger Cities)
- Date of death
- Date of registration
- State file number
An explanation of the information found on the index, including the keys to the codes used for the units of age and place of death, can be found at this link. NOTE: Some county codes erroneously include their larger city code. For example: Alameda (County) should be 01; Alameda (City) is 60.
How to Use the Record
To begin your search it is helpful to know:
- Identifying information such as age or death date and place
Search the Collection
To search the collection fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:
- There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
- You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
- Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
- If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
- Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.
Using the Information
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. For example:
- Use the death date to obtain a death certificate.
- 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.
- Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- 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, check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Remember that indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
- Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
Unable to Find Your Ancestor?
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
- Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword California, Death Records items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki article California Archives and Libraries. For additional information about this state see the wiki article California.|
Known Issues with This Collection
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to email@example.com. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
- Online Los Angeles, California Death Records Indexes
- Online California Death Records Indexes
- Pre-1905 CA Death Index Project
Related Wiki Articles
- California, County Birth and Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- California, Death Index, 1940-1997 (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- California Vital Records
- California Genealogy
How You Can Contribute
| We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records. |
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.
Citations for this Collection
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. 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. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.
- "California, Death Index, 1905-1939." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015. Citing Department of Health Services. Vital Statistics Department, Sacramento.
Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):
|The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for California, Death Index, 1905-1939.|
- This page was last modified on 28 July 2015, at 15:19.
- This page has been accessed 65,584 times.
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