Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Collection Time Period
This collection covers records for the years 1916 to 1947.
The record consists of one-page pre-printed death certificate forms filled in by hand and/or typed.
Important genealogical information that Illinois death certificates may contain:
• County and city in which death took place
• Address where death occurred
• Sometimes the voting ward of that place
• Deceased’s full name
• Marital status
• Birth date
• Age at death
• Date of death
• City and state of birthplace
• Name of the informant providing the above information
• Filing date
• Name of the registrar
How to Use the Records
Death certificates are the best source of death information. The certificates contain clues for further research: the birth date and birthplace of the individual; the name of the spouse; the names of parents; the place of residence; the name of the informant who may be a child of the deceased
Deaths were not generally recorded at the county level until 1877, although the practice was not universal before 1916. Some records existed in cities prior to 1877.
A 1915 statute provided for the first effective system of registration of deaths and stillbirths in Illinois. It required the State Board of Health and county clerks to record these events. In 1919 the Illinois Department of Public Health was established as the successor agency to the State Board of Health.
Deaths that were recorded prior to 1 January 1916 can be found at the county clerk’s office. Death records beginning 1916, with a statewide index from 1916 to the present, are available from the Illinois Department of Health, Division of Vital Records.
Why This Record Was Created
Deaths were recorded to serve public health needs. They are also used to probate wills and administer the deceased person’s estate.
Information pertaining to death is usually reliable. This includes the cause of 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, often a family member.
Related Web Sites
Follow this link to the Illinois State Archives for information on obtaining death records.
Related Wiki Articles
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections
Please add sample citations to this article following the format guidelines in the wiki article listed above. Examples of citations:
- United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71
- Illinois Department of Health. Certificates of Death. From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org), September 29, 2006. Certificate 41557, Katherin L. Gentes, Nov. 16, 1925.
For guidelines to use in creating wiki articles that describe collections of images and indexes produced by FamilySearch, see: FamilySearch Wiki: Guidelines for FamilySearch Collections pages
Sources of Information for This Collection:
"Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947," database, FamilySearch Historical Records from Illinois Department of Health. "Certificates of Death." Illinois Department of Health, Springfield, Illinois. FHL microfilm. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah
The format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: How to Create Source Citations for FamilySearch Historical Records Collections