Genealogy Immigration/Migration: Using death records in researching immigrant ancestors

By Barry J. Ewell

The following are records and resources that genealogists find extremely helpful and full of clues to find immigrant ancestors. The information is designed to provide a quick reference and direction of where to find and search for records as probable places to find information.

Death certificates are among the first official records that can provide an exact place and date of death, as well as additional genealogical details, such as the date and place of birth, name of father, maiden name of mother, name of spouse, social security number, name of cemetery where buried, funeral director, and the name of the informant (often a relative of the deceased).

How to Use Death Records
The information in death records is helpful to find an approximate year of immigration or arrival in a certain locality; find an address to seek in deeds or city directories, locate on maps, or narrow your search in an un-indexed census; and identify employer records to pursue.

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