Family historians, biographers, and other researchers now have another tool at their fingertips, as they look for information on relatives or important historical figures in Missouri. Many people today, trying to track their family history, can now find the names and places of family members who died in Missouri on-line , as part of the Archives section of the Secretary of State’s website. Patsy Luebbert, senior reference archivist, says these death certificates are an important research tool for family historians.
"They give cause of death: killed by falling brick in a strong wind," says Luebbert, "but you can track the path of that storm by the street locations of where these people died. So, the death certificates give wonderful opportunities for looking at one’s individual history or the history of an event."
The Missouri State Archives has put together a database of over 2 million death certificates from 1910 through 1957.
"Prior to 2004 these records were closed," says Luebbert, "but through some legislative change, death records over fifty years old were to be given to the Missouri state archives and could be disclosed upon request."