Thursday, February 9, 2012

Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947


Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947 are fairly new records on Ancestry.com. Part of the description of the records is “Index entries derived from digital copies of original records.”  I have been finding this Index to be invaluable in my research lately.  Below is taken from the Ancestry.com site describing what is in the Index records:
While details may vary based on information required on the original and whether the form was filled out completely, entries in this index may list
  • name
  • gender
  • race/ethnicity
  • birth date
  • birthplace
  • age
  • occupation
  • residence
  • street address
  • marital status
  • spouse
  • date of death
  • place of death
  • place of burial
  • date of burial
  • cemetery name
  • father’s name and birthplace
  • mother’s name and birthplace
  • FHL film number
The FHL film number refers to a microfilm copy of the source held by the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
This is a wealth of information! Below is an example of how I have been able to use the Index in my research.

This Index helped me to identify information about two brothers that I was doing research on.  The Index helped to identify one person as belonging to the family I was researching and identified the other as not being the son that I was searching for.

Patrick Bennett and Anna Smyth married in1862 in Peoria County, Illinois.  They are listed in the 1870 Peoria Illinois census with the following children: James, Rosa, Elizabeth and Thomas.  I have not been able to locate the family in 1880 records. I have found Patrick in 1900 living in a retirement home.  His wife, Anna, had died in 1892.

I had not been able to find records on any of the children, other than there had been a child, Kate, who was born and died in 1871 and was buried with her mother.

Searching for the oldest child, James Bennett, I found the Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index and there was a listing for a James Bennett.  His parents were listed as Patrick Bennett and Anna Smith.  I had found who I was looking for!  Now I had birth, death and burial information along with the facts that he was single, and worked at a restaurant.  It also showed where his parents were born.

I had found census records for a Thomas Bennett who was born in 1868, which matched the 1870 census information that I had for the Thomas Bennett born to Patrick and Anna Bennett.  I found further census records, and a marriage record for him.  He even lived on Smith St. in Peoria, the same street where Patrick Bennett was living in 1900.  However, when I searched his records in the Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, his parents were listed as Theodore and Catherine Bennett.  Not a match at all.   Of course, I was disappointed, but also so glad that I had the information so that I was not putting out wrong information about Thomas Bennett.

If you have ancestors from Illinois, be sure to check out this resource.  Because the Index begins in 1916, it includes people who could have been born as early as 1816 (if they lived to 100!), so don't let the parameters of the dates stop you from searching!   

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