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Dates of States Recording Birth Records

  • Understanding Delayed Birth Records. 
  • What year did each states begin recording birth records? 

Dates of Birth Record

Dates of States Recording Death Records

  • What year did each states begin recording death records? 

Date of Death Records

Primary and Secondary Information Found on a Death Certificate

Death certificates contain primary and secondary information. Remember primary information is recorded at or near the event, by a person who has direct knowledge of the event; whereas secondary information is recorded long after the event, by a person who was not present at the event.

Also, the usual residence information should lead you to the city census records, directories, census records, newspapers for obituaries, and the cemetery depending upon its location.

Over time, death certificates have come to include military service, and social security numbers, which are records available for research, also, an unusual cause of death (homicide) may lead you to the court records surrounding the event.

Probates records are another type of death records. When someone dies and the family wants to divide their property, they must go through probate. If the person left behind a will, they could file it. Many people die without wills, which is when the family needs to follow the rules of the state.

The property usually goes to the individual's spouse and their kids if they didn't have a spouse. Probates records show you who received the property and list any family members involved in the process. You'll also see how long the probate took and who administered the estate.

Primary Information on the Deceased

Primary Information

  • Full Name of deceased  - Paralee Scoggins
  • Place of death  - Hope, Hempstead (county)
  • Last Address  - 1021 S Walnut St, Hope Hempstead Arkansas
  • Medical Certification  - 
    • Date of death - July 3, 1943
    • Dates attended to the deceased. - May 1, 1943 - July 3, 1943
    • Last day saw her alive - July 1, 1943
    • Time of death - 2:00 PM
    • Immediate cause of death - Mitral valve regurgitation
    • Due to Hypertension
  •  Burial, cremation, or removal  - Burial
  • Date of burial  - July 3, 1943
  • Place: Burial or cremation  - Negro Hill Cemetery
  • Signature of funeral director  - Rufus (?)
  • P.O. address  - Hope Arkansas
  • Date received local registrar  - July 3, 1943
  • Registrar's signature  - Don Smith Mr.

Secondary Information on the Deceased

This section of the death certificate is secondary source information provided by the informant. This may or may not be trustworthy, depending upon who the informant was. In most cases the information was not present at the time of the deceased's birth and thus the information could be considered hearsay. The secondary information is the biographical information - the birth date and place, parents' names, and birthplace. The accuracy of this information is directly dependent upon the informant, and their relationship to the deceased.

Secondary Information

  • Sex - Female
  • Color or race - C (Colored)
  • Spouse's name (if married/window) - Widow
  • Birthdate or age in years, months, and day (so you can figure out the birth date) - 5 April 1876
  • Age Years - 67, Months - 2, Days - 28, If less than one day hr., min
  • Birthplace - Hempstead Co. Arkansas
  • Occupation - Housewife
  • Father -
    • Name - Kill Burns
    • Birthplace - Hempstead, Co. Arkansas
  • Mother - 
    • Name - Julia Tanner
    • Birthplace - Hempstead, Co. Arkansas
  • Informant's own signature - Mamie Moore (Daughter)
  • Information's P.O. address - 801 So. Walnut, Hope Arkansas
  • If Veteran - None
  • Social Security - None

The hidden secret code on death certificates that can tell you how your ancestors died...

The cause of death is particularly hard to decipher. Look for a number on the death certificate that's usually circled, in a box or written in the area of Medical Certification. This often-overlooked number comes from the International Classification of Disease (ICD), or the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems as it is now known in full - and is currently maintained and updated by the World Health Organization.

   Choose the revision that encompasses the year of your certificate.

List of Codes

Because updates were/are made to the database about every 10 years you will need to access the correct revision. Information can change dramatically from revision to revision, so making sure you have the correct one is very important.

Since we wanted to investigate the code in the death certificate for Paralee Scoggins above, which was created in 1943, we will need to see which revision was created before this certificate was recorded. Revision 5 was created in 1938.

You can also see that contributing cause of death was from a form of Hypertension.

Once on the 1938 Revision page we will need to search for the code 92b.

Paralee Scoggins - Code 92b

Research Tools

How to obtain an official  State Death Certificate