The numerous Michigan genealogical societies have worked for years putting together the microfilmed death ledgers for the state of Michigan, made them digital and placed them online. They started with the years 1867-1884 creating some 170,000 records. Then the years 1885-1897 were added. You can research the index for any Michigan death record using the ancestor’s surname and / or the father’s name. If you know which county that can also be selected, but it might be best not to narrow down to one county in case that relative die in a neighboring county. After placing the surname a list of all matches appear along with a death date, the county and the father’s last name, when known. The list will include names with a similar spelling. For example if the surname was ‘Rue’ other names appearing would be ‘Ruel’, ‘Ruecell’ or ‘Rueter’, to cover any unknown misspellings or variations in names. When the information on an individual is called up things included might the person’s age, occupation, marital status, cause of death, parents’ names and the decease’s place of birth.
Recently the listing of death certificates has expanded to include the years 1897-1920 from the web site ‘Seeking Michigan’. At the very top is a search box for Michigan Death Certificates 1897-1920, including an advance search tab. Place a surname and remember variations on the spelling will be listed also. This site provides a scanned copy of the death certificate providing even more details on the decease and their family. From the thumbnail image of any certificate, click on it to enlarge the view. You can also save a copy to your computer.
For the years 1921 to 1957, the FamilySearch.org site has placed online the Michigan death certificates for those years. Place a surname or a full ancestor’s name and a listing will appear. The individual’s parents names and the decease’s birth-death dates are on the listing. Click on one to view any additional details such as marital status and cause of death. Note this search list will have anyone with that surname, including a mother’s maiden name.
Photo: 1917 Michigan Death Certificate for J. Fred Rue of Calhoun Co.< Return To Blog