Tuesday, March 9, 2021

USING MICHIGANOLOGY WEBSITE–Finding death certificates from 1944 & 1945

For a very long time I made use of the Seeking Michigan website.  They offered us death record images that were 75 years or older and various other historical documents.

Every year I looked forward to January 1st when the new records would come online.  I would use my Legacy program to figure out which of my Michigan ancestors died in a certain year and look for those records.  I believe we were up to 1942 or 1943 death records, when the Seeking Michigan site was taken down and all records were transferred to Michiganology

When this change over first took place it was nearly impossible to find records that were so easy to locate on the Seeking Michigan site.  Many of us with Michigan roots were pretty frustrated.  I offered a LOT of feedback to the new site, as did others.

In the ensuing 4 or so years I have pretty much avoided the website. 

Recently I decided that there really were records I needed and maybe, just maybe there had been some improvements in the search engine on the site.

I’m happy to say that I was well rewarded for my efforts. 

I went in with a list of 1944 and 1945 deaths for which I needed a certificate.  There were 11 people on my list.  In review I had two of the certificates already, shared with me by my cousins Paula & Marion. 

That left 9 death certificates to find.  

How many was I able to locate?  8 of the 9.

I found that the less information I entered the better my chances were of finding a record.  Just a first and last name or even just a last name and year of death. It seemed to me that the website was working better than it had a few years ago.  I still think there is room for improvement.  On the occasion when I didn’t enter a year of death I was given a list of names and the county they died in.  When you get a long list of results with the same name, it would be nice for them to list the year of death to narrow it down a bit.

As you can see below, in entering William Gould, I received 31 hits. This screen shot just shows the first few.  But, if I didn’t know what county I might end up having to look at all 31 records.  Having a death year would improve this. 

(Please click on the image to enlarge it)

Here are the list of names for those death certificates I located

CURRY, Frederick William – 5 Nov 1944, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan

ERB, Catherine – 8 Dec 1945, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan

GOULD, Helen C – 17 Feb 1945, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan

HEAD, Emogine – 19 Nov 1945, Three Oaks, Berrien, Michigan

LINDOW, Charles Herman – 10 Feb 1944, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan 

McTAGGART, Sarah – 10 May 1944, Bad Axe, Huron, Michigan

PRATT, James William – 26 May 1944, Richmond, Macomb, Michigan

SINE, Hattie – 6 Apr 1944, Albion, Calhoun, Michigan

I was not able to access the record for Grace M. Thorpe Stanton, who died May 29, 1945.  It’s possible those images just haven’t been uploaded yet.  I’ll try again later this year.

UPDATE - On March 15, 2021, I went back to the Michiganology website and searched again for Grace Thorpe Stanton's death certificate and found it.  Perhaps I hadn't searched correctly the first time.  Never give up!

Overall, I’m very pleased with being able to locate this many death records.  Wouldn’t it be great if all states had vital records available like this?  I know many do….but not all.

If you have Michigan ancestors and haven’t used the Michiganology website in a while, I’d encourage you to try again. 

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2021   Diane Gould Hall


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I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.