"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 17 January 2002

“Salt Lake Research Adventure”

In December, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a trek to the genealogy Mecca, the Family History Library of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, UT.

The most important genealogy research tool I found at the library were microfilm copies of the original Texas Death Certificates from 1903 through 1975. The 1,415 rolls of death certificate microfilm films, are arranged by year and certificate number, so before you begin your microfilm search for the death certificate, you will need to spend time researching the Indexes to Texas Death Certificates.

The Index for Texas Death Certificates 1964 – 1998, is available free on-line at Rootsweb.com http://vitals.rootsweb.com/tx/death/search.cgi. You should also check with your local library to see if they have the Index to Texas Death Certificates. I know copies of these indexes are available at the Texas State Library & Archives in Austin, Clayton Genealogy Library in Houston, Texas Room at the Downtown Houston Public Library, Madison County Library and the Tyler Public Library.

These rolls are available for loan to any local LDS Family History Center in your community (fee usually $3.25 per roll). It takes about 2 to 3-weeks to obtain the death certificate microfilm from the LDS Library in Salt Lake and you pay the microprint fee at the local Family History Center (usually 25 to 50 cents per page). If you order a copy of a death certificate from the Texas Dept. of Health, it will take 8 to 12-weeks and cost $9.00. The obvious savings in time and money makes it well worth your time and effort to borrow these microfilms through the LDS Library.

Your local Family History Center will have a copy of the LDS Library Catalog available or you can visit the LDS website. To search the on-line catalog for the death certificate microfilm you need to order, follow these steps:

1. Go to the LDS Library website at http://www.familysearch.com/.

2. Click on Family History Library System

3. Click on Family History Library Catalog

4. Click on Place Search

5. In the Place Box, type TEXAS and click on SEARCH

6. Click on “TEXAS”

7. Click on “View next set of matching topics” until you research the topic “Texas – Vital Records” and click on that topic

8. Move down the page until you find “Death Records, 1907 – 1975 Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics (Austin, Texas)” and click on that topic

9. Click on “View Film Notes”

10. Then you can go through the 1,415 rolls of death certificates to locate the year with the certificate number you are seeking.

To find the index to death certificate microfilm you need, follow these steps:

1. Follow steps 1 through 6 above.

2. Click on “View next set of matching topics” until you research the topic “Texas – Vital Records - Indexes” and click on that topic

3. Move down the page until you find “An Index to death records, 1903-1945, Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics (Austin, Texas)” and click on that topic

4. Click on “View Film Notes”

5. Then you can go through the 15 rolls of index to death certificates to locate the year you are seeking.

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/lks_friday/COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 1 Feb 2002 and was last revised on __________

Copyright © 1999, 2001, 2002 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604