October 12, 2007

Where did they die?


You think you know where your ancestors and their descendants are buried?

You may want to rethink that!

I've just finished checking the death place of several hundred Coffey and collateral families who died in Tennessee. Researchers who sent the information to me were generally correct when recording death dates, but were almost always wrong when it came to recording their death place.

They believed - and in a few cases were correct - that their people died in the county in which they lived and were buried. But, if their people died in a hospital, at a child's home or, a nursing home outside the county of residence, the death will be recorded in the county where the facility is located.

Years ago I went searching for my own father's death certificate. I went to the county in which he lived [and probably died] and could not find his record. I later learned that when he fell ill he was transported to the nearest hospital, which was in an adjoining county and, found his record there.

A death will always be recorded in the county in which the person died.

So, if you have family members who died in Tennessee, check the Shelby County Register of Deeds website. I was tipped off to this website by a Tennessee friend. Part of his e-mail reads:

"The Shelby County, TN, Register of Deeds has merged with the County Archives and they now have statewide indexes for: Death records 1949 to 2005, and for divorce and marriage records from 1980 to 2005."

Good hunting!

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