Colorado Springs Death Registers Index Now Available Online

The following announcement was written by the folks at the Pikes Peak Genealogical Society:

The Pikes Peak Genealogical Society has just completed indexing 19,187 individuals from the Colorado Springs, Colorado, Death Registers, 1872-1920, making them freely available in the online, searchable Pikes Peak NewsFinder index (http://more.ppld.org:8080/SpecialCollections/Index/article_search.asp). The indexing project was a collaboration between PPGS and the Pikes Peak Library District Special Collections.

Information contained in the Death Registers includes name, death date, age, color, marital status, sex, occupation, birth place, cause of death, complication, when and where contracted, place of death and burial location. Information extracted for the index are name, death date and burial location, however a link provides access to a digital image of the original record and all its contents.

The Death Register extractions complement the 850,000 entries in the Pikes Peak NewsFinder index, which also includes obituaries, marriages, births, and news stories extracted from Colorado Springs area newspapers, 1872 to the present. Also included in the PPNF is indexing of parish registers for early Colorado Springs churches and the Colorado Veterans Grave Registration.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Colorado Springs was a destination for health seekers from all parts of the United States, particularly those suffering from tuberculosis. Colorado’s high altitude and dry mountain climate were seen as ideal for TB patients, and doctors throughout the eastern U.S. recommended their patients move there. Many of these people, often referred to as “lungers,” succumbed to their illness in Colorado Springs, and their deaths are documented in the Colorado Springs Death Registers. During the 1880s and 1890s, tuberculosis patients made up an estimated one-third of the population of Colorado Springs. Tuberculosis sanatoria and hospitals sprang up in the Colorado Springs area to house the thousands who came to seek treatment. Nearly 20 such institutions operated between the 1870s and the 1920s, the time covered by the Death Registers. The city became a center for tuberculosis research and treatment.

The Death Registers include people who died in Colorado Springs as well as those who died elsewhere but were shipped back for burial in the city-owned Evergreen Cemetery. Many of those who died of tuberculosis were shipped for burial elsewhere and the destination is noted. The original books of the Colorado Springs Death Registers are housed at the Evergreen Cemetery, along with early interment registers for the Evergreen and Fairview cemeteries. More information about PPGS and PPLD Special Collections can be found on their websites – http://ppgs.org/ and http://ppld.org/regional-history-and-genealogy-home.

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