Michigan Death Certificates 1921-1939 are now Available for FREE at Seeking Michigan

The following is a quote from the SeekingMichigan.com web site at http://seekingmichigan.org/look/2015/03/17/theyre-here:

Today (March 17, 2015) is Seeking Michigan’s sixth birthday, and the Archives of Michigan is thrilled to announce that images of Michigan death certificates from 1921-1939 are now available for free here at Seeking Michigan. The index for records from 1940-1952 will be made available in the next few weeks, with additional certificate images to be released each year as privacy restrictions are lifted; for example, 1940 images will be released in January 2016. Together with the records from 1897-1920 that have been available here for years, this collection makes Seeking Michigan the one-stop destination for more than 2.6 million free, publicly-available 20th century death records for your Michigan ancestors.

This collection of death records, which is a partnership with the Michigan Department of Community Health and FamilySearch, covers a critical period in the growth and development of Michigan. Here, researchers will find evidence of the influx of Eastern European immigration, the emergence of Detroit as the automotive capital of the world, and a state crippled by the Great Depression. Those ancestors that immigrated to Michigan, worked the assembly line, and struggled to make ends meet can all be found here.

You can read more, including instructions of how to access the records at no charge, at http://seekingmichigan.org/look/2015/03/17/theyre-here.

My thanks to newsletter reader Joseph Martin for telling me about this new online resource.


Well – maybe it’s great news. I’ve done several searches and nothing has come up for any of them. I’ve searched on names I’ve previously found and nothing has come up. Interesting . . .


Michigan rocks! While not perfect (a few relatives were missing from the 1897-1920 database), I was able to find some terrific help with far flung collateral relatives.

I have dreams that New York will do something similar one day.


I also have done several searches. I even did a broad search of last name and county they died. Nothing! Nothing past 1920. I was excited when I first read the news.


I was searching for a name, county and specific date in 1933 – nothing. Says records only go through 1920!


    Tonight, finally, the “Death records 1921-1952 OCLC LOADING” appears under the “Death records 1897-1920” under Searching collections:


Nancy Simmons Roberson March 20, 2015 at 8:52 am

I am thrilled since I have roots as deep as 1822 in Detroit, Michigan. The site works but there are two collections Deaths 1897-1920 and Deaths 1921-1952. You have to access each collection separately and it is very slow. BUT it is there and greatly appreciated!


I have used the portion from 1897-1920 many times. I do not trust the digital indexing portion. Names can be horribly misspelled even when the original certificate seems to indicate quite a different spelling. The horrible misspellings are then of no use to someone searching for a different spelling. I do try a name search using my research and am always glad for what I may get, but then I will also do a full sweep of a given county for an entire year if I have a fair idea of where/when someone died. This time-consuming method shows all the certs for a given time frame regardless of how they might have been indexed. It’s worth the effort. It helps me that families I research tend to be in the less heavily populated portions of Michigan.
I have entered many comments on the 1897-1920 portion about obvious misspellings in the digital index, with my idea of what the spelling should have been. I don’t know if future searches on my corrected spellings will show up for future researchers, but then I did what I could do.


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