Death Records Quiz

Death Records Quiz

Test your knowledge of death records with our quick genealogy quiz.

When researching your ancestor’s story, many genealogy experts recommend beginning with the final chapter—the record of an ancestor’s death. After all, a death certificate or other death record represents the most recent evidence of your ancestor’s life. Test your knowledge of death records with this quick quiz:

1. Why might it be difficult to find a death certificate for an ancestor who lived in the early 1800s? 

2. A death certificate is …

A. a primary source for details about the deceased’s death
B. a secondary source for information such as birth and parents
C. a primary source for information such as birth and parents
D. a and b

Exercise A: 

Go to FamilySearch’s database of Ohio Deaths 1908-1953 and search for Henry Essel. View the record for the Bavarian immigrant born in 1844.

1. When did Henry die?
2. Where was Henry’s last residence?
3. What were the names of Henry’s parents?
4. Write a citation for this record.

Exercise B:

 Pick an ancestor whose obituary you want to find. Using the Chronicling America website, identify three newspapers from places your ancestor lived to search for an obituary.


Quiz answers:

1. Most states and counties didn’t keep death certificates in the early 19th century. You would need to look for other types of death records.
2. d.
Exercise A: 1. Dec. 14, 1945, 2. 140 Mason St., Cincinnati, 3. Henry A. Essel, Elise Bauer, 4. “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” index and images, FamilySearch ( accessed 24 June 2013), Henry G Essel, 14 Dec. 1945.

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