Since I started writing for this blog a little over a year ago, I have learned some valuable lessons. I have discovered resources of which I was previously unaware. I will share one of those resources today.
I have always had our Starzinger Family Research Library here at the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum as a contributing resource to our blog posts. Also, our access to Ancestry.com is a great help. Kathy Berkbigler’s resources at zionrootsgenealogy.com are extremely helpful as well. Hearsay from local residents are wonderful places to find stories. However, when I started out on this endeavor, I was unaware of the resources to be found at the website of the Missouri Secretary of State. Their website can be found at this address: sos.mo.gov.
When you go to that website, you will see this banner at the top of the site.
If you let your cursor rest on “Records and Archives” and then click “Missouri State Archives” it will lead you to some interesting places to search.
Under the photo, you will see these “Quick Links”.
The top two items in the list are the ones I find most useful. If I am looking for a death certificate of someone I know that died between 1910 and 1965, this is the place I go. Also, if I am looking for the service records of someone from Missouri who served in the military, this is a great resource. One of the great characteristics about what Missouri Archives offers here is the fact that they do not just give you an index for a record, they give you an image of the record. You can see it for yourself.
For the purpose of today’s post, I used the Schlimpert name to do some searching. First of all, I clicked on the “Missouri Death Certificates 1910-1965” link. There you see this search form.
I have found that just filling in the box for “Last Name” and choosing the correct “County” from a drop-down list (for me it is almost always Perry) is enough to find what I am looking for. By putting in Schlimpert and Perry County, it gives the following results:
For me, the record of Alvin J. and the Stillborns have interest because, had they lived, they would have been three more of my cousins. Here is Alvin’s death certificate:
Death certificates have plenty of information on them which interest family researchers. Parent’s names and birthplaces, doctor’s name, cause of death, addresses, etc. can all be found here. Here is the death certificate of one the stillborn twins that died in June of 1939. The other twin’s death certificate is almost identical.
I know I was quite old before I became aware of these deaths.
Sometimes it is useful to use only a portion of a person’s surname because there are occasions that some of these names are misspelled, and you might miss a record by using the exact name. However, I don’t suggest that you just type in “Sch” and Perry County. You are likely to get a list of records that is too long to handle.
If you go to “Soldier’s Records: War of 1812-World War I” you will find this search form:
I typed in Schlimpert, left the conflict box on “All” and chose “All Service Records”. I got these results.
If you choose the record for Julius and then click “View Record” you will see this image:
Doing the same thing for Hugo will get you to this view. There is no place to click “View Record”.
I used this image in a post about Seelitz soldiers not long ago.
The other two items on the Missouri Archives site, “Missouri State Penitentiary Database” and “Missouri County Histories” are interesting also, but I usually don’t find them useful for what I do. I was nosy and stuck a few familiar Perry County names in the Penitentiary Database (which only lists results from 1836-1931), but I didn’t find any results.
I have also looked at other states to see if there are any that provide these kinds of digital databases, but I really did not find much. Missouri seems to be the best state that I could find which provides these kinds of services. Since most of the research I do involves people in Missouri, this is very helpful to me. Maybe you might find these useful in studying your family histories.