Members: Log in, and St. Louis Death Registers, 1850–1908, database of entries (for members only) is available to search through our online search engine.


Information regarding the death of an ancestor can come from many sources including death registers or certificates; coroner, cemetery, church, funeral home and probate records; obituaries; news articles; tombstones; wills; and burial permits. If the information is not located in one record, try another area.

St. Louis started keeping death registers as early as 1850; however, registration was not required in the beginning. About 1880 the City required death registration and burial permits. In 1910, the state of Missouri started recording death certificates. Missouri Archives has indexed and posted images of death certificates that are over fifty years old on their website.

Obituaries are a great source of information, as are funeral home records. Coroners’ records are available for unnatural deaths, homicide, suicide, and accidents. Tombstones provide good information, but even those are incorrect occasionally. Check the neighborhood within the cemetery. Are other relatives buried nearby?

Whatever type of death record you use, remember that some of the information is secondary. The name of the deceased and date of death are probably correct. The date of birth or the name of the deceased’s parents is secondary information based on the knowledge of the informer. Utilize several death sources to determine the correct information.

Last modified: 30-Jun-2016 18:32