Death certificates

The Archives of Michigan are now making available images of Michigan death certificates from 1921 to 1939. The certificates join others from 1897 to 1920 that were previously made available. The Michigan collection now contains 2.6 million death certificates for researchers. The images of death certificates are free on the Archives of Michigan website at seekingmichigan.org. State Archivist Mark Harvey says the index of death certificates from 1940 to 1952 will be made available in about a month, with certificates from that period becoming available as privacy restrictions are lifted. For example, images of the certificates from 1940 will be made available online in January 2016. The death records represent a partnership between the Archives, the Vital Records Section of the Michigan Department of Community Health and FamilySearch.org. Harvey says in the latest records, researchers will find evidence of the influx of Eastern European immigrants, the emergence of Detroit as the automotive capital of the world and the impact of the Great Depression. Among the death certificates in this group is that of illusionist and stunt performer Harry Houdini, who died in Detroit October 31, 1926, of internal injuries after being punched multiple times in the abdomen by a fan at a show in Montreal several days earlier.  (MRN)

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