Monday, May 13, 2013

New Online Database of Arkansas Deaths

The Arkansas History Commission has added a database of Arkansas deaths covering 1819–1920.  The database was designed to supplement the official state vital records, which began recording deaths in 1914.  The results from a search give the source of the information and the date recorded there.  Sources include cemetery records, mortality censuses, newspaper obituaries, church publications, and records from the Arkansas History Commission’s holdings.  Only the name is given for the source; if it isn't something you recognize, I would guess you can e-mail the Commission staff and ask about it.  The database is being created by Commission staff and volunteers, who continue to add new records every month.

I tried some sample searches.    It appears that the search does not support wildcards.  The search is by exact spelling, but it looks for names that match or begin with your search term.  For example, I searched for "robins" and got results for Robins and Robinson.  When I searched for "seller", however, I got all the Sellers results twice.

In addition to the new database, the Arkansas History Commission (which is the state archives) also has search pages for newspapers, military records, photographs, land records, and more.  This is a great resource for Arkansas research.

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