California Death Index 1905-1939 - FamilySearch Historical Records
|Access the Records|
California Death Index, 1905-1939
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of California|
|Location of California|
|Record Type||Death Index|
|Department of Health Services. Vital Statistics Department, Sacramento|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Citing This Collection
- 7 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in This Collection?
The collection consists of the California Death Index for the years 1905 to 1939. The index is arranged alphabetically by the name of the deceased and includes: initials of spouse, social security number (if known), code number of county where death occurred, date of death, registrar number and state file number. The code for the age unit is listed as follows:
1 - Years
2 - Months
3 - Days
4 - Hours
5 - Minutes
A - 100 years or over
[blank] - Unknown
California began indexing death records from various counties before July 1905. California became a state in 1850 with 27 original counties. Today there are 58 counties from that original 27. Although the state ordered the keeping of records in 1905, this order was NOT enforced and each county kept records according to the notion of the local County Recorder. Some counties will have records from an earlier date than others. Very few records, if any, are available before the 1860's. Original records are located in California at the Office of the State Register, Sacramento, and the Butte County Courthouse, Oroville. Some of the pages in the index, did not get filmed or were missing when the index was originally filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah in 1990.
Place of death or county where death occurred is given in code as listed in the chart below. Larger cities have the following separate codes: 60 Alameda, 70 Los Angeles, 80 San Diego, 90 San Francisco.
Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images.
For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.
To Browse This Collection
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California Death Index, 1905-1939.|
What Can These Records Tell Me?
The following information may be found in these records:
- The name of decedent
- Initial(s) of spouse
- Age (coded Units of Age)
- County of death (coded by County and larger Cities)
- Date of death
- Date of registration
- State file number
California County and City Codes
|Code||City / County||Code||City / County||Code||City / County||Code||City / County|
|01||Alameda (County)||21||Marin||41||San Mateo||70||Los Angeles (City)|
|02||Alpine||22||Mariposa||42||Santa Barbara||80||San Diego (City)|
|03||Amador||23||Mendocino||43||Santa Clara||90||San Francisco (City)|
|17||Lake||37||San Diego (County)||57||Yolo|
|18||Lassen||38||San Francisco (County)||58||Yuba|
|19||Los Angeles (County)||39||San Joaquin|
|20||Madera||40||San Luis Obispo||60||Alameda (City)|
This information is also available along with an explanation of the information found on the index, including the keys to the codes used for the units of age and place of death, can be found on this image. NOTE: Some county codes erroneously include their larger city code. For example: Alameda (County) should be 01; Alameda (City) is 60.
|These indexes are also found in the Family History Library Catalog California Death Indexes, 1905-1988; 1940-1994 with digital images available for the years 1905 to 1939. Click on the camera icons.|
How Do I Search This Collection?
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- The name of your ancestor
- The approximate death date and/or place of death
Search the IndexSearch by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
- Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
- Click Search to show possible matches
View the ImagesView images in this collection by visiting the Collection Browse Page:
- Select Year Rance
- Select Surname Range to view the images
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at Califoria Death Indexes, 1905-1988; 1940-1994. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see images.|
How Do I Analyze the Results?
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.
What Do I Do Next?
If these are indexes, the original records may contain additional information than was not indexed, or the information might have been indexed incorrectly. You may want to search for the original record at the Department of Public Health.
I Found the Person I was Looking for, What Now?
- Use the age or estimated birth date to find other vital records such as birth and marriage
- Use the information found in the record to find additional family members in census records
- Search for death or burial information in BillionGraves Index
I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?
- If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives
- If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching a nearby locality
- Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name
- Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of California.
- California Guided Research
- Research Tips and Strategies
- Step-by-Step Research: 1850-1905 | 1905-Present
Citing This Collection
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.
How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
|We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records/Guidelines for Articles.|
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.