Thursday, September 3, 2015

Amanda Harden's Death Certificate: Using's California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994

The California certificate of death for my 1st cousin 4x removed, Amanda (Hartley) Harden.  "California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994," database with images, FamilySearch (,285553901 : accessed 3 September 2015), Los Angeles, Los Angeles > Death certificates 1928 no 6150-8450 > image 1364 of 2497; county courthouses, California.
In my post earlier this week on the California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994 database collection I mentioned that there were a ton of unindexed birth and death certificates for many California counties, including Los Angeles.

At first glance I thought that the number given in the California Death Index (obtained from Ancestry's California, Death Index, 1905-1939 database) was the number I would be looking for in the death certificates, but I was wrong.
Her State File Number may be 35164, but that does not correspond to local records.  Ancestry indicates that they obtained the original data for the California Death Index 1905-1939 from the California Department of Health and Welfare (which probably assigned each State File Number for their own statistical uses), not from the the individual counties.

Amanda Harden's certificate of death has the number "Local Registered No. 7420."

So the certificates were filmed in numerical order by Local Registered No.  Unless you start out knowing the Local Registered No of your deceased (and I'm not sure how you'd know that in advance--Edited to add: not every county/place, but many do have an index as a separate location to look, typically below the listings for all the birth and death sets), you have to search by date, and then it is a loose, sometimes alphabetical grouping by date.  It takes some getting used to.

May Jarvis noted that Amanda was the source for much of her information on the early Hartleys in Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey:
From my personal copy of May Jarvis's "The Hartley Family."  The book has inscribed in the first pages "Presented to Dr. George Hartley [NOTE: my grandfather] from May Tibbetts Jarvis, 27 July 1950."

© 2015 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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