Proof of Death Index

Compiled by Bob Buecher* for SCCGS

Browse this index: A – C | D – F | G – J | K – M | N – S | T – Z |

Proofs of death were filed in court before death certificates were available in the latter part of 1877. However, filing a certificate was not mandatory until 1916. If your ancestor died during the late 1877 – 1880 period, be sure to search both the Proofs and death certificates. (Death certificates filed 1877-1916 are abstracted in the SCCGS Quarterly and on the member website.)

Information in the Proof of Death index:

  • was transcribed from microfilm** of the books in the County Clerk’s Office:
    • Proof of Death, Book A, 1870-1879, is 438 pages; 1748 deaths are chronicled on its pages; and
    • Proof of Death, Book B, 1879-1880 and 1882, is 33 pages; 162 deaths.
    • Several deaths before 1870 are recorded. Very few deaths actually were reported to the clerk during this time period. One death for 1882 is also recorded.
  • name of the deceased,
  • age shown in parenthesis,
  • death date,
  • page (pages and numbers that contain a “B” are found in Book B; the remainder of the entries are found in Book A.)
  • affidavit number.

Order photocopies of the entire Proof:

The entire record also mentions place of death in the county and the name and relationship of the person who reported the death; often a relative.

**The Belleville Public Library has:

  • on microfilm, Proof of Death Books A and B under the library code Micro, A. C., R., StC, 929.373, Sa, Reel 105.
  • acquired additional photocopies of original Proof of Death documents. These are in seven 3-ring binders titled Proof of Death, Death Certificates and Poor Farm Death Copies 1843-1882, A.C., R. 929.377389 (some Proofs may not be extant).

*originally published in SCCGS Quarterly 20:3, 1997. Reproduced with permission.

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