Proof of Death Index
Compiled by Bob Buecher* for SCCGS
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.
St. Clair County Genealogical Society, PO Box 431, Belleville, IL 62222-0431.
©1997, 2018, the St. Clair County Genealogical Society. All rights reserved.
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