The last post looked at the SC death certificates (scdc) in Ancestry.com. This post studies the same research tool but in a different database, FamilySearch.org. While Familysearch covers the same years as Ancestry, 1915-1955, the scdc are separated into 1915-1943 and 1944-1955. The early group is indexed and digitized; 1944-1955 is indexed only.
While Ancestry provides complete digitizing Familysearch provides better indexing. Knowing which fields are indexed allows a researcher to understand the results of their search. Ancestry only allows searches on the deceased name field, death date and county of death. Familysearch allows more fields to be searched including parents name and child.
Yesterday I was searching for Alfred Griffin who was born, according to census data, about 1866. He was always living in Aiken County. The family information has been lost over time so very little was known about Alfred’s children. About half the 10 children in the 1900 census were single daughters. Daughters are very difficult to follow because they usually married later in life and changed their name.
By searching on Alfred’s name we were able to find not only his death certificate in 1926 but death certificates for two daughters who died before 1955. Their married names were unknown and obituaries for the brothers have not been located (so far!) so searching in Familysearch resulted in a big find.
I have also had success searching by cemetery name in the “any place” field. For example, using “childs” in the burial field gives a list of people that the death certificate indicates were buried in Childs cemetery. I wouldn’t count on it to give a complete survey of a cemetery but it gives a better indication than any other online search tool.
This is a little used resource that could provide big results. Give it a try.