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Monday, October 5, 2020

Reclaim the Records introduces Missouri Birth and Death Index Online


As a result of their four-year-long lawsuit using the Missouri Sunshine Law against the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Sevices (DHSS), Reclaim the Records has posted two databases online: The Missouri Birth Index and The Missouri Death Index. 

The Missouri Birth Index

The Missouri Death Index

Here is an explanation of the records from the announcement:

These two new websites hold the free searchable index to 7,501,974 Missouri birth records from 1920-2015, and 2,598,482 Missouri death records from 1968-2015, for a grand total of 10,100,456 brand new records.

These index files have never been online anywhere before, not on any website. You can now search all the data by name or partial name, or do a targeted date range search without inputting any names at all, or do combinations of these things. You can even download the underlying CSV data files, if you want.

Now, this index data just has the given name, the middle name (or initial), the surname, and the exact date. It doesn't contain any other data fields like a person's parents' names or their spouse's name or a location. But by using this basic index data, you can hopefully get some clues about some missing branches of your family, and then you can go request the original birth certificate or death certificate from the state, if you meet the qualifications to receive a copy. And these new websites also have information about how you can make your certificate requests.

Now, birth certificates, of course, have pretty strict privacy rules governing their release. And in Missouri, even death certificates are usually closed to public access for fifty years. But if you read the state regulations carefully, and we did, did you guys know that "all family members, genealogists representing a family member, and professionally recognized genealogists are eligible to receive copies of death certificates" in Missouri?!

For more information, see Reclaim the Records.  

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