1957 Missouri Death Certificate Reindexing Live – May 4, 2020

Received an e-mail from the Missouri Secretary of State’s office; they are reindexing the 1957 Missouri Death Certificates to add parents and spouses; They previously only included the deceased names in the original index. For new death certificate indexing, they now include parents and spouse when indicated. They are slowly going back to the earlier indexes and adding parents and spouses if listed on the death certificate. The goal is to eventually index to the earliest death certificates by the time they are done. Once the 1957 death certificates are re-indexed, they will move on to the 1956 death certificates for re-indexing.

Good afternoon everyone!

The 1957 death certificates are online and ready to index to include the decedent’s parents’ and spouse’s names.  Staff members have been indexing these for a few weeks as the situation with COVID-19 forced us to work from home, so we are already 44% complete.

Here is the link to log in: https://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/about/Volunteers. Please, take the time to reread the instructions and the following tips since they will answer some of the questions that you may encounter:

·         Try your best! If something is messy or hard to read, do the best you can. Two to four indexers look at each record, so if you cannot read something, that is perfectly all right. There is no need to mark the certificate with “Illegible, Invalid or Missing Field(s).”

·         Remember to always put a period after an initial or abbreviation, even if there isn’t one on the certificate.

·         Only use the “Missing Name (Blank/Infant/Unknown/Unnamed)” note when the deceased person’s name is missing or unknown. If a parent or spouse’s name is missing, don’t flag the certificate or put “Unknown” in the indexing field.

·         If the decedent is an infant without a first name (i.e. Infant, Baby Girl/Boy, Unknown, Twin A/B) you can enter Infant in the first name field, make sure to add the note “Missing Name (Blank/Infant/Unknown/Unnamed).”

·         Don’t forget the age! This will allow us to reverse engineer the year of birth. We’re just interested in the year, not months or days. Anyone under a year old should get a 0 in the year field.

·         There’s no need to mark if the spouse is dead or divorced. We just need their name. If all it says is “Deceased” or “Divorced,” leave the field blank.

·         If a parent or spouse has a prefix or suffix (Dr., Sr., etc.), ignore it.

·         If a Social Security Number is too short or too long, mark it as “No” and add the note “Invalid SSN”.

·         If a Social Security Number has a letter at the end, such as 123-45-6789A, ignore the letter and enter the last four digits. The letter corresponds to a person’s Social Security claim and is not part of their Social Security Number.

·         Be careful once you get to St. Louis certificates. If the “County” field is blank, mark the dropdown menu as “St. Louis City.”

Some of the 1957 death certificates do not include a field for the decedent’s spouse (in which case, you can leave the spouse’s name blank when indexing).  Do not enter the informant’s name in as the spouse’s name if the form is missing the spouse’s name field. This is something you will want to be aware of when you are indexing.

As always, let me know if there are questions at any point along the way and most importantly, have fun!


Daniel Reeder

eVolunteer Coordinator

Missouri State Archives

PO Box 1747

Jefferson City, MO 65102


(573) 522-6036


About Wichita Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's collaborateDealspotr.com
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