Saturday, August 18, 2007

New Mexico Death Index Project

A column in the Albuquerque Tribune, "Death records mark beginning points for genealogists," summarizes a few New Mexico online resources. Of particular interest is the New Mexico Death Index Project. As stated in the article, "volunteers extracted names, ages and counties from thousands of state-issued death certificates from 1899 to 1949. You'll find alphabetical links to the index. The index includes name, death date and age. Most of the ages have three digits, such as 486. . . . That means he died at age 48 years and six months. For later deaths, be sure to follow the link to the Death Index, Part II." Of course, this is an index only, so you still have to go one step further to obtain the actual death certificate, which the author notes are on microfilm in the Special Collections Library in downtown Albuquerque. However, being a privacy state, New Mexico presents more than a few challenges for researchers. Records less than 100 years old are available only to immediate family members or those who can demonstrate tangible legal interest. But the index is open to all and puts you one step closer than you might have been.

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