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Vital Records Tour-
Examples of Death Records


The death records are often the most overlooked of the three vital record types (birth, marriage, and death).  Yet these records can yield a great amount of information.  They can give the researcher clues as to the date of birth (though often estimated), maiden name, spouse's name, occupation...and sometimes place of birth.  And as with the other types of vital records, a little Latin can go a long way!

Death records have been increasingly important even to non-genealogists (is there such a person?!) who may be researching family health conditions and genetics.

Below are some samples of typical death records


Examples of Typical Death Records

Mensis   Nrus
Religio Sexus Dies
Qualitas Morti
12-Augusti 14 18 Eva Kłodzińska nata Jamrowicz, vidua post Adalbertum agricolam. 56 annorum cholera
12-Augusti 14 116 Franciscus Bałuczyński filius Mathaei et Catharinae natae Kłak agricolarum 11 annorum cholera
(here Date)
(burial) House No. Name of deceased Religion Sex Age Cause of Death
12-August 14 18 Ewa Kłodzińska nee (maiden name) Jamrowicz, widow of the late Wojciech farmer

56 years cholera
12-August 14 116 Franciszek Bałuczyński, son of Maciej and Katarzyna nee (maiden name) Kłak, farmer

11 years cholera

from the Roman Catholic parish of Biały Kamień, village of Usznia, 1855




29-Augusti 31 126 Thaddaeus Mościcki agricola, maritus Rosaliae natae Ziumak 47 annorum cholera
31-Augusti 2-Septemb. 125 Anastasia Bojakowska nata Mikoda, uxor Michaelis textoris 62 annorum cholera
126 Tadeusz Mościcki farmer, husband of Rozalia nee (maiden name) Ziumak

47 years cholera
31-August 2-Sept. 125 Anastasia Bojakowska nee (maiden name) Mikoda, wife of Michał the weaver

62 years cholera

from the Roman Catholic parish of Biały Kamień, village of Usznia, 1855




1-Februarii 3 39 Stanislaus Zurawski textor-maritus derelictae Magdalenae natae Piątkowska 33 annorum Phtysis pulmonum
51 (entry


39 Stanisław Zurawski, weaver, husband of the left-behind Magdalena nee (maiden name) Piątkowska

33 years tuberculosis - consumption

from the Roman Catholic parish of Biały Kamień, village of Usznia, 1864



Illegitimate Child

22-Decembris 24 106 Helena Gabryluk filia illegitima Mriae servae caelebis. 1 1/2
66 (entry
22-December 24 106 Helena Gabryluk, illegitimate daughter of Maria, unwed servent

1 1/2
consumption / tuberculosis

from the Roman Catholic parish of Biały Kamień, village of Usznia



Widows, Widowers and Previous Spouses

Sometimes we genealogists get lucky and come across very detailed documents.  Take a look at the following two examples of records giving us the names of previous marriages.


43 (entry
2-Maji 4 119 Maria Michalewska nata Kawałko - 1o voto Gołąb - uxor Mathiae agricola 50 annorum Hydrops
43 (entry
2-May 4 119 Maria Michalewska nee (maiden name) Kawałko -
first marriage Gołąb - wife of Maciej the farmer


50 years Dropsy

from the parish of Biały Kamień, village of Skwarzawa, 1864




48 (entry
4-Decembris 6 224 Wiktoria Krzyzanowska
1o voto Rudy - nata Wierzbicka - vidua post Joannem agricolam
63 annorum Debilitas senilis
48 (entry
4-December 6 224 Wiktoria Krzyzanowska
first husband Rudy - nee (maiden name) Wierzbicka - widow of the late Jan the farmer


63 years illness/weekness of age

from the parish of Biały Kamień, village of Skwarzawa, 1864



Unusual Death Records


29-Januarii 31 - Puer de nomine cognomine ortus ignotus mendicans circiter
29-Januarz 31 - Boy, name surname birthplace unknown, beggar

about 8 tuberculosis

from Greek Catholic parish of Bilyi Kamin, village of Ushnia, 1855




23-Februarii 25 in via mortua inventa Maria de cognomine ignota - mendica - advena - caelebs circier 22 annorum frigore extincta
23-February 25 discovered on the road dead Maria unknown last name - beggar - foreign - single (unmarried)

about 22 years cold and hunger

from the Roman Catholic parish of Biały Kamień, village of Usznia, 1854




78 25 27   Catharina ignoti cognominis et ignoti ortus mendicans 70 annor. Senies

Sepel. Andreas Prawdzikowski, Paroch.
78 25 (of Nov.) 27 (of Nov.)   Katarzyna unknown surname and unknown origin beggar

70 years old age

Buried by Andrzej Prawdzikowski, pastor

from the village and Roman Catholic parish of Biłka Szlachecka.




Look at the cause of death in the last line.  The priest probably didn't know how to write the cause of death in Latin, so opted for his native Ukrainian language.  Barbara Miko, at 30 years of age, "замерзла в поли", or "froze in the field".

from the Greek Catholic village and parish of Snitnytsia, in today's southeast Poland.



Over the period of 3 days, a father lost 4 children and his wife to poisonous mushrooms.  The priest wrote the cause of death in Polish "ze spozycia jadowitych grzybów otruty" (poisoned by the consumption of poisonous mushrooms).  The father alone survived.

In the example, the father is Dionizy (Dionysius in Latin), the children are Jozefa (Josepha) who died at 6˝ years old;  Antoni (Antonius) at 4; Katarzyna (Catharina) at 9; Karol (Carolus) at 12; and his wife Franciszka (Francisca) at 35 years of age.

from the village of Czeremosznia, in the Roman Catholic parish of Biały Kamień, 1889.




No Name of Child on Birth or Death Record

Sadly, this child who lived but one day was not recorded with a name on either the birth of death record.  In the columns for Name, it reads only "mortuus natus", or "died at birth".  Note that no godparents or cause of death is listed.

Birth on November 27

Death and burial on November 28

from the Roman Catholic parish of Podkamień, village of Podkamień, 1863




Notification of Death on Birth/Baptismal Record

In some cases, the priests noted the death of a child on the birth/baptismal record.  In most of these cases, the priest simply marked the birth record with a cross (+), signifying that the child had died.  But sometimes the priest noted the specific date of death on the birth record.  In the example below, the death date is marked next to the cross (+): "+ 4/5/904", meaning 4-May-1904.  Americans take note: remember that only Americans abbreviate Month/Day/Year.  Europeans abbreviate as Day/Month/Year.


Date of birth Date of Baptism House
Name Religion Sex Status Parents Occupation Witnesses
4-Maii 4 6 + 4/5/904

leg Andreas Moroz fil. Clementis et Annae Kawałko.

Marianna Domańska fil. Antonii et Clarae Geża.
4-May 4 6 + 4/5/904
(4-May-1904 death date)



legitimate Andrzej Moroz, son of Klement and Anna nee (maiden name) Kawałko.

Marianna Domańska, daughter of Antoni and Klara Geża.
farmers 0

 from Roman Catholic parish of Biały Kamień, village of Usznia, 1904
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