[APG Public List] Re: APGPublicList Digest, Vol 5, Issue 1

Claire Bettag claire at clairebettag.com
Tue Mar 2 06:37:26 MST 2010

You could check two places in the State Department's records.

1. Consular records at NARA in College Park. Within RG 59 there is a series of records that might be helpful: "Death Notices of U.S. Citizens." The hard copy inventory says: "From a very early date, at least since 1835, one of the duties of consular officers has been to report to the Department of State the names of U.S. citizens who have died within their consular districts. According to the "General Instructions to the Consuls and Commercial Agents of the United States, 1838," it was the duty of the consul or vice consul to announce the death in one of the gazettes published in the consular district and to notify the Secretary of State. When received in the Department of State, such notice of death was forwarded to a newspaper in the State of which the deceased was a resident." 

Entry / series 849: Notices of Deaths of U.S. Citizens Abroad, 1857-1922 (34 vols, arranged chronology). "copies of form notices sent by the Department of State to newspaper publishers in the United States informing them of the deaths of U.S. citizens in foreign countries and requesting that the notices be published. Each notice contains the name of the deceased, the place of death, the consul and consulate reporting the death, and the number and date of the despatch in which the death was reported. Each volume, except for 1865 and 1866 (for which there is a separate index volume) contains its own alphabetical index by name of the deceased."

An online version of Inventory 15 (Inventory of the General Records of the Department of State, 1789-1949) discusses these records at: http://www.archives.gov/genealogy/vital-records/american-deaths-overseas.html

2. That online inventory also points to other records found through the decimal file. It says:
Death Reports, 1910-62 
Death reports were filed in the Decimal File (Inventory 15, Entry 205), arranged by time period, 1910-29, 1930-39, 1940-44, 1945-49, thereunder by file number (3**.113) with ** representing the number for the country of death; or 1950-54, 1955-59, 1960-62, thereunder by file number (2**.113) with ** representing the number for the country of death. 

Finding Aid. There is a Name Card index to the Decimal File (Inventory 15, Entry 199) that shows the name of the deceased person and the decimal file number of the report. If there is no name card, there is no death report.

Death Reports, 1906-10
Death reports were filed in the Numerical File (Inventory 15, Entry 192), available on microfilm as NARA microfilm publication M862, Numerical and Minor Files of the Department of State, 1906-1910 (1,241 rolls), with 25,892 separate case files.

Finding Aid. There is a card index for the Numerical File (Inventory 15, Entry 188). There is an index card for each deceased person for whom there is a death report showing the Numerical File case number.


Claire Bettag
1685 34th Street NW
Washington, DC 20007
cell: 202-436-2121

On 2 Mar, 2010, at 4:24 AM, apgpubliclist-request at apgen.org wrote:

> lease tell me how to dig deeper into the State Department records. 

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