© 2020 by Roots & Wings Research, LLC

  • Kristin Wenger

Tuesday Tip: Two quick ways to advance your vital record research

In my last research tip, I used Pennsylvania death certificates to illustrate the value of vital records.


Unfortunately, two common issues prevent us from making the most of these records. Today I'm sharing two excellent articles that will take your use of vital records to the next level.


1. Only a small percentage of records have been digitized. How do you know where to look for offline sources?

This article offers an explanation of how to use ArchiveGrid to locate any offline record.


2. Sloppy handwriting and medical terms can make it difficult to decipher what actually caused someone's death.

This article reveals how to use codes on death certificates to overcome those obstacles.

Note the numerical code circled in red

Important note: the codes have been revised many times over the years, so be sure to select the most recent update of the code prior to the year of death in question.