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Marian Press

Death Online: Beyond Parish Registers and Civil Registration

There are many more sources for death and burial beyond parish registers and civil registration. This lecture will cover many of these, including obituaries, wills and probate records, burial records, gravestone transcriptions and photographs. Particular attention will be paid to testamentary documents (especially those for the United Kingdom and Ireland), as recent developments in the digital world have made these much more accessible—from online indexes to Family History Library digital microfilm numbers to full digital images for major probate courts, as well as some smaller church courts; soldier’s wills and British India Office wills and probate records. These additional sources for death and its aftermath are migrating online; in fact, many are being born digital, especially photographic sources. The wide range of sources available, from those on commercial web sites, to libraries and archives, to volunteer projects online will be discussed. Just one example is the free Canadian Necrology Project at the University of Toronto Libraries.