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Types of Civil Records

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Death Civil Registration Records

Death records are especially helpful because they may provide important information on a person’s birth, spouse, and parents. Civil death records often exist for individuals for whom there are no birth or marriage records for. Deaths were usually registered within three days of the death in the municipality where the person died. If the deceased person was not a resident of that town, often a copy would be sent to that person's residence. 

The following information will usually be found in a death record: 

  • The name of the deceased. 
  • The date of death. 
  • The names of the deceased's parents. 
  • The name of the deceased's spouse, if married 
  • The age of the deceased at the time of death. 
  • The place of the deceased's birth. 
  • The occupation of the deceased. 
  • The names of the witnesses, their ages, occupations, residence, and relationship if any. 

Remember, married women are always recorded under their maiden surname. The informant’s name (often a relative) is also given. 

Information about parents, the birth date and birthplace of the deceased, and other information in a death record may be inaccurate since the person who gave the information may not have had complete information. 

Children who died before the declaration of birth was made are recorded as stillborn and are found only in the death records. This also means that when a child is recorded as stillborn it may not necessarily be true, as a birth had to be recorded within 3 days of birth. In other words, if the child died within those three days, it would most likely not be recorded in the birth records. When looking for a stillborn child you may have to look in the index under 'L' for 'Levenloos' (stillborn), 

Those people who were born without a fixed surname are probably recorded under a patronymic or were "given" a surname posthumously, often based on the farm they were born at or lived at. 

Before the invention of photocopies, when people requested a copy of a death record, the civil registration officials would provide a certificate or extract of the record. Death certificates could be a literal and complete transcription of the record or an extract of the same. 

Sample Death Record


Heden eenendertig Januari 

negentienhonderd twee en twintig verschenen voor mij Ambtenaar van den burgeliken Stad van Amsterdam: 

Cornelis Wiedeman van beroep 

zonder oud tween zeventig jarenwonende 

alhier en Hendrik Spiegelberg 

van beroep zonder oud zeven en viftig jaren, 

wonende alhier die verklaardendat op 

den eenendertigsten dezer, 

des voor middags ten acht ure, in de gemeente Amsterdam is overleden 

Johanna Christina Seel 

zonder beroepwonende alhier 

oud tachtig jarengeboren alhierweduwe 

van Wilhelmus Johannes Franciscus Henricus 

Arnendochter van Hendrik Gerardus Seel en 

Johanna Christina Alffenaar, beiden overleden. 

Waarvan aktewelke overeenkomstig de wet is voorgelezen. 



On this day thirty-one January 

nineteen hundred and twenty-two appeared before me, civil servant of civil registry office of Amsterdam: 

Cornelis Wiedeman, with no occupation, age seventy-two years living 

here and Hendrik Spiegelberg without occupation, age fifty-seven years, living here, which declare on 

the thirty-first day 

before eight o'clock in the morning, in the municipality Amsterdam is deceased Johanna Christina Seel 

with no occupation, living here, age eighty years, born here, widow of Wilhelmus Johannes Franciscus Henricus 

Amen, daughter of Hendrik Gerardus Seel and 

Johanna Christina Alffenaar, both deceased. 

Of which this certificate, in accordance with the law, it has been read 

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