20 December 2009


For over 25 years I have been collecting information on people who lived in the Payne County and North Central Oklahoma area. Most of the information I have gathered centers around cemeteries, obituaries, probate records, etc. In other words, I find out about dead people!

If you have done genealogical research in Oklahoma for any length of time, you recognize the tremendous lack of official State of Oklahoma Death Records. "Officially" they started by law in 1908. But various sources states that "regular" reporting didn't start until 1912 or 1918 or 1936 (or pick any other year after 1908). This dearth of official death records in Oklahoma causes problems for genealogists. Added to that, the State of Oklahoma refuses to release an index to the records they DO have. So we as genealogists and family historians are screwed!

Therefore....I have decided to compile my very own Oklahoma Death Index. It will cover all of time up through 31 Dec 1919. I have no idea how big/extensive this will be, but I would guess that the "final" total will near the 1 million mark.

The purpose of this blog will be multifold:
• To keep readers up to date on my Oklahoma Death Index progress;
• To provide information on records that are available;
• To provide my perspective on genealogy in Oklahoma;
• To identify mistakes genealogists make when checking records;
• To identify unusual records and repositories of death information;
• To provide insight on why you, as a genealogist, are unable to find the records you seek;

If you would like a search of the index for a specific name, the cost (at least initially) is one dollar per name. Please e-mail me at paynecounty@hotmail.com with the name/date/location and I will send you information on how to pay for the service and obtain information.