This index covers all deaths recorded in the Death Registry Books for St. Louis during the period August 1850 through December 1902. There are three gaps in these records: 1860 (12 February - 4 May), 1868 (14 August - 31 December), and 1907 (24 July - 31 December).
Although births and deaths were supposed to be registered in Missouri during the period from 1883 to 1893, statewide registration was not required in Missouri until 1910. The St. Louis Health Division does have some birth records as far back as 1870, however, and death records since 1850. These earlier records were compiled under city ordinances. Compliance during this period was poor, and only about 60 percent of the city's birth and deaths were recorded..
Prior to September 1876, the City of St. Louis was the county seat for St. Louis county. In that month, the City of St. Louis was separated from St. Louis County. This act created two separate political entities--from that date the City of St. Louis is not located in St. Louis County. Following a transition period of several years, St. Louis County deaths were recorded by the Vital Records Division of St. Louis County in Clayton, Missouri, the new county seat, while St. Louis City deaths continued to be reported in the city. Note that even after the city/county separation, the city would have registered the death of a county resident who died in the city. The vast majority of the area population was in the city and, therefore, most hospitals were in the city.
Members of the St. Louis Genealogical Society extracted data from the original Death Registry Books microfilmed in 1960. These records were microfilmed again in 1996-97 under a grant from the Missouri State Archives. Although the original registers may include more information, this index contains the following information where available: person's name, date of death, age, significant address at time of death, place of birth, cemetery, registry volume/page, and Soundex code.
Repositories holding copies of these microfilms currently include:
- St. Louis County Library, Special Collections, 1640 South Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131
- St. Louis Public Library, History and Genealogy, 1301 Olive St., St Louis, MO 63103-2389
- Missouri State Archives, 600 West Main Street, P.O. Box 778, Jefferson City,
For copies of individual death certificates, contact:
- Vital Records Division, City Health Department, 634 North Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63103. Phone (314) 658-1132
- Vital Records Division, County Health Dept., 111 South Meramec Ave., Clayton,
MO 63105. Phone (314) 615-1720 [County Records since 1876]
Reference: Missouri. St. Louis City. City Clerk Office, Register of Deaths. Microfilm. St. Louis Genealogical Society. St. Louis, Missouri.
To obtain a printed copy from the death register (this is not a death certificate) please send your check in the amount of $10.00 ($5.00 for Society members) to the St. Louis Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 43010, St. Louis, MO 63143. For further information, please see the Society's Research Policy on their website at http://www.stlgs.org.