Searching Early St. Louis Death Records for African American Deaths

The following record collection in Ancestry Library Edition (Ancestry LE) covers nearly all deaths recorded in the Death Registry Books for St. Louis during the period August 1850 through December 1902:

St. Louis, Missouri, Death Records, 1850-1902

Note: Statewide registration of deaths was not required in Missouri until 1910, so only about 60 percent of St. Louis City deaths were recorded prior to that date.

Freedman’s Cemetery sign (AlexandriaVa.gov photo)
Freedman’s Cemetery sign (AlexandriaVa.gov photo)

It is possible to search using these parameters:

    First & Middle Name(s)
    Last Name
    Birth—Location
    Death—Day—Month—Year—Location
    Any Event—Location
    Keyword
    Cemetery
    Address

You can search for an individual of interest, but it is also possible to do a general search of these records for African American deaths. Each of these searches produces results (case does not matter):

    First & Middle Name(s) colored (Exact)
    First & Middle Name(s) contraband (Exact)
    First & Middle Name(s) free colored (Exact)
    First & Middle Name(s) negro (Exact)
    First & Middle Name(s) slave (Exact)

While of limited utility for the genealogist, these searches should prove quite useful to students and local historians.

You can use Ancestry LE at Central Library or any of our branches.

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