Tazewell County Genealogical & Historical Society has copied the original 1878-1950 death certificates which were in long-term storage at the Tazewell County courthouse.  We would like to thank the Tazewell County Clerk’s office for allowing us to access these historical documents!

Death records in Tazewell County vary in content and location depending on the time period in which the death was reported.  Death certificates can contain a great deal of information about the individual and his/her death.

Starting in 1878, the Illinois State Board of Health required all deaths to be reported to the Tazewell County Clerk, although most were not reported because compliance was not enforced.  The Tazewell County Clerk's office estimates only about 10% of the deaths prior to 1916 were actually recorded.

Beginning in 1916 the Tazewell County Clerk and the Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records jointly recorded death records.  Compliance was very high, reaching 95% state-wide by 1919.

Harry Hinkel Death Certificate
Harry Hinkel Death Certificate
22 September 1931

Death certificates after 1916 generally show date, place and cause of death; the deceased's full name, sex, race, marital status, birth date, age at death, occupation, employer, social security number, and city & state of birthplace; father's name and birthplace; mother's maiden name and birthplace; name of the informant providing the information (usually a close family member); the filing date; certificate number; and the registrar’s name, signature and address.  Also included are certifying physician’s name & signature; sometimes the burial place and date; and the funeral home’s name and address.

TCGHS members may search the online index below.  Here are some tips on using the index.

Copies of a death certificate may be ordered at the Society's library, through the mail, or online using our shopping cart.  Your copies may be picked up at the library or will be emailed/mailed to you at no extra charge.

Please supply the deceased’s name, date of death, and delivery mode for each death certificate you want copied.  Your order must be paid before we will create the copies.

Each copy is $5.00.  Copies ordered online will be $5.45 (to offset the fees we are charged by the credit card payment processor).  Credit cards are not accepted for mailed orders.

We cannot guarantee any name on a death certificate is the person you’re looking for.  Please see our research services if you need further research done.

Online Death Records Index

~~ Content restricted to TCGHS members! ~~

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General Notes:

  • There are nine columns in the table – Deceased, Date of Death, Remarks, Age, Place of Death, Spouse, Father, Mother, and Burial.
  • If your screen is not wide enough to show all nine columns, some may not be displayed in the table.  However, the data in those columns may be shown by clicking the "+" sign in front of the Deceased name.
  • Any notes enclosed in parentheses are not in the original death record but additional information added by the index transcriptionist from other known sources.
  • Abbreviations:

b. – born
d. – died
d.c. – death certificate
DoD – Date of Death
(h) – husband
(w) - wife

Usage Tips

  1. As you enter criteria into a search box, the display will automatically change to show only matching rows.
  2. Use the Search Box at the upper right of the table to search the entire database.  For example, if you enter "Dillon" for a Search, the display changes to all rows that contain a Deceased’s Name containing "Dillon" as well as any use of the work “Dillon” in another column such as Father, Mother, Spouse, Place of Death, Place of Burial, etc.
  3. Use the boxes at the bottom of each column to limit your search only to that column's content.
  4. All columns may be sorted by clicking on the triangle in the column header (if no triangle, sorting that column is not possible).
  5. Your search results are displayed in list of pages – each containing up to 25 matching entries.  At the lower left of the table, a count of the matching entries is listed.  If more than 25 were found, you can go to additional result pages(s) by clicking on the page number or using the arrows at the right.

Examples of column searches:

  • Deceased's Name - limit the rows displayed to just those deceased's surnames you are interested in.
  • Spouse’s Name – limit the rows displayed to just those first names you are interested in.
  • Date of Death - look for time periods you are particularly interested in (sorting by Record Number will list deaths together by year).
  • Combination - by placing criteria into multiple boxes you can do more sophisticated searches such as all Dillon deceaseds in 1900 buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery

However, don't forget to use the clear filters button at upper right to delete any previous searches or you may get unexpected results!  Also, note clear filters does not clear the Search box!

What if I don’t find my person?

  1. Try different spellings of the name – for instance if I was searching for Dickson, I’d also search for Dixon, Dickens, etc.
  2. Try an abbreviated spelling – for instance, Dic when I’m looking for Dickson.  You will get more matches but may be able to pick out your deceased – even if the name was misspelled.
  3. Search additional fields such as Spouse’s name.
  4. Look at specific years.
  5. Be aware it is not uncommon for Tazewell County residents to die across the Illinois River in one of the major hospitals in Peoria.  When this situation occurs, the death certificate is usually issued by Peoria County rather than Tazewell – although exceptions to that rule do occur.
  6. Try searching the Illinois Death Certificates Database, 1916-1950.  If a certificate is found in another county, you can get a copy using the Illinois State Genealogical Society’s Death Certificate Lookup service or from the county clerk in the county of death.  If you happen to find a certificate listed for Tazewell County that does not appear in our index, please contact us so we can troubleshoot a potential problem with our index.