Using the BMD Death Index

Information extracted from the New Zealand BMD Death Index covered the period 1 Jan 1941 to 29 Oct 2017 and includes:

1. Date of Birth – Column headed ‘Date of Birth’.

2. Year Death Recorded – Column headed ‘Date of Death ’. This has been highlighted in colour to assist those wishing to further research those vets who returned from active service but who are now no longer with us.

Kaye, George Frederick, 1914-2004. Searchlights, Italy, during World War 2. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch :Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-06694-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22836793 “Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.”

Kaye, George Frederick, 1914-2004. Searchlights, Italy, during World War 2. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch :Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-06694-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22836793
“Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.”

NOTE: Year death recorded does NOT necessarily mean the person died in that year. For example if the death was sometime in December, the name may show as registered in the following or even a much later year.

3. Age at death – Column Headed ‘Age’. Some of the entries in this column also derive from Council Cemetery Databases.

4. Some of the information is shown in the column headed ‘Details’.

The death index is to be found here.

Verifying date of death

Let’s look at a practical example: Walter Henry CarterThe Whangarei cemetery index shows his date of death as 10 February 1973 and that he was 50 years old when he died. Enter family name, given names and that date in the ‘search from ’ and ‘search to’ date fields and click on the ‘Submit Search’ button and that date of death is verified.  You will see his date of birth is shown as 24th December 1922 and the death registration number is shown as 1973/46503. You can now order up a copy of the death certificate if you so wish.

YMCA van, Crete, during World War II. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch :Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-01273. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23195632 “Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.”

YMCA van, Crete, during World War II. New Zealand. Department of Internal Affairs. War History Branch :Photographs relating to World War 1914-1918, World War 1939-1945, occupation of Japan, Korean War, and Malayan Emergency. Ref: DA-01273. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23195632
“Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.”

But assuming the date is wrong or that you have only been given the year death was registered and age, you can zero in to find exact date of death.

Example: James Carton Carroll:

We see from the database that he was 45 years old when the death was registered in 1952.

Let’s conduct a search from 1/1/1952 to 31/12/1952. Sure enough, the death registration number shows that he died in 1952. Refine the search .. from 1/1/1952 to 30/6/1952 – nothing. He appears between 1/7/1952 and 31/12/1952. Now, just keep refining the search, narrowing down the date range. By doing this we find his date of death to have been 27 November 1952.  Should you require a copy of the death certificate you can click on the ‘Order Product’ button.

 

 

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