Coroner's Register

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Wibbus's picture
Coroner's Register

I am struggling with how to cite a Death Record from a Coroner's Register using Legacy.  I found the record on Family Search, so I could use the template for Internet > Database & Images.  The records  were created by the San Franciso Office of the Medical Examiner and are held by the San Francisco Public Library, San Franciso History Center.  The library catalog says, "The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours, with photographs available during Photo Desk hours. Collections that are stored offsite should be requested 48 hours in advance."

What should I cite as the source?  Would it be incorrect to use the Medical Records template on Legacy?  Or is that only appropriate for individuals' medical records?

Evidence Explained, 3rd edition, 8.23 Coroner's Inquests is in the Local and State Records: Courts & Governance chapter.  What I have is not the record of the inquest; it is the Record of Death with a "History of case (supposed facts to be proved at inquest)."

My image of the record is 1.02 MB so too big to upload.

Thank you in advance for helping me.

EE's picture

Wibbus, you're doing a great job of thinking through what you're using--and going beyond your immediate source (FamilySearch) to understand the record. When we do that, we often discover that what we're using doesn't really fit any standard mold. Then we fall back on a basic pattern and adapt it.

You ask: "What should I cite as the source?"  That's the easiest of your questions to answer. You cite what you use. If you use the image from FamilySearch, you cite FamilySearch. If you use an image provided by the San Francisco History Center, you cite that.

Your second question, about which Legacy template to use, is one EE cannot answer. Each software that bases templates on EE is making its own interpretations and adaptations.

If you are citing the FamilySearch image, then you have two things to cite:

  1. The database and website
  2. The actual record, as imaged there.

Without a link to the FamilySearch page so that we can analyze the type of database, I'm flying blind here. That said, if the database is one with "browsable images" in which you drill down to the exact document, then a format such as those at EE 8.18, 8.24, 9.19, or 10.6 should be adaptable. No, none of these deal with death records, but that point is rather irrelevant when one understands the record one is using. The models will guide you in the formatting of the citation and you simply insert the relevant description of the data.

The Editor

Wibbus's picture

Dear Editor,

Thank you very much.  Here is a link to the record I'm using:

The database is one "... with "browsable images" in which you drill down to the exact document, ..." - I've looked at the EE references you gave me and think 10.6 is best.  I will identify the San Francisco History Center as the repository of the records.

The FamilySearch database is California, San Francisco County Records, 1824-1997, which covers a lot more than the records of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.  There are 1,036,854 images in the collection.  The Coroner's Records category is divided up by years:

Walter Murrah's Record of Death is on page 2333, so I'm going to try to find page 1 and maybe that will have an image of the cover.

Thank you again.  I appreciate your thoughtful replies.