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From:
Subject: Re: [APG] Colorado Death Record
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2003 03:36:11 EDT


Hi Ray and all,
I have been corresponding with Chris regarding the death certificate he
is seeking from the State of Colorado. As I've explained to him, Colorado is a
"closed access" state. Yes, it's one of "those" states! :-( The county
offices follow the law just as the state office does. No one is allowed access to
look at either the actual indexes or the record books. On the back of the
state's Application for Certified Copy of Death Certificate, it lists the
following who may be issued a death certificate:
Parents.
Grandparents.
Stepparents.
Siblings.
Spouse.
Adult children, stepchildren or grandchildren of the deceased.
In-laws, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins if it is needed to
administer the
deceased's estate or for genealogy research.
Legal representatives of any of the above.
Legal representatives of the deceased.
Probate researchers.
** Genealogists representing family members with appropriate credentials.
Others who may demonstrate a direct and tangible interest when information is
needed for determination or protection of a personal or propery right.

** Clarification note: Just recently I personally asked one of the clerks at
the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment - Vital Records
Section what this means. I was told that if the genealogist is certified or a
professional, and has a signed contract from the client to act on their behalf, and
has a business card that he/she would be able to obtain a death certificate.
I was also told just yesterday by another clerk at a county office that the
State told her that I would not be able to do any volunteer work in organizing
old record books of birth and death for that (or any other) county's office.
As of this writing; I am not sure why the state returned the application
form, the check, and the identification back to Chris. I've asked him to let
me know what the State said or wrote on the materials returned.
Therefore, to answer your question Ray I would "assume" that since you
would fall under the nephew category, you would be able to obtain a death
certificate for your great-uncle. However, I guess the State's clerks can interpret
the law to whatever they want at the time and deny the record. You can only
try and see what happens. So far I have had *no* problems in getting death
certificates for myself or for my clients at the State Office. Call it luck!
One county would only allow me to obtain the death certificate for a
client that was from over 100 years ago. In that incident, my client had to
complete the application form. And for a different county, they would not allow me
to obtain a death certificate from 100 years ago or from "yesterday." Again,
in that incident, my client had to complete the application form. Go figure!
Hope this helps. I'm sure some of the other professional genealogists on
this list in Colorado will have examples of ability vs. non-ability to obtain
vital records in our great state to share.
;o) Valerie

Val's Roots Professional Genealogy Services
Valerie Eichler Lair
<A HREF="www.valsroots.com">www.valsroots.com</A>


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