Nearly 100 years of Texas birth and death records now available online, including key figures who investigated the death of the nation’s President and reported on the events in the days that followed.
Today we are releasing, for the first time online, 6.5 million new birth and death records from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Spanning nearly a century (1890-1980), the collection includes the state’s entire public archive of death records, including a newly-rediscovered certificate for President John F. Kennedy, as well as those involved in the investigation and reporting of his assassination, which rocked the nation 50 years ago this month.
The president’s death certificate describes the weapon used, injuries inflicted, location of injuries, and duration before death, which is noted as only “minutes.”
Evelyn Lincoln, the president’s personal secretary, is listed as the informant – the person responsible for positively identifying the body of her former Commander-in-Chief.
The newly-released Texas database also provides the new levels of insight regarding key figures surrounding the death of the nation’s President on November 22, 1963, including:
Lee Harvey Oswald – 24-year-old Oswald was shot two days after the assassination of JFK. His death certificate notes he was “shot at close range while officers were in process of transferring him from city to county jail.”
He died “approx. 45 minutes” after he was shot due to “hemorrhage, secondary to gunshot wound to the chest.” Jack Ruby would later be sentenced to death for the murder of Oswald.
Oswald would be taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital, the same hospital JFK was taken to.
Jack Ruby – Three years after he shot Lee Harvey Oswald, Ruby would die of a “pulmonary emboli as immediate cause of death secondary to bronchiolar carcinoma of the lungs” (lung cancer).
Ruby would die at the age of 55 at Parkland Memorial Hospital, the same hospital JFK was taken to after the assassination.
Other key figures include:
- J.D. Tippit – Tippit, an on-duty police officer, died from “gunshot wounds to the head and chest” by Lee Harvey Oswald when Tippit stopped and questioned Oswald about 45 minutes after the assassination.
- Abraham Zapruder – Famous for filming the only known footage of the assassination, Zapruder would pass away nearly seven years later at the age of 65 from “carcinoma of stomach” or stomach cancer.
- Lyndon B. Johnson – Vice President of the United States, Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President on Air Force One two hours and eight minutes after the assassination. The document lists his cause of death as “acute myocardial infarction” due to his “coronary atherosclerosis” which he had for the last “18 years” of his life.
- G. Thomas Shires – As Chief of Surgery at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Shires issued a statement that Kennedy was dead on arrival. Shires would also unsuccessfully operate on Lee Harvey Oswald two days later. Ancestry.com has his birth certificate and a yearbook photo from the University of Texas.
- Dr. Charles R. Baxter – Ancestry.com holds a birth record for the emergency room director at Parkland Memorial Hospital where JFK, Oswald and Ruby were taken.
- Nat A. Pinston – The birth record for the FBI agent who linked Oswald to the assassination is also part of the new Ancestry.com release.
Bringing the total number of Texas birth, marriage and death records available on Ancestry.com to more than 53 million, the new death records include information such as: cause of death, details on accident or surgery, burial location, occupation, informant’s name, and death date, time and place, as well as parent information for the deceased.
Also included in the latest Ancestry.com release are approximately thirty years of Texas birth records from 1903-1932. These 3.2 million records are also from the Texas Department of State Health Services and include the following information: name, sex, race, birth date and place, number of children born to the mother, and the names, occupations, residence and ages of the parents.
In this collection is the birth record of previously mentioned, Lyndon B. Johnson, born 27 Aug 1908 in Hye, Texas:
With more than 12 billion historical records, Ancestry.com continues to be a resource for family history research as well as historical information on our nation’s heroes, criminals and everyone in between. Go to www.Ancestry.com/Texas to dig in to the newest records for the Lone Star state.
- Dan Jones, Vice President of Content Acquisition at Ancestry.com: “Stories can be gleaned from every record we put on Ancestry.com, whether it’s an ancestor’s personal story, or an important moment in our nation’s history. For example, just a few records in the newly-available Texas collections paint a picture of the events surrounding JFK’s death. These records can provide a similar level of insight to those with Texas family histories, who will find great amounts of information in these record sets.”