Academy of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Family histories and other information from public records

updated: 4 May 2010

I get asked occasionally, "Where'd this information come from?"

The answer is generally, "publicly available records". The IHM site is full of birth, death, burial, marriage, census, military, genealogy and other information. In a few cases, someone has provided a class list, or updates on classmates or family. But thanks to the Internet, anyone can track down information and records on practically anyone.

This page is my effort to share the free sources I use, and an occasional commercial site. And, to explain my system and methods.


The KCGS maintains a collection of materials at the Hayden Library, 8385 N Gov't Way. They have obituaries, school censuses, civil and vital record index books and microfilm, cemetery records, funeral home records, city directories, and much more. Every time I go to the collection, I find days worth of information to add to this site.


  • English Funeral Home, Cd'A seems to do the lion's share of funerals for IHM Alumni and families. Probably because "Babe" RIPLINGER worked there. This site is becoming "less useful" as they recently stopped printing the whole obituary on their memorial pages, and seldom have links to the newspapers.
  • Yates Funeral Home, Cd'A is the other funeral home in Cd'A. They still publish the whole obituary onsite.
  • The Coeur d'Alene Press obituaries has the last month or two instantly available, with a search engine for the rest, going back to 2003.
  • The Spokesman-Review has 2001-April 2005 obituaries and newer obituaries, and a searchable archive (for a fee).
  • The Washington State Library has a free obituary service for newspaper obits.
  • more to come . . . by Legacy, and by Newsbank; Obituary Daily Times, and Google.

LOTS more work to do on this page . . . check back later! — Mike



  • VitalSearch-CA
  • FamilyTreeLegends


  • Western States
  • FHL
  • WA Archives
  • E WA Gen Soc
  • VitalSearch-CA


  • Social Security Death Master Index, available for free on many sites. The most useful and versatile is at RootsWeb, so that's where I access it. Not all deaths are listed, but many from 1965 to current date are found here. The benefit of this index is it often tells you where they lived, or where their beneficiary lived, and what state issued the number. It also gives dates that can help locate obituaries and census records.
    caveat: there are many errors in this 80-million-person index, especially of dates. Some dates are "just a few days off", while other, more egregious errors exist. e.g., a search for people born before 1810 [over 126 years before SS was created] reveals 250 unlikely results [not a single one of them died before 1900; many people lived 120-to-195 years, etc]. In all, there are over 32,000 people listed who were age 65 before SS was created, and almost 3,000 who died between 1899 (1) and 1937. Begs the question, "how did they get social security numbers?".
  • California Death Records are available at several places, including (1940-1997), and Family Tree Legends (1940-1997), and VitalSearch (1905-2000).



  • Rootsweb - counties
  • 1880 census at LDS site
  • HeritageQuest / ProQuest


  • WorldConnect, a free, searchable repository of volunteer genealogy, comprising the databases posted online by patrons of Ancestry World Tree, Online Family Tree, and Rootsweb's World Connect. Use as much or little information as you wish to narrow the search among these half-a-billion names. Good interface.
  • GenCircles, a collection of user-posted genealogies, with surprisingly good search results.
  •, the premier free site with all sorts of information, mostly transcriptions of records and indexes, or surname message boards for almost every spelling. Good search system, with categorized results.
  • HQ



  • The "Reunion 2000" booklet (photocopy), comprising 148 pages of letters, updates, photos, clippings and obituaries about Cd'A, IHM and former students.


Networks: IHM on    |   IHM on FaceBook

SEARCH the IHM website (Yahoo! often gets more results)

To share information, contact