Coroners’ records are an invaluable source of information for genealogists. Now we read that the Marin County, California Coroners’ records are being transferred to the public library, where plans are underway to create a searchable database.

Since 1850, Marin’s coroners have documented thousands of death investigations throughout the county — pistol shootings, The Coroner's Inquests book number 1 rests on a table in the California Room of the Marin County Civic Center library on Wednesday, December 29, 2010. The earliest record in the book is from coroner's case number 1 in 1850. (IJ photo/Alan Dep) Alan Depdrownings, railroad accidents, the occasional poisoning. One man’s demise, in Tomales in 1859, was attributed to “bad whisky.”

With the independent coroner’s office passing into extinction this weekend, the files on more than 89,000 coroners’ cases – many handwritten in pen and ink on parchment — have been transferred to the county library’s Anne T. Kent California Room, a rich repository of local historical documents, and the nonprofit Marin County Genealogical Society.

Laurie Thompson, the California Room’s librarian, is embarking on a project to create a searchable database of the vast coroners’ archives, with help from Genealogical Society volunteers.

Read the full article by Gary Klien in the January 1, 2011 edition of the Marin Independent Journal.