Beginning in the mid-1800s, in an effort to control the spread of infectious disease, burial-transit permits were required to transport a body from one place to another. Burial-transit permits were issued by civil authority in the place where death occurred, and at some point may have been transferred to the state. If a body was removed for burial, a permit was needed at each point of the journey. Information contained in these records includes the name of the deceased; age and gender; date and place of death; cause of death and if caused by communicable or infectious disease; disposition of the body (burial, cremation, storage or removal); and the date and place of burial or cremation. Other information of genealogical interest may also be included. Burial-transit permits are still required today, the conditions of which are determined by state regulation.
While these records were variously kept and may not be as accessible as a death certificate, they would be found at the town, county and/or state level. FamilySearch has some such records, while state archives, local genealogical and historical societies are other places to check, and some may be found online. Burial-transit records may be included in indexes along with other death records such as the New Jersey Death Records Index, 1878-1888. Copies of burial-transit might also be found among funeral or cemetery records.
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