Michael and Susan Daleiden: Use of Death Records in Research.

This week I visited the Kane County Clerks Office and their Vital Records Department. I needed the Death Certificates for Michael Daleiden and his wife Susan (nee Kurns) Daleiden. I was curious to find out what were the circumstances of their deaths. I was also curious as to what other information the Certificates may contain. Michael is the brother of Christopher Daleiden and is the core family that first immigrated to Winfield Township in DuPage County Illinois.

Susan Kurns Daleiden wife of Michael Daleiden. Source: Find a Grave photo. Link:https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/128201547/susan-daleiden

Susan Kurns died in North Aurora (Aurora Township Kane County Illinois) on 6 June 1933. Her address is noted as “North Lake [street]” in North Aurora. Her Doctor J.E. Pritchard of Aurora Illinois attended to her from 1 June 1933 through 7 June 1933. She passed away at 9:00 p.m. on June 6th. She had contracted “bronchitis” on June 1st. Susan per the Death certificate recorded other “contributory causes of importance” as follows, “Cardiac weakness (myocarditis) Arterio sclerosis”. Per the Mayo Clinic health website: “Severe myocarditis weakens the heart so that the rest of the body doesn’t get enough blood. Clots can form in the heart, leading to a stroke or heart attack“.

Michael Daleiden the brother of Christopher Daleiden purchased this property and then built a home in 1913. This is the home where Susan Kurns Daleiden spent the final years of her life with her daughter Barbara. (Photo Credit: North Aurora 1834 – 1940. Wynette A. Edwards and Jim Edwards. Acadia Publishing. 2006.)

Susan’s Death Certificate also records the following information. Barbara Daleiden of Aurora Illinois was the “informant” for information recorded on the Certificate. Barbara was her daughter. Susan was buried at St. Johns Cemetery in Winfield Winfield Township DuPage County Illinois on 9 June 1933. The undertaker was “P. M. Daleiden”. There is still a Daleiden Funeral Home or Mortuary in Aurora Illinois.

Map of the Town of Ernzen in Germany

Susan’s father’s name was John Kurns. Susan was born in the town of Ernzen in Germany. The mothers maiden name and place of birth is recorded by Barbara as “unknown”. It is interesting to note that Ernzen is near Tier where a majority of the German Immigrants to Winfield Illinois originated. Susan’s occupation was “Housewife” and it is recorded that the last time she was working as a housewife was 1925. The timeframe of being a housewife is “Life“.

Susan’s race is listed as “white” and she is a “widow” as her husband Michael had passed away in 15 February 1916. He age at time of death is 92 years, 3 months and 25 days old. Her date of birth was 11 February 1841.

Barbara Daleiden the daughter of Susan (Kurns) Daleiden and Michael Daleiden. Barbara is holding the hands of a young neighbor Doris Frieders while they stand in the water of the Fox River in North Aurora Illinois. Barbara would marry Frank Kones. Frank and Barbara lived on the east side of Lake Street (Lincolnway) near the now former site of the North Aurora School. Frank was a border in the home of Susan and Barbara in 1930 prior to their marriage. This photo was taken in 1926. Barbara lived with her mother and is listed on the Death Certificate. (Photo Credit: North Aurora 1834 – 1940. Wynette A. Edwards and Jim Edwards. Acadia Publishing. 2006.)

Michael Daleiden. I went to the Aurora Public Library Santori Main Library in downtown Aurora Illinois via an email inquiry with their Local History Librarian. They emailed to me two scanned death notices and information on what happened to Michael Daleiden. An Obituary had been published on page 5 of the Aurora (Illinois) Beacon News for 15 February 1916:

Michael Daleiden

Michael Daleiden aged 81 years, died today at 1:30 o’clock at his home in North Aurora. He is survived by his wife, Susie, whi is 75 years old, two sons Mathew of Montana and John of St. Charles, and a daughter, Barbara, at home, and two grandchildren.

The decedant was born in Germany and came to this country in 1866, settling in Winfield.

Funeral notice later.

John Nicholas Daleiden Sr. the son of Susan and Michael Daleiden. Source: Photo Find A Grave https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/84323541/john-nicholas-daleiden.

The Aurora Beacon News for 16 February 1916 provided this account as a funeral notice the following day:

Michael Daleiden Funeral

The funeral of Michael Daleiden will be held tomorrow morning, the cortege leaving the North Aurora home on the 7:30 a.m. North-Western train [nearest depot was in Geneva Illinois]. Services will be held at 8 o’clock in the Catholic church in Winfield. Interment will be at Winfield [St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Cemetery Gary’s Mill and Summit Avenue in Winfield Winfield Township DuPage County Ilinois].

Michael’s Death Certificate provides the following information. His race is “white” and he is “married”. The birthdate is reported as “10 April”, but the year is not fully written or recorded. there is a “1” and then what appears to be the start of the number “8” only the top part of the loop for an 8 is recorded, but no second digit for the birth year. Someone must have gotten distracted? See the photo of the headstone. We will assume the year of birth as 1835. Note the birth date discepancy as being 8 April and not 10 of April 1935 per Death Certificate. Not unusual for this to happen when data is recorded. One thing I notice is that Michael’s headstone is not as elaborate then that of his brother Christopher Daleiden.

Michael and Susan Daleiden’s headstone at St. Johns Cemetery Winfield Winfield Township DuPage County Illinois Source Find a Grave: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/128201527/michael-daleiden
Christopher Daleiden’s (Michael brother) grave headstone. This headstone appears more elaborately decorative and made of a better material than his brothers. Michaels is made of what appears to be limestone? Christophers is a polished granite headstone. Location is in St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Cemetery in Winfield, Winfield Township, DuPage County Illinois.

Other information as recorded on Michael’s Death Certificate includes the following. Place of burial is listed as Winfield. Date of burial is 7 [?17th?] February 1916. The Undertake is “P. Daleiden” of Aurora Illinois. Death was recorded on 16 February 1916 per G.B. Schwachgen, M.D. The attending physician was a “J.E. Pritchard”. Pritchard attended to Michael from February 1, 1916 to February 15, 1916. Dr. last saw Michael alive on 14 February 1916. The death occurred at 1:30 p.m. The “CAUSE OF DEATH” was recorded as “Old Age mitral regurgitation (heart)”. This condition was recorded as being “1 month” on the Cerificate. Pritchard signed the Certificate on 17 February 1916 and his telephone numbere in Aurora was 1261 R.

Michael’s birthplace is listed simply as “Germany“. His father’s name is listed as “Mathias Dalieden” and Mathias’ birthplace is listed as Germany and no specific city in Germany is named on the Certificate. The Find A Grave entry on line has the following town in Germany listed: “Ralingen, Landkreis Trier-Saarburg, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany”. The location of the town where he originate from is the same area where a majority of the German immigrants to Winfield came from to America. Michaels age at the time of his death is “80 years, 10 months and 7 days”.

From this post one can conclude that Death Certificates can be a great source of information for genealogists and family historians. They can provide confirmation of facts about the deceased decendent. I can also conclude that much incorrect information may also be recorded on the Certificate that must be corroborated with other primary sources of information.

For more information on Michael and his farm land in DuPage County see this post on the blog.

About Schlick Daleiden Families - DuPage and Kane Counties of Illinois

Kevin Davis is a retired Public Library Director. He is a Board member of the Winfield (IL) Historical Society. Davis has over 35 years experience working in public libraries. He is deeply interested in local Chicagoland, Dupage, and Kane County History. Davis earned a BA in History and an MA in Library Science from Dominican University. He is a volunteer researcher for the St. James Farm Forest Preserve part of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County in Illinois. His work includes extensive writing and research on the McCormick family line who were former owners of St. James Farm. He is an avid family historian / genealogist and has done extensive research on the Schlicks and Daleidens of DuPage and Kane County Illinois.
This entry was posted in Christopher Daleiden, Daleidens, Genealogy Sources, Kane County Illinois History, Michael Daleiden, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Michael and Susan Daleiden: Use of Death Records in Research.

  1. Pingback: REVISED: Property Tax Rolls for 1864 Reveals Property Ownership for the Daleidens. | Schlick Daleiden Family DuPage/Kane Co. Blog

  2. Julie Dresser says:


    I am a descendant of Susan’s brother Nicholas and have further information of the Kurns/Curanze family.

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