California Deaths - What else you can try

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How to find birth records, marriage records and death records, Why Can't I Find the Record - California Deaths


This page will give you additional guidance and resources to find death information for your ancestor. Use this page after first completing the death section of the California Guided Research page.

Additional Online Resources

Additional Databases and Online Resources






Substitute Records

Additional Records with Death Information

Substitute records can contain information about more than one event, and are used when records for an event are not available. Because the substitute records may not be created at the time of the event, it may contain incorrect information. Search for as many substitute records as possible to corroborate information found in substitute records to help improve accuracy.

Use these substitute records to locate death information about your ancestor:
Wiki Page
FamilySearch(FS) Collections
Why to search the records
Cemetery Records
California Cemetery FS Collections
Gravestone inscriptions and cemetery records may include a death date.
Church Records
See Wiki page
Church death and burial records may be available when civil death records cannot be found. To access church records, first determine the denomination.
Newspapers
See Wiki page
Newspapers contain obituaries and death notices. They often include the death date and place of the deceased.
Obituaries
California Obituary FS Collections
Obituaries list date and place of death for the deceased. More recent obituaries may also list other deceased family members.
Military Records
California Military FS Collections
May include death information for servicemen.
Bible Records
See Wiki page
Family Bibles may include dates and places of death for family members, however the accuracy of this information is contingent upon when the information was recorded.




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Tips for finding deaths

Successfully finding death records in online databases depends on a few key points. Try the following search suggestions:

  • Spelling variations. Your ancestor's name may be misspelled. Search with spelling variations for the first and last name of your ancestor.
  • Search given name. Search by given name (leave out the last name) with the approximate date of birth or death.
  • Add information. For common names, add more information to narrow the search such as approximate birth date or parent's names if known.
  • Date range. Expand the date range of the search by 5 years.
  • Search state. Search using the state name only instead of by county.




Why the Record may not Exist

Known Record Gaps

Records Start

  • 1905 Statewide Registration.
  • 1920 Compliance to Statewide Registration.



Records Destroyed
The following counties had record loss. Click on the county for more information.










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