How to Find Michigan Death Records

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Michigan was admitted into the Union on January 26, 1837, as the 26th state. Death records for each county, with copies also sent to the state, began no later than January 1867, although registration of all vital records was certainly not enforced. A 1905 law was much more effective, and was generally complied with by 1915.

Next Step: When did the death occur? [edit | edit source]

Death Records
Choose a time period:

Learn more about U.S. Death Records

Deaths before 1867[edit | edit source]

Before 1867, deaths were not recorded formally by the county or state. However, approximately 10,000 deaths between 1800 and 1867 are indexed in the following database:


Michigan Deaths Database - Includes Index only


1800-1995 - At FamilySearch.org Free; dates vary by county.


If your ancestor's death was not found in this database, you must search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s death date and place.

  Records that give death information:
Cemetery Records
Newspapers
Probate (wills, etc)
Church Records
Census
Bible Records
Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths from 1867 thru 1897[edit | edit source]

The state of Michigan began recording deaths in 1867. There are no restrictions on Death records for Michigan.

STEP ONE: Find Death Information[edit | edit source]

For deaths that exist during the time period, try the following databases. Try each link.

Michigan Deaths Databases - Includes Index and Digital Images

Try 1st:


1867-1897 - At FamilySearch.org Free; name index and images of Michigan statewide death registration entries
Next try one of the following:



1867 - 1940 Michigan Dept. of Health
Free; (full index seems to end circa 1885/1886 with only a few entries from 1887-1897)




1867-1995 - At Ancestry.com ($) free at family history centers. Index to Michigan, deaths and burials.




1800-1995 - At FamilySearch.org Free; name index to death and burial records from the state of Michigan




What's Next? Go to Step Two Part B listed below. You may be able to order the death record for your ancestor from the Michigan Department of Health.
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No death record for your ancestor? Other records with death information

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate[edit | edit source]

Part A: You know the exact date of death


With an exact date of death (from your records or the index above), you can order a copy of the death record for a fee from the following locations:

To Order Death Certificates
From County of Death From MI Dept. of Health State office
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state County websites can be more difficult to use Offers a search of the state index for an additional fee May be more expensive than ordering from the county


There are no restrictions for ordering death records in Michigan.

If you do not want to order the death record, there are other records with death information you can search.

PART B: You don't know the exact date of death

If you do not know the exact date or place of death, the fee paid to the Michigan State Department of Health includes a 1 year search. Searches for additional years are available for an additional fee.

There are no restrictions for ordering death records in Michigan.

If you do not want to order the death record, there are other records with death information you can search.

Return to top: Choose another death year



Deaths from 1897 thru 1920[edit | edit source]

The state of Michigan began recording deaths in 1867. There are no restrictions on Death records for Michigan.

STEP ONE: Find Death Information
[edit | edit source]

For deaths that exist during the time period, try the following databases. Try each link.

Michigan Deaths Databases - Includes Index and Digital Images

Try 1st:


1897 - 1952 Michiganology.org
Free; name index and images of Michigan statewide death registration entries. Also on Ancestry.com, free at family history centers.
Next try one of the following:


1800-1995 - At FamilySearch.org Free; name index to death and burial records from the state of Michigan




1867-1995 - At Ancestry.com ($) free at family history centers. Index only.




What's next? Go to Step Two Part B listed below. You may be able to order the death record for your ancestor from the Michigan Department of Health.
Can't find your ancestor in the online indexes? Tips for searching online indexes
No death record for your ancestor? Other records with death information

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate[edit | edit source]

Part A: You know the exact date of death


With an exact date of death (from your records or the index above), you can order a copy of the death record for a fee from the following locations:

To Order Death Certificates
From County of Death From MI Dept. of Health State office
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state County websites can be more difficult to use Offers a search of the state index for an additional fee May be more expensive than ordering from the county


There are no restrictions for ordering death records in Michigan.

If you do not want to order the death record, there are other records with death information you can search.

PART B: You don't know the exact date of death

If you do not know the exact date or place of death, the fee paid to the Michigan State Department of Health includes a 1 year search. Searches for additional years are available for an additional fee.

There are no restrictions for ordering death records in Michigan.

If you do not want to order the death record, there are other records with death information you can search.

Return to top: Choose another death year




Deaths from 1921 thru 1952[edit | edit source]

The state of Michigan began recording deaths in 1867. 

STEP ONE: Find Death Information
[edit | edit source]

For deaths that exist during the time period, try the following databases. Try each link.

Michigan Deaths Databases - Includes Index Only

Choose one of the following:


1921-1952 - At FamilySearch.org Free; index of death records from the Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics in Lansing




1800-1995 - At FamilySearch.org Free; name index to death and burial records from the state of Michigan




1867-1995 - At Ancestry.com ($) free at family history centers. Index to Michigan, deaths and burials.




What's Next? Go to Step Two Part B listed below. You may be able to order the death record for your ancestor from the Michigan Department of Health.
Social Security Death Index (SSDI)
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No death record for your ancestor? Other records with death information

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate[edit | edit source]

Part A: You know the exact date of death


With an exact date of death (from your records or the index above), you can order a copy of the death record for a fee from the following locations:

To Order Death Certificates
From County of Death From MI Dept. of Health State office
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state County websites can be more difficult to use Offers a search of the state index for an additional fee May be more expensive than ordering from the county


If you do not want to order the death record, there are other records with death information you can search.

PART B: You don't know the exact date of death

If you do not know the exact date or place of death, the fee paid to the Michigan State Department of Health includes a 1 year search. Searches for additional years are available for an additional fee.

If you do not want to order the death record, there are other records with death information you can search.

Return to top: Choose another death year



Deaths from 1952 thru 1995[edit | edit source]

The state of Michigan began recording deaths in 1867.

STEP ONE: Find Death Information
[edit | edit source]

For deaths that exist during the time period, try the following databases. Try each link.

Michigan Deaths Databases - Includes Index Only

Choose one of the following:


1971-1996 - At FamilySearch.org Free; index of deaths from the Michigan Department of Vital and Health Records in Lansing
Also on Ancestry.com ($), free at family history centers.




1800-1995 - At FamilySearch.org Free; name index to death and burial records from the state of Michigan




Can't find your ancestors? Go to Step Two Part B listed below. You may be able to order the birth record for your ancestor from the Michigan Department of Health.
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No death record for your ancestor? Other records with death information

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate[edit | edit source]

Part A: You know the exact date of death


With an exact date of death (from your records or the index above), you can order a copy of the death record for a fee from the following locations:

To Order Death Certificates
From County of Death From MI Dept. of Health State office
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state County websites can be more difficult to use Offers a search of the state index for an additional fee May be more expensive than ordering from the county


If you do not want to order the death record, there are other records with death information you can search.

PART B: You don't know the exact date of death

If you do not know the exact date or place of death, the fee paid to the Michigan State Department of Health includes a 1 year search. Searches for additional years are available for an additional fee.

If you do not want to order the death record, there are other records with death information you can search.

Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths from 1995 thru the present[edit | edit source]

Part A: You know the exact date of death[edit | edit source]


With an exact date of death, you can order a copy of the death record for a fee from the following locations:

To Order Death Certificates
From County of Death From MI Dept. of Health State office
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state County websites can be more difficult to use Offers a search of the state index for an additional fee May be more expensive than ordering from the county


If you do not want to order the death record, there are other records with death information you can search.

PART B: You don't know the exact date of death

If you do not know the exact date or place of death, the fee paid to the Michigan State Department of Health includes a 1 year search. Searches for additional years are available for an additional fee.

If you do not want to order the death record, there are other records with death information you can search.

Return to top: Choose another death year


Related Wiki Articles[edit | edit source]