United States, How to Find Death Records

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Information you might find in a death record:[edit | edit source]

  • Full name (sometimes maiden)
  • Spouse's name
  • Date of death
  • Place of death
  • Birth date or age at death  
  • Birthplace  
  • Parents' name & birthplace  
  • Marital status  
  • Surviving relatives  
  • Cause of death  
  • Residence & how long there  
  • Occupation
  • Date & place of burial
  • Military service (dates served & unit is sometimes listed)
  • Name of funeral home
  • Disposition of remains
  • Name, address, relationship of informant   

Where to find a death related record:[edit | edit source]

1.  Death record   

This will have the information on where you can obtain a death record or certificate and what years will be covered.  Sometimes counties have certificates available less expensively and for earlier years.

2.  Obituary   Go to  FamilySearch Research Wiki article on finding obituaries

3.  Social Security Death Index (SSDI)  Go to Wiki article about the Social Security Death Index

4.  Cemetery Records  If you know where the person died, cemetery records can be very useful.

  • Another possibility is to go to FamilySearch Hover mouse over the Library tab, Click on Library Catalog.  Click on Place Search, type in the country, state, county or city name, Click on Search.  Click on the appropriate place name, Click on Cemeteries.

5.  Church Records  Go to FamilySearch Research Wiki, Follow the same steps as for Cemetery Records, but select Church Records instead of Cemetery.

6.  Pension Records  Go to the Wiki article on finding Pension Records.

7.  Mortality Schedules  If you suspect that your ancestor may have died in the year before a U.S. census was taken, you might want to check the mortality schedule.  For information about the schedules and accessibility, go to the Wiki article on mortality schedules.

8.  Coroner's Records can be useful, especially in large cities.  You can contact the coroner's office in the city or County of research to find where the records are kept and how to access them.  Wiki and the FamilySearch Catalog can also be helpful in finding what records are available on microfilm.  Do a place name search, then look for coroner's records.

9.  An index to searchable death records may be found at Online Searchable Death Indexes & Records,
A Genealogy Guide

10.  Funeral Homes  In an obituary, the funeral home that performed the service is often mentioned. The informant would often give valuable data and history to the director.  Even though the funeral home may no longer exist, the records most often transferred to the new owner.  Check directories for the location of the funeral home, and note when it might have been sold by its' non-existance in the following year. Old directories can be found at the city main library, and often are on-line.

11.  Estate Records  The records, which are wills, administration, guardianship and other records, were made in courts that determined who was to receive the deceased persons' property. They often note the death date.

http://deathindexes.com/ is a general Web site with links to each state that will help in your search for death related records.