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Genealogy Resources

Death Records

Death Certificates: Issued by a county or a statewide department of public health, the information contained on the death certificate will vary from place to place.  The original purpose was for officials to determine the cause of death. The information may include the place of death, full name, date of death, cause of death, signature of medical official, undertaker, and name of cemetery, date of burial, and the date recorded. Some certificates may include additional information such as a female's maiden name, birth date, birthplace, the parent's names and possibly even the parents' birthplaces, along with the name of the informant.

Things to look for in death documents include: date of birth, name and relationship of the informant, place of birth or death, church or minister who performed the funeral, cause of death, employment or career, military service, civic organizations, and other family members. These items of information all give hints for further research.

See also: Obituaries, Court Records, Vital Records

  • Alabama Deaths, 1908-1974 -Name index to death certificates from the state of Alabama. FamilySearch.

  • Alabama Deaths and Burials, 1881-1952- Name index to death and burial records from the state of Alabama. FamilySearch.

  • America's Obituaries & Death Notices. The largest and most comprehensive collection of newspaper obituaries and death notices. Searchable nationwide or by state; must be accessed through a public library onsite or online, depending on your library.  From Newbank.
  • Ancestors at Rest. Find your ancestors in death records. Search free death records such as coffin plates, death cards, funeral cards, wills, church records, family bibles, cenotaphs and tombstone inscriptions on AncestorsAtRest.com.  Find links to other death records like cemeteries, vital stats, and obituaries.
     
  • Antiquus Morbus - The Genealogist's Resource for Interpreting Causes of Death. A glossary of archaic medical terms, diseases and causes of death in twenty-two different languages.

  • Arizona Death and Burials, 1910-1911; 1933-1994 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Arizona. FamilySearch.

  • Arizona Deaths, 1870-1951 – Imaged Records -Published images and index of Arizona death certificates. The certificates are arranged in chronological order within each county. FamilySearch.
     
  • Arizona Genealogy Birth and Death Certificates. (1887-1955) Arizona Department of Health Services.

  • Arkansas Deaths and Burials, 1882-1929; 1945-1963 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Arkansas. FamilySearch.
     
  • California Death Records. (1940-1997)

  • California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1835-1931 – Imaged Records -This project was indexed in partnership with the California Genealogical Society and Library. Name index and images of funeral home records from the Halsted N. Gray – Carew & English Mortuary Collection, located at the San Francisco Public Library. Images for all years in collection can be browsed, but name index currently covers only years 1896-1931. Collection includes a number of different funeral homes acquired over time by the Halsted N. Gray – Carew & English Mortuary company, most from the San Francisco area, but also including some from Burlingame, Stockton, and Sacramento. The collection includes funeral register books, burial registers, account books, case books, etc. Indexes appear at the beginning of some volumes. FamilySearch.
     
  • Cleveland Necrology File. This database was produced from a microfilmed copy of an alphabetical card file containing local cemetery records and newspaper death notices gathered by the staff of the Cleveland Public Library. A small collection of records from the Cleveland Bureau of Vital Statistics and some indexed items from the Annals of Cleveland were also part of the original card file and are also included in the database. The newspaper source material consists of paid notices which were published in the following newspapers: Cleveland Plain Dealer, 1850-1975, the Cleveland Herald, 1833, 1847-1848, 1876, 1878-1879 and the Cleveland Press, August 16, 1941 - 1975.

  • Connecticut Deaths and Burials, 1772-1934 - Name index to death and burial records from the state of Connecticut. FamilySearch.
     
  • Death Indexes and Records. Directory of online death indexes arranged by state and county. Includes death records, death certificate indexes, death notices, obituaries, probate indexes, and cemetery records.

  • Death-Record. Death-Record.com contains over 89 million deaths that have been announced to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Each detailed page of the deceased person contains personal information including social security number, date of birth, date of death, and country of residence. The SSA does not have files for all deceased persons, so if an individual is missing from Death-Record.com, this does not mean that person is still living. One of the main purposes of this SSA death records file is to verify deaths, thereby inhibiting fraud. The USA PATRIOT Act demands the verification of customers and the maintenance of records used to confirm customer identity. For instance, pension fund managers, insurers, the government, or anyone accountable for sending payments, needs to know if the recipients of the money are still alive.
     
  • Death Records - RootsWeb.com database.

  • Delaware Death Records, 1855-1955 – Imaged Records – Name index and images of Delaware statewide death records. Family Search.

  • Delaware Death and Burials, 1815-1955 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Delaware. FamilySearch.

  • District of Columbia Death and Burials, 1840-1964 – Name index to death and burial records from the District of Columbia. FamilySearch.

  • District of Columbia Deaths 1874-1959 - Name index and images of death records from the District of Columbia. FamilySearch.

  • FamilySearchLabs. Digital copies of Philadelphia (PA) death certificates from 1803-1915.
     
  • Find A Grave. More than eight million grave sites, including some photographs contributed by users.

  • Florida Death and Burials, 1900-1921 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Florida. FamilySearch.

  • Florida Deaths, 1877-1939 – Name index of Florida death records created by Florida Department of Health and Vital Statistics in Jacksonville, Florida. FamilySearch.
     
  • Gehring, Jake. "Social Security Death Index, Guide for Research." Genealogical Journal 24, 2 (1996)

  • Georgia Deaths, 1914-1927 – Imaged Records – Name index and images of Georgia statewide deaths. FamilySearch.

  • Georgia Deaths, 1928-1930 – Imaged Records – Name Index and images of Georgia statewide deaths. Original records are arranged chronologically by year and then by certificate numbers. FamilySearch.

  • Hawaii Deaths and Burials, 1862-1919 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Hawaii. FamilySearch.
     
  • Homicide in Chicago 1870-1930. Chronicling 11,000  homicides in the city during those years.

  • Idaho Death Certificates, 1911-1937 – The certificates are arranged numerically by file number, with a rough chronological arrangement by death date, i.e. month and year. FamilySearch.
     
  • Idaho Deaths and Burials, 1907-1965 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Idaho. FamilySearch.

  • Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1922 - Imaged Records – Name index and images of deaths recorded at Cook County, Illinois – including the City of Chicago. Deaths for Cook County (excluding the City of Chicago) are missing for the years 1910-1915. FamilySearch.

  • Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947 – Name index of deaths and stillbirths in Illinois, 1916-1947. Includes records for Cook County and Chicago. FamilySearch.

  • Illinois, Diocese of Belleville, Catholic Parish Records, 1729-1956 – Imaged Records currently Browsable by Parish – unindexed – Records are found for the following 26 counties: Alexander, Clay, Clinton, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Lawrence, Marion, Massac, Monroe, Perry, Pulaski, Randolph, Richland, Saline, St. Clair, Union, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, White, and Williamson. Images of parish registers recording the events of baptism, first communion, confirmation (to 1907), marriage (to 1930) or death (to 1956) in the Diocese of Belleville (Illinois), Roman Catholic Church. FamilySearch.

  • Illinois Probate Records 1819-1970 – Browsable Imaged Records – Images of will books, administrations, journals, inventories, guardian’s records, and order books from various counties in Illinois. The content and time period will vary by county. Illinois created probate courts in 1819. FamilySearch.
     
  • Illinois Statewide Death Index, 1916 to 1950. From the Department of Public Health.
     
  • Illinois Statewide Death Index, Pre-1916. In progress.

  • Iowa Death and Burials, 1850-1990 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Iowa. FamilySearch.

  • Kansas Deaths and Burials, 1885-1930 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Kansas. FamilySearch.
     
  • Kentucky Death Index For 1911-1986.
     
  • Kentucky Death Index for 1987-1992.
     
  • KnowX Death Records - Search over 75 million Death Records from the Social Security Administration's Death Master File dating back to 1937. Charge involved for copy of record.
     
  • Legacy.com  Search obituaries and Guest Books from Legacy.com-affiliated newspapers as well as records from the Social Security Death Index.

  • Louisiana Deaths, 1850-1875; 1874-1954 – Name index to statewide deaths. Coverage: missing years between 1875-1893; has only a few entries for 1894-1904. One part of these death records includes death records for only Jefferson Parish, 1850-1875 and 1905-1921. The statewide records for all parishes cover 1911-1954. FamilySearch.

  • Louisiana, Orleans Parish Estate Files, 1804-1846 – Name index and images of probate estate files. Each estate file consists of multiple images. The event date is the probate date. FamilySearch.

  • Maine Deaths and Burials, 1841-1910 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Maine. FamilySearch.

  • Maryland Deaths and Burials, 1877-1992 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Maryland. FamilySearch.

  • Maryland Register of Wills Books, 1792-1983 – Imaged Records – Browsable Digital images (currently unindexed) from court records at the Register of Wills in Maryland. Includes the following counties: Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Prince George’s, and Queen Anne’s. FamilySearch.
  • Maryland, Probate Estate & Guardianship Files 1796-1940 – Name index and images of probate estate files from the Register of Wills office in the county courthouse. Currently, the following counties are represented in this collection: Caroline (1838-1940), Cecil (1851-1940), Prince George’s (1796-1940), and Queen Anne’s (1833-1940), and portions of Calvert (1882-1940). FamilySearch.

  • Massachusetts Deaths and Burials, 1795-1910 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Massachusetts – 1,563,610 Records as of 16 Dec 2010. FamilySearch.
     
  • Massachusetts Deaths, 1841-1915 – Imaged Records – Name index and images of Massachusetts statewide death registers and certificates. When deaths were recorded on register forms, the second page of the form is on the next image. The death registers and certificates are in numbered volumes arranged by year then by individual town. FamilySearch.

  • Michigan Deaths and Burials, 1800-1995 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Michigan. FamilySearch.
     
  • Michigan Deaths, 1867-1897 – Imaged Records – Name index and images of Michigan statewide death registration entries. FamilySearch.
     
  • Michigan Genealogical Death Indexing System. The current system contains information on 170,000 Michigan death records from 1867-1884. Additional records for 1883 and 1884 have been newly added to the system during the week of June 18, 2001.  GENDIS is updated regularly and reflects the most current efforts of the genealogists and data entry staff.
     
  • Minnesota Death Certificate Index. Currently, this database indexes the death cards from 1905 to 1907 and the death certificates from 1908 to 2001.

  • Minnesota Deaths and Burials, 1835-1990 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Minnesota. FamilySearch.

  • Minnesota Death Records, 1866-1916 - Name index of municipal death records in St. Paul (Ramsey County) and Minneapolis (Hennepin County), Minnesota. The collection includes death registers, mortuary records, and death certificates. FamilySearch.
     
  • Missouri Death Certificates, 1910-1956. The index is complete for 1910-1956, but the digitized death certificates only include 1910-1920 and 1950-1956 (as of 4/2007).

  • Missouri Deaths and Burials, 1867-1976 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Missouri. FamilySearch.

  • Montana, Rosebud County Records – Browsable Images – Land records, vital records, voter lists and probate case files located at Rosebud County courthouse, Forsyth, Montana. FamilySearch.

  • MortalitySchedules.com. In 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 census enumerators were directed to secure in addition to the usually required census data, information as to all persons dying within the 12 months preceding the census taking.  These lists became known as the "Mortality Schedules".  This site will enable you to search these schedules.

  • New Hampshire Death Records, 1654-1947 – Imaged Records – Name index and images of New Hampshire death records. Records consist of index cards that give the name of the deceased, date and place of death, plus often much more information, such as age, place of birth and names of parents. With the town and date of death, the original records can usually be located. FamilySearch.

  • New Hampshire Deaths and Burials, 1784-1949 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of New Hampshire. FamilySearch.

  • New Jersey Deaths and Burials, 1720-1988 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of New Jersey. FamilySearch.
     
  • New Mexico Death Index Project (1899-1940)

  • New Mexico Deaths and Burials, 1788-1798; 1838-1955 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of New Mexico. FamilySearch.

  • New Mexico Deaths, 1889-1945 – Name index of death certificates and records of death. FamilySearch.
     
  • New York Deaths and Burials, 1795-1952 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of New York. FamilySearch.

  • New York Kings County Estate Files 1866-1923 – Brief indexes of estate files. The files may include lists of heirs, oaths of executors, reports of witnesses, forms about guardians, etc. FamilySearch.

  • North Carolina Deaths and Burials, 1898-1994 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of North Carolina. FamilySearch.
     
  • North Carolina Deaths,1906-1930 – Imaged Records – Name index and images of death certificates recorded in North Carolina. FamilySearch.

  • North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994 – Name index to deaths recorded in North Carolina. FamilySearch.

  • North Carolina Davidson County Deaths 1914-1984 - Browsable Images, by year, currently unindexed. Family Search.
     
  • North Dakota Death Index. The index supplies the individual's full name, date of birth (if known), date of death, county of residence and county of death. It supplements the Publication, North Dakota Necrology, 1920-1926, and the obituary and death notices found in the newspaper abstract file in the State Archives and Historical Research Library (SAHRL) at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck. The time period covered in the death index is January 1, 1881 through October 31, 2005, with monthly updates. The site is maintained by the ND Department of Health's Division of Vital Statistics. Many early deaths were not recorded, and there are very few deaths listed in the index prior to 1900.
     
  • The Officer Down Memorial Page. Since 1791, over 17,000 American law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty. Each of these stories has been told at this site.
     
  • Online Birth & Marriage Records Indexes for the USA:  a genealogy guide for finding vital records.  
     
  • Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records. From Joe Beine. This website is a directory of online death indexes listed by state and county. Included are death records, death certificate indexes, death notices & registers, obituaries, probate indexes, and cemetery & burial records. Also included is information about searching the Social Security Death Index online.
     
  • Ohio Death Certificate Index, 1913-1944. This database indexes Death Certificates of persons that died in Ohio in the above years, useful for determining date of death and certificate number.

  • Ohio Deaths and Burials, 1854-1997 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Ohio. FamilySearch.

    Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953 – Imaged Records – Name index and images of Ohio statewide death certificates. FamilySearch.

    Ohio, Diocese of Toledo, Catholic Parish Records, 1796-2004 -Browsable Imaged Records, Currently unindexed – Death Records are included. Images of parish registers recording the events of baptism, first communion, confirmation, marriage, and death in the Diocese of Toledo (Ohio), Roman Catholic Church. In addition to traditional parish registers, this collection includes miscellaneous cemetery records, Books of the Elect, Professions of Faith, Sick Call registers, etc. The following counties are found in the database: Allen, Crawford. Defiance. Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Huron, Lucas, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Van Wert, Williams, Wood, and Wyandot. FamilySearch.

  • Ohio - Meigs County Deaths. This collection of Meigs County death records was extracted from microfilm of the original public records (LDS film #313469) by Sharon Bickle Rickerson and Merry Anne Pierson, and appears here by their gracious permission. It contains approximately 970 deaths from the years 1866-1908.
     
  • Ohio - Meigs County Death Index. This index of Meigs County death certificates was extracted from the online index at the Ohio Historical Society. The index is an ongoing project of the Ohio Vital Information for Libraries Center (OVIL), and this extract is published here with their kind permission. This extract includes approximately 8100 deaths from the years 1913-1937.
     
  • Online Searchable Death Indexes. Organized by state, it is one of the best places to find links to a wide variety of online indexes for deaths, obituaries, burials, probate records, wills, and other death related records on the Internet.

  • Oregon Deaths and Burials, 1903-1947 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Oregon. FamilySearch.

  • Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915 - Imaged Records – This collection has several types of records: 1) Death certificate, 2) Return of Death with a hospital certificate, physician’s certificate, and an undertaker’s certificate, and 3) Transit Permit with the permit to move a body and an undertaker’s certificate concerning the move. The records give the name of the deceased plus the date and place of death and/or burial. The records may also give the date and place of birth, names of parents and spouse, cause of death, and other information. FamilySearch.

  • Public Records Finder. Source for free public records.
     
  • The Public Records Online Directory is a Portal to official state web sites, and those Tax Assessors' and Recorders' offices that have developed web sites for the retrieval of available public records over the internet. For example, some Recorders' offices have marriage and birth records available online. Although not every county and parish has data online, many have home pages, and where neither is available a phone number has been provided.
     
  • Rhode Island Deaths and Burials, 1802-1950 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Rhode Island. FamilySearch.
     
  • RootWeb's Guide to Tracing Family Trees - Lesson 4: Vital Records: Death, Tombstones and Cemeteries.
     
  • Social Security Death Index (FamilySearch) Can search by year ranges and for name variations.
     
  • Social Security Death Index. (Family Tree Legends)
     
  • Social Security Death Index (NewEnglandAncestors.org)
     
  • Social Security Death Index. (Rootsweb) Can search by last benefit, by exact spelling, Soundex or Metaphone, with wildcards, most current data.
     
  • Social Security Death Index (Steve Morse). Searches all four SSDI databases listed above.

  • South Carolina Deaths, 1915-1943 – Imaged Records – Name index and images of South Carolina death records. Original records created by South Carolina Department of Health. Records are arranged by year and alphabetically by locality. Records from 1915-1943 were acquired from South Carolina Department of Archives and History. FamilySearch.
     
  • South Carolina Deaths, 1944-1955 – Name index of South Carolina death records created by South Carolina Department of Health. FamilySearch.

  • Tennessee Deaths and Burials, 1874-1955 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Tennessee. FamilySearch.

  • Tennessee Death Records, 1914-1955 – Imaged Records – Name index and images of Tennessee death certificates. Statewide death registration began in 1914. FamilySearch.
     
  • Texas Death Records. As of March 2000, Birth Indexes from 1926-1995 and Death Indexes from 1964-1998 are available.
     
  • Texas Death Index, 1964-1998 – Name index to Texas statewide death certificates. FamilySearch.
     
  • Texas Death and Burials, 1903-1973 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Texas. FamilySearch.
     
  • Texas Deaths, 1890-1976 – Imaged Records – Name index and images of Texas statewide death certificates, 1890-1976. The name index was created by FamilySearch, and is tied to images of the Texas death certificates. Few certificates are available prior to 1903.
     
  • Unclaimed Persons. The purpose of this site is to provide information to the public regarding a deceased loved one for whom next of kin has never been located.

  • United States Death and Burials, 1867-1961 – A name index to small sets of death and burial records from a few states. FamilySearch.

  • Utah Death Certificates, 1904-1956 – Imaged Records – Name index and images of Utah statewide death certificates. FamilySearch.

  • Utah Deaths and Burials, 1888-1946 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Utah. FamilySearch.

  • Utah, Salt Lake County Deaths Records, 1908-1949 – Imaged Records – This project was indexed in partnership with the Utah Genealogical Association. Name index and images for Salt Lake County death records from 1908-1949. The volumes are arranged chronologically. The entries are arranged numerically. Deaths from 1908-1949 were recorded on certificates . They are arranged numerically by registered number then by date of death (i.e. month & year). Some records in this collection may be for deaths occurring before 1908 where the remains were re-interred between 1908 and 1949. FamilySearch.

  • Vermont Deaths and Burials, 1871-1965 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Vermont. FamilySearch.

  • Vermont Vital Records, 1760-1954 - Imaged Records – Name index and images (index cards) of town clerk transcriptions of births, marriages and deaths, 1760-1954. This collection is complete for years 1871-1908. FamilySearch.
     
  • Virginia Death Records Index. A fully-searchable index to Virginia city and county death registers compiled 1853-1896. This is an on-going project sponsored by the Virginia Genealogical Society. Fifteen cities and counties have been indexed to date.

  • Virginia Death and Burials, 1853-1912 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Virginia Deaths. FamilySearch.

  • Virginia, Fluvanna County – Colbert Funeral Home Records, 1829-1976 - Browsable Imaged Records – The funeral home was located in Bremo Bluff and served residents of Fluvanna County and surrounding counties. Each volume is indexed except for the one covering 1973-1976. FamilySearch.
     
  • Washington Death Certificates, 1907-1960 – Name index of Washington statewide death certificates. FamilySearch.
     
  • West Virginia Counties. Images of original birth, death, and marriage records from six counties, as well as most statewide death certificates from 1917-54.

  • West Virginia Deaths and Burials, 1854-1932 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of West Virginia. FamilySearch.

  • West Virginia Deaths, 1853-1970 – Imaged Records – Name index of West Virginia statewide and county death records. The statewide death index covers years 1917-1956 and includes all 55 West Virginia counties. The county deaths index covers years 1853-1970. Data is searchable for all state and county records. However, records within each county may not be available for the full year range. FamilySearch.
     
  • Where to Find Birth, Death, Marriage and Divorce Records. By William Dollarhide in Genealogy Bulletin.
  • Wisconsin Deaths and Burials, 1835-1968 – Name index to death and burial records from the state of Wisconsin. FamilySearch.
     
  • Wisconsin Probate Estate Files, 1848-1933 – Images of probate estate case files from various counties in Wisconsin. This collection includes Green County (1848-1885), Pepin County (1900-1935), Shawano County (1861-1933) and Trempealeau County (1900-1920). From Wisconsin State Historical Society & FHL digital images. FamilySearch.
     
  • Wisconsin Necrology.  The "Wisconsin Necrology" at the Wisconsin Historical Society is a collection of several thousand selected obituaries of Wisconsin citizens (1890-1945).