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Death Records Search for Beginners

Knowing how to find a death record is a critical skill for many professionals. Lawyers, insurance personnel, health care workers, newspaper reporters and funeral directors all perform work that requires them to verify key information about an individual's death.

Pricing and Costs of Death Records Search

People delve into the past to find a death record for many reasons. Many want to reconstruct their family tree and public death records are a great way to get started.

Free Death Record Search

Due to variances in the way the death index was created, some records may have incomplete (partial) Date of Death information. If you are trying to search by  ...

Vital Records | BMD | Birth, Marriage & Death at Ancestry.com - Search

In a few of the vital records collections on Ancestry, you will find the indexes that link to images of actual records. In other cases, there are indexes that contain ...

Death Records | Burial, Cemetery & Obituaries at Ancestry ... - Search

In a few of the death records collections on Ancestry, you will find the indexes that link to images of actual birth records. In other cases, there are indexes that ...

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Social Security Death Index SSDI Records Search - GenealogyBank

Search our U.S. Social Security Death Index online database to discover family SS death records at GenealogyBank. Explore over 90 million SSDI listings for ...

United States Death Records | Learn | FamilySearch.org

FamilySearch Record Search contains abstacts of indexed death records for many states. This collection continues to grow as more records are indexed.

Vital Records - Birth Certificates, Death Records, Marriage Licenses ...

Information about where to obtain vital records such as birth certificates, death records and marriage records from each state, ... Search Government Records.

West Virginia Vital Research Records - Death Records Search

Due to concerns about county death records which are less than 50 years old having social security numbers available for viewing online, we have blocked ...

Death Records - Free Genealogy Database

Listings 1 - 20 of 115926470 ... Death records from around the world. Find over 100 million current and historic deaths. Research your ... Refine Your Search. Reset.

Vital Records - National Archives and Records Administration

Vital records most commonly refer to records such as birth and death ... This site helps you search for ancestors' graves, memorials, monuments, burial records, ...

Missouri Death Certificate Database - Missouri Digital Heritage ...

[ Search ]. Search Death Certificate Database. At the Missouri State Archives, it's our ... The Missouri Death Certificate Database, containing death records created  ...

Death Records Search


Similar to background checks, public death records are easily accessible by anyone. A death certificate records data such as person's full legal name, date of death, location where death occurred, and the cause of death. This information can be helpful to family members or anyone needing to confirm an individual's death.

In order to perform a death certificate search, the more information you have about the decedent, the easier your search will be. You may be tempted to conduct a background check in order to find this information. However, you should be able to find a record of death by knowing as little as a person's last name. Death certificates can serve one or more purposes:

1. Cause of death is listed and can be used to determine if any foul play was involved or if the decedent died of natural causes.

2. An official record of death is needed before cremation or burial can be conducted.

3. If a person is missing for a certain number of years, or after a natural catastrophe or large accident, a death certificate can be issued in order for the survivor to receive benefits.  

Start your search with the social security death record

People are assigned social security numbers early in their lives and use them throughout their lives for credit applications, employment, and to file taxes. Searching the social security death record database is not often a place where people start their search for a record of death.

It's all about location: search death certificates by state

Knowing the state where a person died can aid you in your ability to search death certificates since that is where death records are issued.

Get the proof you need with official death records

Banks and insurance companies require official death certificates before releasing money to beneficiaries. The documents need to have the official stamp and seal of the issuing agency. Copies are not acceptable so you need to be able to obtain an original document.
National Center for Health Statistics.

Utilize free death records searchable sites

Free is always a price that fits any budget. If you only need to do a search and do not require an official death record certificate, you have a few options available. First and last name are always helpful, as is knowing the state where the death took place, but if you have burial information from a resource such as a coffin plate or actual tombstone, use historical societies in the community to help you get started.
  • Libraries are great resources to find death notices, since they keep copies of newspapers on microfiche or scanned into a searchable database.