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Death Records << Vital Records <<

| Go to the Death Records Introduction |

Death Records Guide

Vital Records-
Death Records
What's In Them Where to Find Them How to Use Them***

Almost always include:

  • Name
  • date of Death
  • place of Death


  • May also include:
  • age at death
  • date and/or place of birth
  • cause of death (although some states now black this information out)
  • details about the length of illness
  • exact time of death
  • occupation and/or name of employer
  • residence of the deceased
  • whether single, married, widowed or divorced
  • date and/or place of burial
  • name (and possibly address) of undertaker
  • signature of attending physician
  • name (and sometimes address) of informant, frequently a surviving spouse, child or other close relative
  • maiden name of deceased woman
  • names of parents
  • name of surviving spouse
  • exact time of death
  • how long in this country or location
  • http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/
    howto/w2w/w2welcom.htm

    or
    http://www.family
    search.org/sg/

    If approximately 1900 or later:
    the State Department of Health Services or Office of Vital Records as found in
    http://www.vitalrec.com
    or
    http://www.vitalchek.com

    If prior to 1900:
    http://www.vitalrec.com
    or
    http://www.vitalchek.com
    (for those states that began registration earlier than most or to find contact information for local agencies)
    OR
    State or county resources such as:
    http://resources.rootsweb
    .com/cgi-bin/townco.cgi

    or
    http://familysearch.org/
    Search/searchcatalog.asp

    or
    http://ancestry.com/search/ locality/main.htm
    OR
    State or local libraries or societies and/or compiled records for that locality as found in our Resource Guide.

    In addition to solving the mystery of what happened to your ancestor, information on death records can help you:

  • find a birth date and/or place to research
  • find a maiden name for a woman
  • find parents' names to research
  • identify the names of children, spouses, or other relatives to trace
  • find cemetery or church records for the burial
  • find an obituary or death notice
  • find a newspaper account of a cause of death listed as "an accident" or "killed"
  • find an approximate year of immigration or arrival in this locality
  • develop a medical family history for your family
  • determine which children belong to which mother in the case of multiple marriages
  • find an address to seek in deeds or city directories, locate on maps, or narrow your search in an unindexed census
  • identify employer records to pursue
  • *** Please share your suggestions for other uses of information found in family records here

    For more information on these important records, be sure to catch the Vital Records episode of Ancestors on your local PBS station.

     
     
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    Vital Records

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