Searching for Death Information

Tips on finding out where and when your ancestor died


There are several places where death information for your ancestor may have been recorded.

  • Death Certificate or Record
    The government may have recorded the death information for your ancestor on a death certificate or a death record.
    More recent death certificates are kept private in many states and copies are available for a fee. To obtain a copy of death certificates that aren't available online, you will want contact the state government agency where the records are held for a copy which is usually the state health department.
    We include death records in our online directory to help you to locate them. You can select and state and/or county of interest and find out what records are available online.

  • Newspaper Death Notice or Obituary
    Often someone's death was recorded in the local newspaper. If your ancestor lived in a small town without a newspaper, it may have been recorded in a newspaper in a larger city in the same area.
    You may also be obtain a copy of an obituary of death notice from the local public library in the area where your ancestor died.
    We include newspapers and obituaries in our online directory to help you to locate them.

  • Tombstone in a Cemetery
    There be a tombstone that marks the place of your ancestor's burial that may give a death date.
    We include cemetery records in our online directory..

  • Cemetery Burial Records
    The cemetery where your ancestor was buried may have recorded the death information for your ancestor. Few burial records are found online but may be found by contacting the cemetery if the cemetery is still active and functioning.

  • Probate Records
    A probate record for your ancestor may list their date of death. Probate records were kept by the local probate court and were responsible for distributing assets after an individual's death.
    We include probate records in our online directory.

  • Military Records
    If your ancestor served in a war, it's possible that military records such as pensions will list their death information.
    We include military records in our online directory.





Need help finding more records? Try our genealogical records directory which has more than 850,000 sources to help you more easily locate the available records.

Have an ancestor you are having difficulty finding? Learn from examples of breaking down break walls in our brick wall ancestor series or request that your ancestor be included.



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