Death Records Search

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  • Date of Death
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  • Certificate Filing State
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  • Deceased's Date of Birth
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  • Databases Updated on December 18, 2018

Public Death Records Search Online - RecordsFinder.com A death certificate caps the phases of life that are accompanied by one thing: paperwork. For each of the 2.5 million people who pass away in the United States each year, the government documents the time, date, place and cause, capping documentation of a life that began with a birth certificate, records of immunizations, school attendance, marriage, businesses, and collection of Social Security in retirement.

Death records are comprised of many things, official and unofficial. Death certificates, obituaries and funeral home records can paint a detailed picture of a person's life if you are researching, including vital information like occupation, children's names and ages, educational background, place of birth, parents and siblings' names, and places he lived. But obituaries are unofficial, meant to memorialize a person, and are not considered unbiased information.

Death certificates are official records that can be two different things: the document that a physician signs attesting to a person's time, date, place and cause of death as well as the document that an office of vital statistics provides to authorities, family members, and others for legal purposes.

Purpose of Death Certificates

A death certificate is an official government document that notifies agencies to stop services to the deceased, including Social Security or Medicaid payments. It includes the Social Security number of the deceased for tracking purposes.

Estate executors may seek certified copies of death certificates that are issued by government authorities, usually a town or county clerk, to make legal claims such as cashing an insurance policy, initiating the probate process, or selling property that belonged to the deceased.

Government agencies such as the census bureau and Centers for Disease Control depend on the information provided on death certificates to track diseases, longevity, and other statistical information. That's why it's important for them to have an accurate cause of death on the document: to follow trends based on location, age, ethnicity, prevalence of disease and more.

Doctors aren't the only ones who may sign death certificates. In some instances, when the cause of death is certain and obvious, others with medical training like nurses or paramedics, or justices of the peace may bear official witness to a death. Even so, an autopsy may be performed to make a clear determination of the cause or contributing factors for record keeping purposes (such as alcohol use involved in a traffic accident or heat stroke in an elderly person). In the case of brain dead individuals on life support, a specialized medical professional (neurosurgeon) must establish brain death.

Death Records Statistics Infographic

Death Records Statistics
Number of deaths: 2,596,993
Death Records Statistics
Death rate: 821.5 deaths per 100,000 population
Death Records Statistics
Life expectancy: 78.8 years
Death Records Statistics
Infant Mortality rate: 5.96 deaths per 1,000 live births

Number of deaths for leading causes of death:

Death Records Statistics
Heart disease: 614,348
Death Records Statistics
Cancer: 591,699
Death Records Statistics
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 147,101
Death Records Statistics
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 136,053
Death Records Statistics
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 133,103
Death Records Statistics
Alzheimer's disease: 93,541
Death Records Statistics
Diabetes: 76,488
Death Records Statistics
Influenza and Pneumonia: 55,227
Death Records Statistics
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis: 48,146
Death Records Statistics
Intentional self-harm (suicide): 42,773

Obtaining death certificates

The availability of death certificates varies from state to state: some consider them public records while others consider them confidential and do not allow unlimited access. Many states have a "tangible interest" limitation that allows only those with a direct connection to the deceased to get records, but those individuals do not have to be related to the dead person as they may include private investigators, estate executors and others. This is done out of concern for identity theft.

Death certificates are filed in the location of the person's death, not necessarily his home state. Contact the city hall in the place of death for instructions on ordering a copy of a death certificate. If the document is not considered publicly available, you may be able to request a "review" copy that omits information like social security number, cause of death, and other details.

Historical Death Records on December 18

  • 468 Huna Mari bar Mar Zutra, rabbi, executed in Pumpedita
  • 821 Theodulf, Bishop of Orléans
  • 1133 Hildebert, French writer
  • 1290 King Magnus I of Sweden (b. 1240)
  • 1442 Pierre Cauchon, French Catholic bishop (b. 1371)
  • 1495 King Alphonso II of Naples (b. 1448)
  • 1505 John IX van Horne, prince-bishop of Lieges, executed
  • 1565 Benedetto Varchi, Italian humanist/historian (L'Ercolano), dies at 62
  • 1577 Anna, duchess of Saxon/wife of prince Willem of Orange, dies at 32
  • 1597 Barbara Blomberg, German mistress of emperor Karel, dies at 67
  • 1633 Theodoor Galle, Flemish engraver, buried at 62
  • 1638 Le Pere Joseph, French mystic, dies
  • 1651 Francisco the Melo, Portuguese/Spanish earl of Assumar, dies at 54
  • 1692 Veit Ludwig von Seckendorff, German statesman (b. 1626)
  • 1710 Peter Codde, apostile vicar (1688-1704), dies at 62
  • 1732 Johann Valentin Eckelt, composer, dies at 59
  • 1737 Antonio Stradivari, renowned violin-maker, dies in Cremona Italy at 93
  • 1751 Kilian I von Dientzenhofer, builder (Nepomukkerk, Prague), dies at 62
  • 1779 Jan Punt, engraver/illustrator/actor (Gideonschool), dies at 68
  • 1787 Soame Jenyns, English writer (b. 1704)
  • 1799 Jean-Étienne Montucla, French mathematician (b. 1725)
  • 1803 Johann G von Herder, German philosopher/theologist/poet, dies at 59
  • 1829 Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck, French nature investigator, dies at about 85
  • 1831 Willem Bilderdijk, Dutch poet/literary (My Relief), dies at 75
  • 1835 Johann Georg Anton Mederitsch-Gallus, composer, dies at 82
  • 1839 Charles-Henri Plantade, composer, dies at 75
  • 1841 Felice Blangini, composer, dies at 60
  • 1843 Thomas Graham, Lord Lynedoch, British Viceroy of India (b. 1748)
  • 1848 Bernard Bolzano, Bohemian mathematician and philosopher (b. 1781)
  • 1858 Joseph-Henri-Ignace Mees, composer, dies at 81
  • 1862 Johnson Kelly Duncan, architect/Confederate brig-generaal, dies at 35
  • 1865 Francisco Manuel da Silva, composer, dies at 70
  • 1869 Louis Moreau Gottschalk, composer, dies at 40
  • 1892 Richard Owen, English zoologist (Dinosaurus), dies at 88
  • 1897 Carlo A Alfieri, Italian Member of parliament, dies at 70
  • 1899 John William Glover, composer, dies at 84
  • 1911 Alberto Randegger, composer, dies at 79
  • 1918 Henryk Jarecki, composer, dies at 72
  • 1919 Horatio William Parker, composer, dies at 56
  • 1919 John Alcock, pilot (1st non-stop over Atlantic), dies in crash at 27
  • 1928 Lucien Capet, composer, dies at 55
  • 1931 John T "Legs" Diamond, US gangster, murdered at 35
  • 1932 Eduard "Ede" Bernstein, German marxist/revisionist, dies at 82
  • 1935 Juan V Gomez, general/dictator of Venezuela (1908-35), dies
  • 1936 Andrija Mohorovičić, Austro-Hungarian-born Yugoslav seismologist (b. 1857)
  • 1937 S S Schultz, cricketer (one Test England v Australia 1879), dies
  • 1939 Matthew Brown, Journalist, dies at 51
  • 1942 Charlie Walker, cricketer (Aust tourist to England 1930, 1938), dies
  • 1948 Janet Fay, hammered to death by Honeymoon Killers
  • 1959 Dorothy L Sayers, writer, dies at 66
  • 1963 Winifried P I Zillig, German composer/conductor (Opfer), dies at 58
  • 1966 Gene Gauntier, dies in Cuernavaca Mexico
  • 1971 Aleksandr T Tvardovski, Russ editor in chief (Novyj Mir), dies at 61
  • 1971 Bobby Jones Jr, amateur golfer (Grand Slam 1930), dies at 69
  • 1971 Diana Lynn, actress (Annapolis Story, Easy Come Easy Go), dies at 45
  • 1973 Giulio Cesare Brero, composer, dies at 64
  • 1973 Allama Rasheed Turabi, Pakistani scholar, orator and philosopher (b. 1908)
  • 1974 Harry Hooper, American baseball player (b. 1887)
  • 1975 Theodosius Dobzhansky, Ukrainian geneticist (b. 1900)
  • 1976 George Emmett, cricketer (Engld opener v Aust Old Trafford 1948), dies
  • 1977 Cyril Ritchard, actor (Peter Pan), dies at 80
  • 1977 Louis Untermeyer, poet/critic/TV panelist (What's My Line), dies at 92
  • 1980 Alexei N Kosygin, Soviet PM (1964-80), suffers heart attack at 76
  • 1981 Mehmet Shehu, PM Albania (1954-81)/"US-Russ spy", commits suicide
  • 1982 Raymond Emery, cricketer (2 Tests NZ v WI 1952, 46 runs, 2 wkts), dies
  • 1982 Tibor de Machula, Hungary/Neth cellist, dies at 70
  • 1982 Hans-Ulrich Rudel, German pilot (b. 1916)
  • 1985 Xuân Diệu, Vietnamese poet (b. 1916)
  • 1986 Mamo Clark, actor (1 Million BC, Robinson Crusoe of Clipper Island), dies
  • 1987 Conny Plank, German record producer and musician (b. 1940)
  • 1990 Anne Revere, actress (National Velvet), dies of pneumonia at 87
  • 1990 Paul Tortelier, composer, dies at 76
  • 1991 June Storey, actress (South of the Border), dies of cancer at 73
  • 1991 George Abecassis, English Formula 1 driver (b. 1913)
  • 1992 Dana Andrews, actor (Best Years of Our Lifes), dies at 83
  • 1992 Mark Goodson, TV game show producer (Goodson-Toddman), dies at 77
  • 1992 Mother Clare Hale, cared for NYC AIDS babies (Hale House), dies at 87
  • 1992 Richard H Ichord, US leader of House Un-American Act Comm, dies
  • 1993 Sam Wanamaker, actor (Pvt Benjamin), dies of prostate cancer at 74
  • 1993 Charizma, American rapper (b. 1973)
  • 1994 Heinz Bernard Lowenstein, actor/director, dies at 71
  • 1994 Lilia Skala, Austrian/US actress (Ship of Fools, Caprice), dies at 98
  • 1994 Peter Hebblethwaite, English editor-in-chief (The Month), dies at 64
  • 1994 Roger Apéry, Greek-French mathematician (b. 1916)
  • 1995 Chaim Pearl, rabbi, dies at 76
  • 1995 Georgio Fini, restaurateur, dies at 70
  • 1995 Ross Thomas, author, dies at 69
  • 1995 Konrad Zuse, German engineer and computing pioneer (b. 1910)
  • 1995 Brian Brockless, English organist (b. 1926)
  • 1996 Arthur Jacobs, musicologist, dies at 74
  • 1997 Chris Farley, comedian (SNL, Tommy Boy), dies at 33
  • 1998 Lev Demin, Soviet cosmonaut (b. 1926)
  • 1999 Robert Bresson, French film director (b. 1907)
  • 2000 Stan Fox, American race car driver (b. 1952)
  • 2000 Randolph Apperson Hearst, son of W. Randolph Hearst and father of Patty (b. 1915)
  • 2000 Kirsty MacColl, English singer and songwriter (b. 1959)
  • 2001 Gilbert Bécaud, French singer (b. 1927)
  • 2001 Dimitris Dragatakis, Greek composer (b. 1914)
  • 2002 Ray Hnatyshyn, Governor-General of Canada (b. 1934)
  • 2002 Wayne Owens, former U.S. Congressman (D-Utah) (b. 1937)
  • 2004 Anthony Sampson, British journalist and biographer (b. 1926)
  • 2005 Alan Voorhees, American engineer and urban planner (b. 1922)
  • 2006 Joseph Barbera, American cartoonist (b. 1911)
  • 2006 Ruth Bernhard, American photographer (1905)
  • 2006 Mike Dickin, British radio broadcaster (b. 1943)
  • 2006 Shaukat Siddiqui, Pakistani author, journalist and political activist (b. 1923)
  • 2007 Gerald Le Dain, Canadian Supreme Court judge (b. 1924)
  • 2007 Jack Linkletter, American television host, son of Art Linkletter (b. 1937)
  • 2007 Bill Strauss, American writer on generations, satirist, and founder of the Capitol Steps (b. 1947)
  • 2008 Majel Barrett, American actress and producer of Star Trek, also the widow of Gene Roddenberry (b. 1932)
  • 2008 Mark Felt, the infamous Deep Throat, American FBI official and whistle blower during the Watergate Scandal (b. 1932)

Death Records Search

  • Date of Death
  • Place of Death
  • Death Cause
  • Certificate Filing State
  • Certificate Filing County
  • Certificate Filing City
  • Deceased's Address
  • Deceased's Date of Birth
  • Deceased's Place of Birth
  • Deceased's Father Name
  • Deceased's Mother Name
  • Deceased's Sibling Names
  • Deceased's Household Size
  • Deceased's Relative Names
  • Deceased's Family History
  • Date of Death
  • Place of Death
  • Death Cause
  • Certificate Filing State
  • Certificate Filing County
  • Certificate Filing City
  • Deceased's Address
  • Deceased's Date of Birth
  • Deceased's Place of Birth
  • Deceased's Father Name
  • Deceased's Mother Name
  • Deceased's Sibling Names
  • Deceased's Household Size
  • Deceased's Relative Names
  • Deceased's Family History