Death Records Search

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  • Databases Updated on July 16, 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 July 16

  • 276 Mark Annius Florianus, emperor of Rome (276), murdered
  • 599 Monulphus, bishop of Tongeren-Maastricht (St Servaaskerk), dies
  • 1099 El Cid, [Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar], Span general strategist, dies at 59
  • 1139 Walram II, duke of Limburg/Neth-Lutherans, dies
  • 1216 Innocent III, [Lotario di Segni], Italian Pope (1198-1216), dies
  • 1324 Emperor Go-Uda of Japan (b. 1267)
  • 1342 King Charles I of Hungary
  • 1482 John van Schaffelaar, Gelders knight, dies
  • 1546 Anne Askew, English Protestant (burned at the stake) (b. 1521)
  • 1557 Anne of Cleeves, queen of England/4th wife of Henry VIII, dies at 41
  • 1590 Bartholomaeus a Martyribus, [Fernandez], pontiff of Portugal, dies
  • 1594 Thomas Kyd, author of The Spanish Tragedy (b. 1558)
  • 1647 Massaniello, [Tommaso Aniello], Napolitan rebel, murdered
  • 1647 Masaniello, Neapolitan rebel (b. 1622)
  • 1664 A Gryphius, writer, dies at 47
  • 1686 John Pearson, English theologian (b. 1612)
  • 1691 Francois-Michel Le Tellier, marquis de Louvois, statesman, dies
  • 1698 Cristoph Kaldenbach, composer, dies at 84
  • 1729 Johann David Heinichen, composer, dies at 46
  • 1730 Elijiah Fenton, poet, dies
  • 1736 Thomas Yalden, poet/fable writer, dies
  • 1747 Giuseppe Maria Crespi, painter/etcher, dies
  • 1762 Jacques Hotteterre, composer, dies at 87
  • 1764 Ivan VI, Emperor of Russia (1740-41), murdered at 23
  • 1770 Francis Cotes, English painter (b. 1726)
  • 1782 Louise Ulrike, queen of Sweden/wife of Adolf Frederik, dies at 61
  • 1796 George Howard, British field marshal (b. 1718)
  • 1827 Josiah Spode, potter, dies
  • 1831 Louis Alexandre Andrault de Langeron, Russian general (b. 1763)
  • 1843 Hubert MAJ van Asch van Wijck, politician, dies at 68
  • 1857 Pierre-Jean de Baranger, poet, dies
  • 1864 Victor JB Girardey, Confederate brig-general, dies in battle at 27
  • 1868 Louis-Francois Dauprat, composer, dies at 87
  • 1871 Tad Lincoln, son of U.S. president Abraham Lincoln
  • 1879 Edward Deas Thomson, Australian politician (b. 1800)
  • 1882 Mary Todd Lincoln, First Lady of the United States (b. 1818)
  • 1886 Ned Buntline, [Edward Zane Carroll Judson], author, dies
  • 1887 Nicaise de Keyser, Flemish painter (Battle at Woeringen), dies at 73
  • 1889 Michele Amari, Italian historian/minister of Education, dies at 83
  • 1890 Gottfried Keller, novelist/poet, dies
  • 1896 Edmond-Louis-Antoine Huot de Goncourt, novelist, dies at 74
  • 1896 William Hamilton Gibson, illustrator/author/novelist, dies
  • 1897 Levin Goldschmidt, German business law expert, dies
  • 1915 Ellen White, American co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (b. 1827)
  • 1916 Ilja [Elias] Metsjnikov, Russ bacteriologist (Nobel 1908), dies
  • 1916 Ludwig P Scharwenka, German composer (Album Polonaise), dies at 70
  • 1916 Victor Alexander Haden Horsley, physician, dies
  • 1916 Ilya Mechnikov, Russian microbiologist, Nobel laureate (b. 1845)
  • 1917 Ludwig Philipp Scharwenka, Ger composer (Album Polonaise), dies at 70
  • 1923 Louis M A Couperus, poet/writer (Books of Small Soles), dies at 60
  • 1931 Charles Studd, cricketer (5 Tests for England 1882-83), dies
  • 1939 Beatrice Erskine Lane Suzuki, Zen student, dies
  • 1944 John Post, Dutch farmer/resistance fighter (passage fight), executed
  • 1949 Vyacheslav Ivanov, Russian poet (b. 1866)
  • 1953 Joseph Hilaire Pierre Belloc, author (Path to Rome), dies at 82
  • 1955 Jean de Merode, [Marie-Louise Courtenay], Belgian princess, dies at 81
  • 1960 Albrecht von Kesselring, German fieldmarshal (Italy), dies at 74
  • 1960 John Phillips Marquand, novelist, dies at 66
  • 1961 [Louise] Sophie M E de Vries, actress (English Prof), dies at 88
  • 1962 Jan M Romein, historian (Breaking of Two Ages), dies
  • 1971 H T Tsiang, dies at 65
  • 1972 Giorgio Nataletti, composer, dies at 65
  • 1972 Max Zehnder, composer, dies at 70
  • 1973 Trijntje "Nine" van de Schaaf, author (Fries dorpsleven), dies at 91
  • 1976 Carmelo Soria, Spanish diplomat assassinated in 1976 by the Chilean DINA
  • 1979 James F Mcintyre, archbishop of Los Angeles, dies at 93
  • 1979 Alfred Deller, English countertenor (b. 1912)
  • 1981 Harry Chapin, folk vocalist (Taxi), dies in car crash at 38
  • 1982 Leendert Braat, sculptor/writer (White World), dies
  • 1982 Patrick Dewaere, actor (Catherine & Co), shoots self at 35
  • 1984 Billy Williams, singer (Your Show of Shows), dies at 73
  • 1985 Wayne King, orch leader (Wayne King Show), dies at 84
  • 1985 Heinrich Böll, German writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1917)
  • 1989 Herbert von Karajan, Austrian conductor, dies at 81
  • 1990 Robert Blackburn, Irish educationist (b. 1927)
  • 1990 Sidney Torch, English composer, conductor and organist (b. 1908)
  • 1991 Cornelis Z Forster, [Da Kuneisi], Suriname granman/gaanman, dies
  • 1991 Dwight Weist, Radio actor/film narrator (Radio Days), dies at 81
  • 1991 Frank Rizzo, (Mayor-D-Phila, 1972-80), dies of a heart attack at 70
  • 1991 Robert Motherwell, US painter (Elegies to Spanish Rep), dies at 76
  • 1992 "Gorgeous" George, [Arena], wrestler, dies at 84
  • 1992 Buck Buchanan, NFL defensive lineman (KC Chiefs), dies at 51
  • 1992 Johnny Martin, cricketer (NSW & Australian chinaman bowler), dies
  • 1994 M Vink, surgeon (1st Dutch kidney transplant), dies at 78
  • 1994 Madzy Rollin Couquerque, tennis star/international hockey, dies at 91
  • 1995 Charles Bruck, Hungarian/French/US conductor (Dutch Opera), dies at 83
  • 1995 Eleanore M "May" Sarton, Belg/US writer (Land of Silence), dies at 83
  • 1995 Juan Manuel Fangio, racing Driver, dies at 84
  • 1995 Max Factor Jr, makeup inventor, dies
  • 1995 Mordechai Gur, Israeli general, commits suicide at 65
  • 1995 Patsy Ruth Miller, actress (Wide Open, Sap, Twin Beds), dies at 91
  • 1995 Peter Francis de Sautoy, publisher, dies at 83
  • 1995 Stephen Harold Spender, writer, dies at 86
  • 1995 Travis Kemp, dancer/teacher, dies at 91
  • 1996 John Panozzo, drummer, dies at 48
  • 1996 Adolf von Thadden, German politician, (b. 1921)
  • 1998 John Henrik Clarke, American historian and scholar (b. 1915)
  • 1999 Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, wife of John F. Kennedy, Jr. (b. 1966)
  • 1999 John F. Kennedy, Jr., American publisher (b. 1960)
  • 1999 Hiromi Yanagihara, Japanese singer (b. 1979)
  • 2001 Maurice De Bevere, Belgian cartoonist (b. 1923)
  • 2001 Terry Gordy, American professional wrestler (b. 1961)
  • 2002 John Cocke, American computer scientist (b. 1925)
  • 2003 Celia Cruz, Cuban musician (b. 1924)
  • 2003 Carol Shields, Canadian author (b. 1935)
  • 2004 George Busbee, Governor of Georgia (b. 1927)
  • 2005 Pietro Consagra, Italian sculptor (b. 1920)
  • 2005 Prince Gu of Korea (b. 1931)
  • 2005 Camillo Felgen, Luxembourgish singer, lyricist, and entertainer (b. 1920)
  • 2006 Bob Orton, Sr., American professional wrestler (b. 1929)
  • 2006 Winthrop Paul Rockefeller, Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas (b. 1948)
  • 2008 Jo Stafford, American singer of traditional pop music (b. 1917)
  • 2010 James Gammon, American actor (b. 1940)

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