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
  • Deceased's Place of Birth
  • Deceased's Father Name
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  • Databases Updated on November 21, 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 November 21

  • 496 Pope Gelasius I
  • 1361 Philip I, Duke of Burgundy (plague) (b. 1346)
  • 1481 Ikkyu Sojun, Zen head of Daitokuji temple, dies in Kyoto, Japan at 87
  • 1555 Georg Agricola, [Bauer], German mineralogist (zinc), dies at 61
  • 1566 Annibale Caro, Italian poet (b. 1507)
  • 1579 Thomas Gresham, English merchant and financier
  • 1580 Willem Van Hoorn, baron of Heze, governor of Brussels, executed
  • 1610 Benedict van Canfield, [William Fish], English missionary, dies
  • 1652 Jan Brożek, Polish mathematician, physician, and astronomer (b. 1585)
  • 1695 Henry Purcell, English composer (Indian Queen), dies at 36
  • 1710 Barnardo Pasquini, composer, dies at 72
  • 1728 Fjodor M graaf Apraksin, Russian gen-admiral, dies at about 57
  • 1730 François de Troy, French portrait artist
  • 1775 John Hill, British writer
  • 1811 Heinrich W von Kleist, German playwright, dies at 34
  • 1813 William Russell, composer, dies at 36
  • 1817 Richard B Garnett, killed during Pickett's Charge, Brig Gen
  • 1844 Ivan Krylov, Russian fabulist (b. 1769)
  • 1863 Joseph Mayseder, composer, dies at 74
  • 1870 Karel J Erben, Czech poet (Ruiker), dies at 69
  • 1875 Friedrich A Lange, philosopher/socialist (Neo-Kantianism), dies at 67
  • 1881 Ami Boué, Austrian geologist (b. 1794)
  • 1882 Sergei G Netsjajev, Russian nihilist, dies at 35
  • 1899 Garret Augustus Hobart, 24th VP, dies
  • 1900 J J Ferris, cricketer (48 wickets for Aust in 8 Tests in 1880's), dies
  • 1907 Gaetano Braga, composer, dies at 78
  • 1907 Harry Boyle, round-arm cricket bowler (12 of Aust's early Tests), dies
  • 1916 Franz Jozef I, King of Austria/Hungary, dies
  • 1920 Caryl Florio, composer, dies at 77
  • 1920 William James Robjohn, composer, dies at 77
  • 1922 Ricardo Flores Magón, Mexican anarchist (b. 1874).
  • 1924 Florence Harding, American First Lady (b. 1860)
  • 1928 Hermann Sudermann, German author (Frau Sorge), dies
  • 1932 Vito Pardo, Italian sculptor (Columbus monument Argentina), dies
  • 1938 Leopold Godowsky, pianist/composer, dies at 68
  • 1940 Geoffrey Legge, cricketer (WWII 196 Eng v NZ Auckland 1930), dies
  • 1941 Juanita Spellini, first women executed in Calif
  • 1941 Henrietta Vinton Davis American elocutionist, dramatist, impersonator, public speaker (b. 1860)
  • 1942 James Barry M Hertzog, South African premier (1914-39), dies at 76
  • 1945 Robert Benchley, US humorist (My 10 years in a quandary), dies at 56
  • 1952 Henriette Roland Holst-de Schalk, marxist author, dies at 82
  • 1952 William Green, union chairman (AFL 1924-52), dies at 79
  • 1953 Larry Shields, American jazz clarinetist (b. 1893)
  • 1954 Karol Rathaus, composer, dies at 59
  • 1954 Prof Werner Elert, German Lutheran theologist, dies at 69
  • 1957 Francis Burton Harrison, American political figure (b. 1873)
  • 1958 Mel Ott, NY Giant baseball star (1926-1947), dies at 49
  • 1959 Max Baer, US, heavyweight boxing champ (1934), dies at 49
  • 1959 Max Baer, American boxer (b. 1909)
  • 1963 Luis Cernuda, Spanish poet (Perfil del Aire), dies at 61
  • 1963 Pierre Blanchar, actor (Man From Nowhere), dies at 71
  • 1963 Robert Stroud, "bird man of Alcatraz", dies
  • 1967 Florence Reed, actress (Black Panther Club), dies after illness at 84
  • 1967 C. M. Eddy, Jr., American writer (b. 1896)
  • 1969 Mutesa II of Buganda, President of Uganda (1924)
  • 1970 Newsy Lalonde, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1887)
  • 1970 Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, Indian physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1888)
  • 1973 Thomas Pelly, American politician (b. 1902)
  • 1974 Frank Martin, Swiss composer (In Terra Fax), dies at 84
  • 1975 G Gunnarsson, writer, dies at 86
  • 1976 Niles Welch, actor (Cornered), dies at 88
  • 1980 Jim Parks Sr, Kent cricket all-rounder (only Test for England), dies
  • 1981 Harry Von Zell, TV announcer (Burns & Allen), dies at 75
  • 1982 Lee Patrick, actress (Henrietta-Topper, Maltese Falcon), dies at 75
  • 1982 John Hargrave, British Social Credit advocate (b. 1894)
  • 1985 Ramnath Kenny, cricketer (5 Tests for India 1958-60), dies
  • 1986 Jerry Colonna, actor (Jerry Colonna Show), dies at 82
  • 1986 Marcelino Sanchez, American actor (b. 1957)
  • 1986 Dar Robinson, American film stuntman (b. 1947)
  • 1987 James E Folsom, (Alabama-Gov, 1947-51, 1955-59), dies at 79
  • 1988 Carl Hubbell, American baseball player (b. 1903)
  • 1990 Dean Hart, Canadian professional wrestler (b. 1954)
  • 1991 Daniel Mann, US director (Rose tattoo), dies of heart failure at 79
  • 1991 David "Sonny" Werblin, AFL owner (NY Jets), dies at 81
  • 1991 Prior Jones, West Indian cricket pace bowler (9 Tests 1948-52), dies
  • 1991 Sonny Werblin, NY sports impresario, dies at 81
  • 1992 Kaysone Phomvihane, PM of Laos (1975-91), dies
  • 1992 Severino Gazzelloni, Italian flautist, dies
  • 1993 Bill Bixby, actor (My Favorite Martian), dies of prostate cancer at 59
  • 1993 Christopher Frank, director/actor (Annee Des Meduses), dies at 50
  • 1993 Emile Ardolino, director (Sister Act), dies of AIDS at 50
  • 1993 Jim McLaughlin, Buffalo radio newsman (WKBW), dies at 59
  • 1994 Manfred Longer, Austrian/Dutch gay disco owner, dies at 42
  • 1995 Dorothy Jeakins, costume designer, dies at 81
  • 1995 George Ivan Smith, diplomat, dies at 80
  • 1995 Peter Grant, rock band manager, dies at 60
  • 1995 Smilin' Jim Eames, singer/songwriter, dies at 71
  • 1995 Noel Jones, British diplomat (b. 1940)
  • 1996 Bernard William George Rose, organist, dies at 80
  • 1996 Edward George Edwards, chenist, dies at 82
  • 1996 Virginia Downing, actress (Gig, Butterfield 8), dies at 92
  • 1997 Ismail Fahmi, external minister of Egypt in (1973-77), dies
  • 1999 Quentin Crisp, British writer, raconteur and actor (b. 1908)
  • 2001 Salahuddin of Malaysia, King of Malaysia (b. 1926)
  • 2002 Hadda Brooks, American jazz singer, pianist, and composer (b. 1916)
  • 2005 Alfred Anderson, last Scottish World War I (and Christmas Truce) veteran (b. 1896)
  • 2005 Hugh Sidey, American journalist (b. 1927)
  • 2006 Pierre Amine Gemayel, Lebanese Cabinet minister (assassinated) (b. 1972)
  • 2006 Robert Lockwood, Jr., American blues guitarist (b. 1915)
  • 2007 Fernando Fernán Gómez, Spanish actor, director, academic and playwright (b. 1921)
  • 2007 Tom Johnson, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1928)
  • 2007 Noel McGregor, New Zealand cricketer (b. 1931)
  • 2009 Konstantin Feoktistov, Soviet cosmonaut (b. 1926)

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