Finding the minimum amount of information for vital records
To find an individual's death date on a vital record, such as a death certificate, you must at least know the individual's name at time of death, the approximate year of the death, and the state or county of the death, depending on when the death took place. If you do not have the minimum information to find a death certificate, you can either:
Get help finding some of the minimum information by selecting one of the following items,
click the Back button on your browser to return to the list of other places where you can find death dates, or
read the paragraphs below for a few additional tips.
Finding vital records
Even if you don't have the minimum information required to find the original records, you're not completely out of luck. Indexes to vital records, including death records, have been made for some states and counties. These indexes provide you with the information you need to access the original record. Check with libraries and genealogy societies in the area -- they may know if any indexes exist for the records that you need.
Finding death dates
If the individual was a veteran who served and was killed in the Korean or Vietnam War, you may be able to find a death date through the death records in the Military Index on the FamilySearch computer at your local Family History Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Family History Library has all other wars indexed on microfiche. You only need to know the war and the veteran's name. Local community and genealogy libraries may also have war indexes. Contact individual libraries for their holdings.
Make sure to check photo albums, scrapbooks, diaries, and family Bibles at home. See the topic Finding information at home for more information. Also check for local histories. See the topic Finding previous research.
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