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* Names of living relatives

The names of living relatives can usually be found on any of the documents listed below. If you have the minimum information required to find one of these documents, select the name of that document. The items in the list are ordered from most to least important. If you do not have the minimum information required, read the paragraph below this list.

Genealogies and family histories

To find the names of living relatives in a genealogy or family history, you must at least know the full name of your ancestor, and the approximate area (state or county) in which the family may have lived.

Probate records

To find the names of living relatives in probate records, you must at least know the full name of the deceased at time of death, the approximate date of the death, and the county or town in which the individual lived at the time of death.

Newspapers

Obituaries normally list the survivors of the deceased. To find the names of living relatives in an obituary, you must at least know the approximate date of death, the full name of the deceased, and the state and city or town where the death took place (or where the obituary was likely to have been published).

Vital records

Death certificates normally list the name of the person (living relative) who reported the death. To find the names of living relatives on a death certificate, you must at least know the full name of the deceased at time of death, the approximate year of the death, and the state or county of the death, depending on when the event took place.

For a description of any of the records listed above, see the topic Genealogy dictionary.

To get help finding the minimum information required to locate any of the records listed above, select one of the following items:

Finding the minimum information for genealogies and family histories

Finding the minimum information for probate records

Finding the minimum information for newspapers

Finding the minimum information for vital records

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