1880 S Dairy Ashford Rd, Suite 650, Houston, TX 77077

How to Find US Death Data: The Complete Guide

Searching for information about a person’s death may be necessary for a variety of reasons, including genealogical research, establishing inheritance rights, and for purposes of historical and social analysis. In this article, we will look at a few basic methods for finding such data in the United States.

1. State archives and registers

The death of any U.S. citizen is usually officially recorded in local government records. This may be the Bureau of Vital Records or an equivalent agency in each state. To access this data, you will need to contact the relevant agency. However, it is worth noting that access to death data may be restricted in order to protect personal information. 

2. Search in public databases and archives

Some public databases and archives, such as the US Social Security Death Index (SSDI), provide information on deaths reported in the US. SSDI, for example, contains data on people who died after they started receiving Social Security, usually after age 65. There are also databases such as Find a Grave that store information about graves.

3. Newspapers and obituaries

Many newspapers publish obituaries. These are usually short articles that talk about the death of a person, his life and surviving relatives. Many newspapers maintain archives of their obituaries, which are often available online. If you want to legacy find a grave, you should visit Peoplelegacy website, where you can find such information for free.

4. Genealogical sites

Sites like Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org provide access to large collections of historical documents, including death records. Some of these services may require a subscription or membership to access recordings.

5. Libraries and historical societies

Local libraries and historical societies often maintain archives, which may include death certificates, obituaries, and other documents. Many of them are working to digitize their collections to provide easy access to these resources online.

6. Church records

Depending on the religious affiliation of the deceased, death records may be available from churches and religious communities. This can be especially useful when looking for information about deaths that occurred in the 19th century and earlier, when government registration of deaths was less common.


Finding information about a person’s death can be a difficult task that requires diligence and patience. But with the resources above and a little perseverance, you should be able to find the information you need. Remember that it’s important to respect people’s privacy and use the information you find in an ethical and privacy-conscious manner.