Records Can Include Important Information
Article summary: Death records
contain more than just a date of death. You can find out important
information about a relative searching these vital county records.
When searching county vital records in an effort to trace your family
history or just out of curiosity, you probably look at birth record
and marriage records. You may think that death records contain little
information about a person except for when they died. That is not
the case. Death records will provide you with important information
about a person and may help you trace your family lineage back more
steps than you could have imagined—even though it may seem
morbid. Here’s some of the information you can find in death
The birthplace of the person.
You may not have known that your grandfather was born overseas
until you looked at his death record. Sometimes a county coroner
will not check other county vital records to verify the deceased’s
birth place and will assume that the person was born in the
town they died. Most of the time a family member or relative
will be able to give someone the correct date of birth to be
included on death records.
The name of the deceased person’s
parents. Have you always wondered who your great-great
grandmother was? You can find her name on your great grandmother’s
Date of birth. Some people
lie about their ages their whole life. However death records
must be as accurate as possible and even if a person lied to
everyone, the death record will reveal the truth. You may also
find out that you share a birthday with a relative!
Cause of death. If a person
died tragically, you may not want to know this information.
However if your ancestors lived to be very old and the cause
of death on the death records is listed as “natural causes,”
this can be encouraging to you. If your relatives lived to be
very old, you will likely live long as well.
Where they died. If you
are searching through very old county vital records, knowing
where someone died is important. Death records are normally
filed where a person died. Your great-great grandfather may
have been born in one place, but moved to and lived out his
years in another place, where he died. If you know an ancestor
died in the Civil War but you don’t know where, the place
of death (and possibly the name of the battle), will be listed
on the death record.
Searching through county vital records is not always
easy. If you don’t know where someone died, you may have to
call or visit many agencies and counties to find death records.
This can be time consuming and expensive. However, many online record
search companies compile this information in one place. You can
search for death records in California or Florida. These searches
can be relatively inexpensive, costing as little at $5 for a single
search and as little as $100 for multiple searches. You don’t
have to leave your home to find the death records you need and how
to obtain a copy.