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How to Search Death Records for Free Without Using a Credit Card

by Julia Drake

Searching for death records online can be a hassle when a website asks for your credit card before you can view a death record. There are several websites that can help you find a death record for free. A state government website may offer free searches of death records or death indexes. When searching for a death record, you should know the first and last name of the person you are searching for and the state in which she died.

Visit the FamilySearch website. FamilySearch is connected to the Family History Library of Salt Lake City, Utah. You can create a free account and search online genealogical records, including death records.

Visit a local Family History Center to search through free genealogical records, including microfilmed death records. Family History Centers are located at LDS churches (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) around the country. You can search for a local Family History Center on the FamilySearch website.

Go to the U.S. Government's Official Web Portal (USA.gov). In the search field type in "death records"; if you know the state that you want to look in, type the name of the state followed by "death records." You will find links to state government websites that may offer free searches of death records or death indexes. For example, if you search for "Illinois Death Records," you will find a link to the Illinois State Archives website that offers a free death-records search for the years 1916 to 1950.

Search the Online Searchable Death Indexes, Records and Obituaries website. You can click on a state and view a list of websites that may offer free searches of death records or death indexes.

Browse the Social Security Death Index on the free genealogical resources website, RootsWeb. Enter the deceased person's name or Social Security number into the search fields.

Tip

  • Check public libraries for free genealogical resources and death records/indexes. The Cleveland Public Library's Necrology File offers free public access to microfilmed cemetery records and newspaper death notices.

About the Author

Julia Drake has been writing since 2007 when she had her first article published in “The Beltane Papers.” She received her Bachelor of Arts in women studies from the University of Washington. She recently completed her Master of Arts in women’s spirituality at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.

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