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How to Find Death Records On and Offline

how do you find death certificates

With interest in genealogy at an all time high, requests for death records and certificates are more common than ever. While there are some expensive web sites that will trace your genealogy for you, many people enjoy hunting down information the old fashioned way and creating their own family tree for their own kids to enjoy. You can get a death certificate one of two ways: either online or offline. Getting one online is almost always easier and faster, but let's take a look at what you have to do to get one offline first.

A death certificate is almost always issued by the city or town in which the person died in. To track down a death certificate for someone, simply contact the city or town in which he or she died. The problem that many people face is that some areas are very restrictive when it comes to who can have access to death certificates. Often times, if you can prove to be a related family member, the request will be granted, but if you are attempting to establish your genealogy and there is a gap of several generations, you might have to jump through several hoops to get the certificate you asked for. Some states

have what is known as an open records policy that doesn't restrict records at all, although this method is rare. What you may be able to ask for in some circumstances is an uncertified death certificate. These uncertified copies can be used to establish genealogy. but not to claim life insurance or to perform any kind of legal acts. If you find that you are having trouble getting a certified copy, ask for an uncertified one. Check the blue pages in your phone book for the right government phone number in your city or town.

Getting a death certificate online is much easier. By using sites like, you can easily find out the contact information you need so that you don't spend hours calling the wrong people. You can also use individual city and town websites to find the vital records department. If you order a death certificate. be aware that there is often a fee and you will likely be asked to enclose a self addressed, stamped envelope so that your record request can be mailed back to you. There will also be a processing time involved that could vary quite a lot depending on how busy the office you contacted is.

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