How to Find Maine Death Records

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United States
U.S. Vital Records
How to Find U.S. Death Records
Maine Vital Records
How to Find Maine Death Records

In 1820, Maine was created from the state of Massachusetts. Statewide registration of deaths began in 1892.

Next Step: When did the death occur?

Choose a time period to search for your ancestor's death record:

Learn more about U.S. Death Records

Deaths before 1892

Before 1892, death records were kept by individual town clerks or selectmen. Although some towns have existed since the 1650s, most records date from about 1700. Some of these records have been indexed. Refer to the databases below to access those indexes.

Maine Death Databases - Includes Indexes Only
Try 1st:
1670-1921 - At FamilySearch.org Free; index and images of death records compiled from the Maine State Board of Health.
Try 2nd:
1841-1910 - At FamilySearch.org Free; index to death and burial records. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and some FamilySearch Centers.
Try 3rd:

1617-1922 - At Ancestry.com ($) Free at family history centers; Index and images from the Maine State Archives.
Social Security Death Index
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes


If your ancestor does not appear in the index, you may need to contact the town clerk office or you may need to search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s death date and place.

  Records that give death information:
Cemetery Records
Newspapers
Probate (wills, etc)
Tax Records
Church Records
Census
Bible Records


Obtain the Death Record

If your ancestor appeared in the index, there are two options:

  • FamilySearch.org - If the indexed information contained a GS microfilm number you can view it at the Family History Library or some FamilySearch Centers.
  • Individual Town Clerks - If there is no GS microfilm number available, or if you cannot gain access to the microfilm, you may contact the town clerk office where your ancestor dead and order a copy of the death record.
Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths between 1892 and 1922

The state of Maine began recording deaths in 1892. All death certificates from 1892 to 1922 are held at the Maine State Archives.

STEP ONE: Find Death Information

For deaths that exist during this time period, try the following database.

Maine Death Databases - Includes Indexes Only
Try 1st:
1841-1910 - At FamilySearch.org Free; index to death and burial records. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and some FamilySearch Centers.
Try 2nd
1670-1921 - At FamilySearch.org Free; index and images of death records compiled from the Maine State Board of Health.
Try 3rd:

1617-1922 - At Ancestry.com ($) Free at family history centers; Index and images from the Maine State Archives.
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes

STEP TWO: Obtain the Death Certificate

If your ancestor appeared in the index, there are two options:

  • FamilySearch.org - If the indexed information contained a GS microfilm number you can view the microfilm at the Family History Library or some FamilySearch Centers.
  • Maine State Archives - If there is no GS microfilm number available, or if you cannot gain access to the microfilm, you may contact the state archives and order a copy of the death record.


Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths after 1922

The Vital Records office of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services has copies of deaths from 1923 to present day. Digital copies of deaths from 1892 to 1922 are held by the Vital records office, while non-certified copies can be issued by the Maine State Archive. Deaths before 1892 are held by the individual town clerk offices.

STEP ONE: Find Death Information

For deaths that exist during this time period, try the following database.

Maine Death Database - Includes Index Only
Maine Death Index, 1960-1996 Index only. Free; index by the Maine Department of Human Services from the Maine State Archives. Also on Ancestry.com ($), free at family history centers and MyHeritage.com ($).

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

To obtain a copy of the death certificate, contact the Vital Records office of the Maine Dept of Health and Human Services.


Restrictions to qualify for certificates for persons who died within the last 100 years:
To obtain a copy of the death certificate, you must be:

  • The person named on the certificate
  • The person's spouse
  • The parent(s) named on the record
  • Descendants of the person named on the record (including children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren to the most remote degree)
  • The legal custodian, guardian, or authorized representative of the person named on the record
  • Genealogists who have a researcher card issued by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics

NOTE: You must have full name, exact date and place of the death to order from the certificate. If you do not have the exact information, a search can be conducted for a fee by the Vital Records Office.

If you do not want to order the death record, there are other records with death information you can search.

Return to top: Choose another death year


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