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District of Columbia Deaths - FamilySearch Historical Records

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District of Columbia Deaths, 1874-1961
CID1803967
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
District of Columbia, United States
District of Columbia flag.png
Flag of District of Columbia
US locator map District of Columbia.PNG
Location of District of Columbia
Record Description
Record Type Death Records
Collection years 1874-1961
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
  • USGenweb.org site for Washington D.C. or District of Columbia - Free


What is in the Collection?[edit | edit source]

The collection consists of an index and images of death records from the District of Columbia. The records cover the years 1874 to 1961. The records were recorded by hand on pre-printed forms.

Deaths were recorded to better serve public health needs. Death certificates were also used in connection with the probate of wills and the administration of estates.

Registration of vital statistics began in 1874 for the District of Columbia and was generally complied with by 1880 for deaths. Some earlier records of deaths exist from 1855-1860, and 1865-1949. They can be obtained from the following address:

Department of Health Department of Human Services
Vital Records Division
800 9th Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20024
Telephone: 202-645-5962

To Browse this Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for District of Columbia Deaths, 1874-1961.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

Death records usually contain the following information:

  • Name of deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Age and gender of deceased
  • Race
  • Marital status
  • Occupation
  • Birthplace of deceased and parents
  • Duration of residence
  • Cause of death
  • Name of person(s) who removed the body
  • Name of undertaker
  • Place and date of burial

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. Some of the images in this collection are only available for viewing if you are a registered FamilySearch user. You can register for a free FamilySearch account here.

Other images can be viewed online by members of the supporting organization(s), at a family history center near you, or the Family History Library.

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search the Collection[edit | edit source]

You can search the index or view the images or both. Before using this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • Name of the individual
  • Approximate date and or location of the event

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

You will be able to search this collection once it is published.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page

  1. Select Film number'

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.


What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Copy the citation below, in case you need to find this record again later.
  • Use the age or estimated birth date to determine an approximate birth date to find other church and vital records such as birth, baptism, and marriage records.
  • Use the information found in the record to find land, probate and immigration records.
  • Use the information found in the record to find additional family members in censuses.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records were kept years before counties began keeping records. They are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.


I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby town or county.
  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Check the info box above for additional FamilySearch websites and related websites that may assist you in finding similar records.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying you sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"District of Columbia Deaths, 1874-1961." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 4 October 2016. Citing Health Department. District Records Center, Washington D.C.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.