Funeral Home Records of the United States

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Content, location, and search steps for using United States funeral home (or mortician's) records.

Use funeral home records to...

  • Get death information, birth information, and parents' names of your ancestor with just a phone call.
  • Find an accurate death date and place.
  • Find the names of your ancestor’s parents (especially helpful for married women).
  • Learn where your ancestor is buried.


Few pre-1880 funeral home records are available. Records vary widely, but they may contain:

  • Full name and age at death.
  • Death date and place (town, county, state).
  • Birth date and place (town, county, state).
  • Names of parents, including mother’s maiden name.
  • Birthplaces of parents (town, county, state).
  • Sex, race, occupation, or Social Security number.
  • Home address.
  • Marital status (single, widowed, married, divorced).
  • Cause of death (if the death was caused by accident, murder, or rare disease, there may be a newspaper report).
  • Name of person who provided information for the record (funeral records are more reliable when the person is a close relative of the deceased).
  • Name of person who paid the mortician’s bill (usually a relative or friend).
  • Name and religion of clergyman who performed the funeral (leads to church records).
  • Cemetery name and place (city, county, state) and burial plot number (this can help you find gravestone and cemetery records).

Before Searching You Must Know...

  • The full name of the individual at death (for women this includes the married surname).
  • The date of death or burial.
  • The town of death or burial.

Locating Funeral Homes

To learn the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of funeral homes near your ancestor's place of death or burial, see:


  • Arranged by state, then county or town     
  • Funeral directors are listed according to their distance from your ancestor’s place of death.


American Blue Book of Funeral Directors, National Funeral Directors Association, biennial.

(FHL book 973 U24a)

  • Arranged by state, then city, then funeral home

Yellow Book of Funeral Directors, National Directory of Morticians
(FHL book 973 U24y)

  • Arranged by state, then city, then funeral home

Search Steps

  1. Find the name of the funeral home that processed the body. If you don't know which funeral home processed the body, use the information in the Locating Funeral Homes section to identify the funeral homes that serve the area where your ancestor died or was buried.
  2. Telephone the funeral home to request a search.


If the funeral home won’t send you a record that lists living relatives, ask the clerk to photocopy the record and cross out the names of living relatives before sending you a copy.