Kentucky Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at

Collection Time Period

These records cover the time period 1911-1955.

Record History

Beginning in 1852, death records were kept sporadically by individual counties and cities. In 1910, the Kentucky General Assembly passed a law to provide for the registration of births and deaths, which was instituted in 1911. By 1917, compliance with the law was about 90%.

Why This Record Was Created

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.

Record Reliability

Information regarding the event of death is usually reliable. Other information, such as the birthplace of an individual or names of the parents, is only as reliable as the knowledge of the informant.

Record Description

Deaths were recorded on a pre-printed form. Certificates are arranged first by year, then by month, then alphabetically by county. Each year has sequential certificate numbers. Each month and the section of certificates between each month may include certificates for earlier months or years. In the last column of the index, the year date indicates the year where certificate can be found.

Record Content

Information may include the following:

• Name of the deceased

• Date of birth

• Place of birth

• Marital status

• Sex

• Race

• Age at death

• Occupation

• Date of death

• Time of death

• Place of death

• Address of the deceased

• Parents’ names

• Places of birth of the parents

• Date of burial

• Place of burial

• Cause of death

• Name and address of the informant

How to Use the Record

Death certificates are the best source of death information. Information about the birth of the individual and names of the parents could lead to further information regarding the parents.

Related Websites

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Related Wiki Articles

Kentucky Vital Records

Sources of This Collection

“Kentucky Statewide Deaths, 1911-1955,” database, FamilySearch Historical Records, 2010; from Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics. “Kentucky Death Certificates, 1911-1955.” Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics, Frankfort. FHL microfilm. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

How to Cite Your Sources

Instructions for citing this source can be found at