North Carolina Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
- 1 Collection Time Period
- 2 Record Description
- 3 How To Use The Record
- 4 Record History
- 5 Related Web Sites
- 6 Related Wiki Articles
- 7 Sources of Information for This Collection
- 8 Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
Collection Time Period
This collection includes records for the years 1906-1994.
North Carolina death certificates are recorded on a printed form which was filled in by hand or typed.
The key genealogical facts found in most death certificates are:
- Name of the deceased
- Sex, race, marital status and age of the deceased
- Dates of death and burial
- Birth date and birthplace of the deceased
- City, county, and state of death
- Name and location of the cemetery where buried
- Frequently, the country or state and sometimes the town and county of birth for the deceased
- Names of parents, often with maiden surname of the mother
- Name of the informant, who is often a child or other family member
- Residence or address of the deceased, if foreign-born
- Whether the deceased was single, married, widowed, or divorced at the time of death
- Occupation of the deceased
How To Use The Record
Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Name indexes to deaths make it possible to access a specific record quickly. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
When searching the index it is helpful to know the following:
- The place where the death occurred.
- The name of the person at the time of death.
- The approximate death date.
Use the locator information found in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestor in the death records. Compare the information in the death record to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
When you have located your ancestor’s death record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find or verify their birth records and parents' names.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
- Use the residence and names of the parents (if the deceased is a child) to locate church and land records.
- Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
- the parent’s birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
- The name of the undertaker or mortuary could lead you to funeral and cemetery records which often include the names and residences of other family members.
- Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname, this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
- Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the deceased who may have died or been buried in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
Keep in mind:
- The information in these records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)
The State of North Carolina began recording deaths in March 1913. The trend of keeping state-wide death records throughout the United States expanded in the early 20th century after Congress passed a resolution in 1901 asking each state to gather information about births and deaths on a statewide basis. Because Congress did not fund it, it took several more years before it happened in every state. Death certificates were usually filled out by a mortician or medical professional. They filled in the information concerning the death and then obtained personal information on the deceased from an informant, usually a relative. Then, they sent the information to the county, who sent a copy to the state.
Death certificates were usually filled out by a mortician or medical professional. They filled in the information concerning the death and then obtained personal information on the deceased from an informant, usually a relative. That information was submitted to the county, who sent a copy to the state. The Vital Records Section of the Department of Public Health is responsible for maintaining and issuing certified copies of vital records, including death certificates for deaths that occurred in North Carolina. The Vital Records Section officially began recording birth and death events in 1913. See Wiki article North Carolina, Vital Records, Death Records to see availability of this colection. The State of North Carolina began statewide registration in 1913 and achieved compliance by 1920.
Why This Record Was Created
Death certificates were created to record deaths in North Carolina in compliance with state law and to better serve public health needs. They were also used in connection with the probate of wills and the administration of estates.
Information pertaining to death is reliable; including death, name of the attending physician or attending medical professional, name and address of the funeral home used, and the exact date and place of burial. Other information is dependent upon the reliability of the informant.
Related Web Sites
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Related Wiki Articles
Contributions to This Article
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Sources of Information for This Collection
"North Carolina Deaths, 1906-1930," database, FamilySearch; (http://familysearch.org), from North Carolina Department of Public Health, Vital Records Section. Digital images of originals housed at the North Carolina Department of Archives and History in Raleigh, North Carolina. FHL microfilm, 1279 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection
North Carolina Deaths, 1906-1930 .digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: January 21, 2011). Death of Mary Virginia Eaton, 10 January 1928, Henderson, Henderson, Vance, North Carolina, film number 1907341.