Utah, Salt Lake County Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Utah, Salt Lake County Death Records, 1908-1949 .

Record Description

This project was indexed in partnership with the Utah Genealogical Association. The collection consists of a name index and images.

Deaths for the years 1848 to 1908 are recorded in registers, which are bound into volumes. The volumes are arranged chronologically and the entries are arranged numerically within the volumes.

Deaths from 1908 to 1949 were recorded on certificates. They are arranged numerically by registered number then by date of death (month and year).

Some records in this collection may be for deaths occurring before 1908 where the remains were re-interred between 1908 and 1949.

In 1847, death records were first recorded in the membership records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Later in 1851, the State of Deseret authorized the Church to register deaths on behalf of the government. Then in 1860, the Territorial Government of Utah authorized Ogden and Salt Lake City to keep a record of deaths in their cities. In 1888, this authorization was extended to all cities. Beginning in 1898, the State of Utah required all medical personnel, clergymen, sextons, and parents to register deaths with the county. In 1905, the State of Utah had the county clerks forward the original death record to the State Board of Health, making a second copy for their own county death register. All counties began reporting deaths to the state in 1905, when the Department of Health created the Division of Vital Statistics. A death certificate was required for burial in Utah, so compliance was high. Deaths from 1908 to 1949 were recorded on certificates.

This collection covers the years 1908 to 1949.

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

The information recorded about the death is usually reliable, including the cause of death, the name of the attending physician or medical professional, the name and address of the funeral home, and the date and place of burial. The accuracy of other information depends on the reliability of the informant, often a family member.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

County clerk. Utah, Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City death records. Salt Lake County Management and Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

Death registers include the following information:

  • Name
  • Death and certificate number
  • Age
  • Death place
  • Sex
  • Color
  • Marital status
  • Occupation
  • Birthplace
  • Parents' names

Death certificates include the following information:

  • Name
  • Death place
  • Residence
  • Sex
  • Color
  • Marital status
  • Spouse's name (if married)
  • Birth date
  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Birthplace
  • Parents' names
  • Parents' birthplaces
  • Name of informant
  • Filing date
  • Death date
  • Cause of death
  • Attending physician
  • Burial place
  • Burial date

How to Use the Record

Begin your search by finding your ancestor 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 or misinterpretations. If the records were scanned, there may be optical character recognition errors.

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 find 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. When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct. 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 the birth record and the 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 other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • Use the parents’ birthplaces to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • The name of the officiator is a clue to the ancestor's 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.

If you want to find other relatives in the records, do the following:

  • 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.

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.

For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection, please read the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, feel free to report them at support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered

Related Websites

The Utah State Archives and Records Service - A division within the Dept. of Administrative Services that manages records created by state and local governmental entities in Utah and provides access to historical government records.

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

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.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should 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 Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"Utah, Salt Lake County Death Records, 1908-1949." index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ : accessed 8 April 2011). George W. Maxwell 13 November 1909; citing Death Records, digital folder 4,139,806 image 0,0367; Salt Lake County Management and Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah.