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

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Collection Time Period

This collection contains death records in registers from 1848 to 1908, and death certificates for intermittent years after 1908.

Record Description

Deaths in Salt Lake County are recorded in volumes arranged numerically by registered number then by date of death. Certificates are arranged by number.

Record Content

Death entries include the following genealogical information:

  • Death and burial date
  • Birth date (frequently included)
  • City, county, and state of death
  • Name and location of the cemetery
  • Country or state and sometimes town and county of birth for the deceased (frequently included)
  • Country or state and sometimes town and county of birth for the parents (frequently included)
  • Name of the deceased, spouse’s married name, and parents’ names (frequently includes maiden surname of the mother)
  • Name of the informant (often a son or daughter or other family member)
  • Age (frequently listed in years, months, and days)
  • Sex
  • Residence or address (frequently includes how long at that residence or length of time in the United States if foreign born)
  • Marital status (single, married, widowed, or divorced at the time of death)
  • Occupation
  • Cause of death
  • Attending physician

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.
  • Use 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.

For a summary of this information see the wiki article: <a href="United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)">United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)</a>

Record History

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 which was later extended to all cities in 1888. Beginning in 1898, the State of Utah required all medical personnel as well as 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.

Why This Record Was Created

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.

Record Reliability

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.

Related Web Sites

This section of the article is incomplete. You can help FamilySearch Wiki by supplying links to related websites here.

Related Wiki Articles

<a _fcknotitle="true" href="Utah Vital Records">Utah Vital Records</a>

Contributions to This Article

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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from the record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find th record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you do 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 in found in the Wiki Article: <a href="How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections">How to Create Source Citations for FamilySearch Historical Records Collections</a>

Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection

'Utah, Salt Lake County Death Records, 1908-1949." index and images, FamilySearch ([1]): accessed 8 April 2011. entry for George W. Maxwell died 13 November 1909; citing Death Records, digital folder 4,139,806 image 0,0367; Salt Lake County Management and Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Sources of Information for This Collection

"Utah, Salt Lake County Death Registers, 1848-1908," index and images, FamilySearch ([2]): from Salt Lake County Management and Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah. FHL microfilm. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.