How to Find Illinois Death RecordsEdit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

How to Find United States Deaths Gotoarrow.png Illinois

The establishment of the Northwest Territory in 1787 included Illinois land, but the area became part of the Indiana Territory in 1800. Nine years later the Illinois Territory was established, followed by statehood in 1818.

Next Step: When did the death occur?

Death Records
Choose a time period:

Learn more about U.S. Death Records


Deaths before 1916

Most Illinois counties did not begin recording deaths until 1877. Death records prior to 1916 were recorded only by county clerks.

For deaths that exist during the time period, try the following database.

Illinois Deaths Database - Includes Index only


Pre-1916, Illinois State Archives Statewide Death Index
Free; ongoing project. See the list of counties included in the index.

Copies of death records included in the Pre-1916 Illinois Statewide Death Index may be obtained from the Illinois Regional Archives Depository System if IRAD holds death records for that county or from the county clerk in the county where the death occurred. Consult the Local Governmental Records Holdings Database to see if IRAD has death records for the county and date of the death you are requesting. Type the search term DEATH in the title field to return all death records in the IRAD holdings. If IRAD does have death records for the county you are searching and for the pertinent time period, write the appropriate IRAD depository and include in your letter all of the information on the death given in the Pre-1916 Illinois Statewide Death Index. If the record is not available from IRAD, contact the county clerk where the death occurred.

If you were unable to find the death record in the above database, you must search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s death date and place.

  Records that give death information:
Cemetery Records
Newspapers
Probate (wills, etc)
Tax Records
Church Records
Census
Bible Records
Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths from 1916 thru 1950

The state of Illinois began recording deaths in 1916.

STEP ONE: Find Death Information

For deaths that exist during the time period, try the following databases. Try each link.

Illinois Deaths Databases - Includes Index only

Try 1st:


1916-1950 Illinois State Archives Statewide Death Index Free; name index of Illinois statewide death registration entries
Next try:


1916-1947 - At FamilySearch.org] Free; name index of deaths and stillbirths in Illinois, 1916-1947



Ancestry Database: Includes Index Only


1916 - 1947 use Ancestry Institution at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center




1916-1947 - use your Ancestry subscription $, To obtain a subscription to Ancestry; Ancestry is often available for free through your local public library.




Can't access Ancestry? Go to Step Two Part B listed below. You may be able to order the birth record for your ancestor from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No death record for your ancestor? Other records with death information

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

Part A: You know the exact date of death

With an exact date of death (from your records or the index above), you can order a copy of the death record for a fee from the following locations:

To Order Death Certificates
From County of Death From IL Dept. of Public Health
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state County websites can be more difficult to use Offers a search of the state index May be more expensive than ordering from the county


The Illinois State Genealogical Society has established a service to assist members and researchers who do not have easy access to the Illinois State Archives to obtain death certificate copies. They will retrieve the death certificate from the Archives and mail it to you for a fee.

Restrictions: Copies of death records from Illinois for genealogical purposes are available for deaths that occurred at least 20 years prior to the request.

If you do not want to order the death record, there are other records with death information you can search.

PART B: You don't know the exact date of death

If you do not know the exact date or place of death,the Illinois Department of Public Health will conduct a limited search.
Restrictions: Copies of death records from Illinois for genealogical purposes are available for deaths that occurred at least 20 years prior to the request.

If you do not want to order the death record, there are other records with death information you can search.

Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths from 1950 to the present

The state of Illinois began recording deaths in 1916.

PART A: You know the exact date of death

With an exact date (from your records), you can order a copy of the death record for a fee from the following locations:

To Order Death Certificates
From County of Death From IL Dept. of Public Health
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state County websites can be more difficult to use Offers a search of the state index
May be more expensive than ordering from the county

Restrictions: Copies of death records from Illinois for genealogical purposes are available for deaths that occurred at least 20 years prior to the request.

If you do not want to order the death record, you can search other records with death information.


PART B: You don't know the exact date of death

Try:

Social Security Death Index (SSDI)


1937 to present at Genealogy Bank Free; most current version; few records before 1962; gives place where the last benefit was sent
Or try:


Request a search from IL Dept. of Public Health ($); Click on "How to Order a Death Certificate"
Don't want to order the death record? Search other records with death information
Return to top: Choose another death year



Related Wiki Articles


 

Need additional research help? Contact our research help specialists.

Need wiki, indexing, or website help? Contact our product teams.


Did you find this article helpful?

You're invited to explain your rating on the discussion page (you must be signed in).

  • This page was last modified on 19 May 2014, at 17:28.
  • This page has been accessed 1,949 times.