How to Find Kentucky Death RecordsEdit This Page

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How to Find United States Deaths Gotoarrow.png Kentucky Deaths

Statewide registration of deaths began in 1911 in Kentucky with general compliance by 1917. Counties have copies of these records.

Next Step: When did the death occur?

Choose a time period to search for your ancestor's death record:

Learn more about U.S. Death Records

Deaths before 1852

Before 1852, no deaths were recorded by the county or state. 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 1852 thru 1910

In 1852, Kentucky law required counties to record deaths, although records are incomplete.

If you cannot locate your ancestor in the databases below try searching for death information in other records.

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

Kentucky Deaths Databases - Includes Index and Digital Images
Try 1st:
Choose one of the following:

1852-1953 - use at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center

1852-1953 - use your Ancestry subscription $, To obtain a subscription to Ancestry; Ancestry is often available through your local public library for free
Next try:
Includes Index Only

1843-1970 - At FamilySearch.org Free; dates vary by county; view a coverage table
Can't search the index listed above? Try searching other records for death information.
Can't find your ancestor in the index? Tips for searching indexes
No death record for your ancestor? Other records with death information

Obtain the Record

Death records from 1852 to 1914 are available on microfilm through the Family History Library: FHL films 1533971-1533979 and FHL films 174938-174939, 175003.

Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths after 1910

The state of Kentucky began recording deaths in 1911.

STEP ONE: Find Death Information

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

Kentucky Deaths Databases - Includes Index and Digital Images
Try 1st:
Choose one of the following:

1852-1953 - use at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center

1852-1953 - use your Ancestry subscription $, To obtain a subscription to Ancestry; Ancestry is often available through your local public library for free
Next try:
Includes Index Only

1911-1992 - At Univ. of KY Free
1911-1955 - At FamilySearch.org Free
1843-1970 - At FamilySearch.org Free; dates vary by county; view a coverage table
Choose one of the following:

1911-2000 - use at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center

1911-2000 - use your Ancestry subscription $, To obtain a subscription to Ancestry; Ancestry is often available through your local public library for free
Can't search the index listed above? Try searching other records for death information.
Can't find your ancestor in the index? Tips for searching indexes
No death record for your ancestor? Other records with death information

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

If the image was not included in the index entry 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 KY Cabinet for Health and Family Services
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 for an additional fee May be more expensive than ordering from the county

Restrictions for persons who died within the last 50 years:
To obtain a copy of the death certificate for those who died within the last 50 years, you must be:

  • The parents and grandparents of person on the certificate
  • The wife or husband of the person on the certificate
  • The children and grandchildren of the person on the certificate
  • The brothers or sisters of the person on the certificate
  • Funeral director
  • Anyone who has legal interest in the certificate
NOTE: A copy of the death record cannot be obtained by anyone except those listed above until 50 years have passed from the date of the death.

Death certificates from 1911 to 1947 are available on microfilm through the Family History Library: FHL film 1904664 (first of 357 films). An index covering 1911 to 1995 is also available: FHL fiche 6118879-6118900.

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


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  • This page was last modified on 17 June 2013, at 02:57.
  • This page has been accessed 5,673 times.