How to Find Virginia Death RecordsEdit This Page

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How to Find United States Deaths Gotoarrow.png Virginia Deaths

Statewide registration of deaths began in June 1912 in Virginia. The State and 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 1853

Before 1853, 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
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Deaths from 1853 thru June 1912

In 1853, Virginia law required counties to record deaths, although records are incomplete. No deaths were recorded between 1896 and 1912.

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

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

Virginia Deaths Databases - Includes Index Only
Try:
1853-1896 - At Library of Virginia Free; Virginia, Death Index, 1853-1896: dates vary by county; list of county coverage (scroll down)
Try:
1853-1912 - At FamilySearch.org Free; Virginia Deaths and Burials, 1853-1912: dates vary by county; list of county coverage.
Try:

1853-1917 at Ancestry.com Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Virginia, Deaths and Burials Index, 1853-1917: Find your local FamilySearch Center OR use your own Ancestry subscription.
Try:

1853-1896 at Ancestry.com Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Virginia Deaths by county: Index to various county death records. Incomplete for all counties. Dates vary by county. Find your local FamilySearch Center OR use your own Ancestry subscription.
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

Presently there are no death record images online. Death records from 1853 to 1896 are available on microfilm through the Family History Library and from the Library of Virginia.

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Deaths from June 1912 to the Present

The state of Virginia began recording deaths in June 1912. Records are housed at the Virginia Department of Health State Office and in the county where the death occurred. Currently, there are no indexes to Virginia deaths from June 1912 to the present available online.

Obtain the Certificate

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 VA Dept. of Health State office
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state County websites can be more difficult to use May be more expensive than ordering from the county

Restrictions for persons who died within the last 25 years:
To obtain a copy of the death certificate for those who died within the last 25 years, you must be:

  • The parent or grandparent of the person on the certificate
  • The current spouse of the person on the certificate
  • The child of the person on the certificate
  • The sibling of the person on the certificate
  • The legal guardian of the person on the certificate
  • 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 25 years have passed from the date of the death.

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 8 October 2014, at 16:44.
  • This page has been accessed 1,745 times.