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How to Find United States Deaths Gotoarrow.png Maryland Deaths

  • Some deaths were recorded in colonial Maryland but not many survived or were ever recorded.
  • Death registration started in 1865.
  • 1875 Baltimore City began recording deaths.
  • 1898 All counties in Maryland began recording deaths, although greater compliance did not happen until after 1914.
  • Birth records are restricted for 100 years to immediate family members.

Next Step: When did the death occur?

Death Records
Choose a time period:

Learn more about U.S. Death Records

Deaths 1654 thru 1694

Deaths were to be recorded by the clerk of the county court. Very few records exist.

  • Charles County Court 1654-1706
  • Somerset County Court 1649-1720
  • Talbot County Court 1657-1691

STEP ONE: Find Death Information  

Maryland Death Index Only
Try: 1st
Maryland, Deaths and Christenings, 1650-1995 online at FamilySearch

Free; name index,incomplete

Try 2nd:
Ancestry Database - Choose one of the following:

1622-1911 - use Ancestry Institution at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center

1622-1911 - 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 death record for your ancestor from the Maryland State Archives.
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 Record


Copies Death records may be available from the Maryland State Archives.

To Order Death Records
You know the death date from the index You do not know the death date
Maryland State Archives Maryland State Archives
Request a copy The archives will search for one name in one index, and provide one document for their fee

.

Some records may also be available at your local FamilySearch Center. Use the Family History Library Catalog (FHLC) to see what is available.

  • Search the FHLC by county or city, then vital records
  • Select the topic Vital Records.
  • For a small fee, order the microfilm to view at a local Family Search Center.
Return to top: Choose another death year


Death 1694 thru 1864

  • No government records were kept.
  • In 1694 the Clerks of the Protestant Episcopal Church were required to keep record of all deaths, regardless of the family's membership.
  • Other denominations kept their own records of deaths.

Copies of Church death records may be available from the Maryland State Archives or in the Family History Library Catalog.

Church Death Records
Maryland State Archives Family History Library Catalog
The archives will search for one name in one index, and provide one document for their fee Search for the town where the church was located


Use substitute records to locate your ancestor’s death date and place.

Records that give death information:
Death Records
Cemetery Records
Newspapers
Church Records
Census
Military Records
Return to top: Choose another death year



Deaths from 1865 thru 1897

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

STEP ONE: Find Death Information  

Maryland Death Index Only
Try: 1st
Maryland, Deaths and Christenings, 1650-1995 online at FamilySearch

Free; name index,incomplete

Try 2nd:
Ancestry Database - Choose one of the following:

1622-1911 - use Ancestry Institution at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center

1622-1911 - 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 death record for your ancestor from the Maryland State Archives.
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 Record


Copies Death records may be available from the Maryland State Archives.

To Order Death Records
You know the death date from the index You do not know the death date
Maryland State Archives Maryland State Archives
Request a copy The archives will search for one name in one index, and provide one document for their fee

.

Some records may also be available at your local FamilySearch Center. Use the Family History Library Catalog (FHLC) to see what is available.

  • Search the FHLC by Maryland and the county name.
  • Select the topic Vital Records.
  • For a small fee, order the microfilm to view at a local Family Search Center.
Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths from 1875 thru 1972, Baltimore City

  • Limited deaths maybe found in the following databases. Try each link.
  • If you do not find your ancestor's death or if you want order a copy of the certificate, then contact the Maryland State Archives in Step 2.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the databases below, try searching for death information in church records.

STEP ONE: Find Death Information

Maryland Death Index Only
Try: 1st
Maryland, Deaths and Christenings, 1650-1995 online at FamilySearch

Free; name index,incomplete

Try 2nd:
Ancestry Database - Choose one of the following:

1622-1911 - use Ancestry Institution at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center

1622-1911 - 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 death record for your ancestor from the Maryland State Archives.
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 Record


Copies Death records may be available from the Maryland State Archives.

To Order Death Records
You know the death date from the index You do not know the death date
Maryland State Archives Maryland State Archives
Request a copy The archives will search for one name in one index, and provide one document for their fee

.

Some records may also be available at your local FamilySearch Center. Use the Family History Library Catalog (FHLC) to see what is available.

  • Search the FHLC by Maryland, Baltimore City.
  • Select the topic Vital Records.
  • For a small fee, order the microfilm to view at a local Family Search Center.
Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths from 1898 thru 1972

  • Limited deaths maybe found in the following databases. Try each link.
  • If you do not find your ancestor's death or if you want order a copy of the certificate, then see below how to order from the Maryland State Archives. :
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the databases below, try searching for death information in church records.

STEP ONE: Find Death Information

Maryland Death Index Only
Try: 1st
Maryland, Deaths and Christenings, 1650-1995 online at FamilySearch

Free; name index,incomplete

Try 2nd:
Ancestry Database - Choose one of the following:

1622-1911 - use Ancestry Institution at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center

1622-1911 - 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 death record for your ancestor from the Maryland State Archives.
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 Record


Copies Death records may be available from the Maryland State Archives.

To Order Death Records
You know the death date from the index You do not know the death date
Maryland State Archives Maryland State Archives
Request a copy The archives will search for one name in one index, and provide one document for their fee


  • Search the FHLC by Maryland and the county name.
  • Select the topic Vital Records.
  • For a small fee, order the microfilm to view at a local Family Search Center.
Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths from 1940 thru present

Locating a death record

You can order a copy of the death record for a fee from the following locations if you are the person on the certificate, a parent, legal guardian or surviving spouse:

To Order Death Certificates
County of Death From MD Dept of Health and Hygiene
Cons Cons Pros Pros
May be more 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 less expensive than ordering from the county
  • After locating the county website, search for the Department of Health and Administrative or Vital Records.
  • Baltimore City deaths are combined with county records after 1972. 
  • The Maryland State Archives has indexes and death records up to 1978, but they are restricted. 
  • See list of restrictions for ordering death records

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

Return to top: Choose another death year


Restrictions for Obtaining Death Records

Restrictions for persons born within the last 100 years:
To obtain a copy of the death certificate for those born within the last 100 years from the government agency, you must be:

  • The person on the certificate
  • The parents of the person on the certificate.
  • Surviving spouse.
  • Someone with documented legal custody of the person on the certificate.
NOTE: A copy of the death record cannot be obtained by anyone except those listed above until 100 years have passed from the date of the death.

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


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