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United States  Gotoarrow.png  Maryland  Gotoarrow.png  Vital Records Gotoarrow.png  Deaths


Contents

Maryland Death Records

Quick Reference

Maryland Death Records (for Baltimore City after 1874 see table below)

Years Where Can I Get it? Restrictions Indexes/Documents online? Notes
Colonial (1654 to 1694)

Maryland State Archives; 

FamilyHistory Library

None

1686-1958 Church Death & Burial Index

Not all deaths were recorded.
1695-1864 No death records kept by county court.   1686-1958 Church Death & Burial Index Try searching church records
1865-1884 Maryland State Archives  None 1686-1958 Church Death & Burial Index Try searching church records]]
1898-1972 Maryland State Archives    None 1686-1958 Church Death & Burial Index

1898-1910 Death Index

1910-1951 Death Index

Registration of births can be incomplete until 1914
1972 to Present Division of Vital Records   Can only provide death certificate to surviving relative or legal representative No  



Baltimore City, Maryland Death Records


Years Where can I go to get it? Restrictions Indexes/documents online? Notes
Before 1875 Check County Records above.   1686-1958 Church Death & Burial Index
1875 to 1972 Maryland State Archives   None

1686-1958 Church Death & Burial Index

1875-1880, 1943-1949 Death Index

1875-1972 Death Index

Registration of death can be incomplete until 1914
After 1972 Division of Vital Records   Can only provide death certificate to surviving relative or legal representative No  

Content

Colonial Period, 1654 to 1694

In 1654, the Maryland General Assembly required that all burials that occurred in the colony had to be reported to the clerk of the county court to be entered into record.  

Information usually included was:
  • Name of deceased
  • Date of death 

Church Jurisdiction, 1695-1864

In 1695, the responsibility of recording burials was then transferred to the Protestant Episcopal Church by the Maryland General Assembly.  By the 1700s, the county court no longer recorded burials.  Even those who were not members of the Episcopal Church were required to report the burial.  Other churches existing at the time may also have recorded the burial of an individual if they were an active member of that congregation.

Information usually included was:
  • Name of deceased
  • Date of death
  • Date of burial

County Circuit Court, 1865-1884

The County Circuit Court was required to record deaths starting in 1865 because of a new law passed by the Maryland General Assembly. However, very few families of deceased individuals complied with this new law.

Information required to be recorded included:
  • Name of deceased
  • Date of death
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Marital Status
  • Age at death
  • Residence
  • Occupation
  • Place of death
  • Place of birth
  • Parents' names and residences (usually for death of children)
  • Cause of death
  • Place of burial
  • Date of record

Baltimore City Death Records, 1875-1972

Baltimore City had different laws regarding the recording of deaths compared to the rest of Maryland. In 1874, the Mayor and City Council required registration of all deaths that occurred in Baltimore.  This registration lasted until 1972 – even after the State Board of Health began registering all deaths in the state of Maryland in 1898. 

Information on Baltimore City death records included:
  • Name of deceased
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Age at death
  • Marital status
  • Occupation
  • Birthplace
  • Date of death
  • Cause of death
  • Name of parents (usually for children deaths)
  • Ward, street, and house number
  • Date of burial
  • Date of certificate
  • Date registered
  • Attending physician (only listed on early certificates)
  • Informant (only listed on early certificates)
  • Date & place of burial (only listed on early certificates)

County Death Records, 1898-1972

A new law by the General Assembly in 1898 required death registration in Maryland’s 23 counties. It took until 1914 before registration of all deaths occurred.

Information on death records from 1898 to 1972 included:
  • Name of deceased
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Death date & place
  • Marital status
  • Birth place
  • Cause of death
  • Duration of illness
  • Name of parents (usually recorded if deceased was a child)
  • Residence of parents (usually recorded if deceased was a child)
  • Race of parents (usually if deceased was a child)
  • Name & address of attending physician
After 1911 information also included:
  • Occupation
  • Birth date
  • Place of burial
  • Name of informant
After 1931, information also included:
  • Residence of deceased
  • Name of spouse

State Death Records (Baltimore City & County), 1972-1994

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Division of Vital Records was the only agency to record deaths for all counties in Maryland and Baltimore City starting in 1972.

Information on the death certificates included:
  • Name of deceased
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Age of deceased
  • Marital status
  • Birthplace
  • Occupation
  • Date and place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Names and birthplaces of parents
  • Name of spouse
  • Attending physcian
  • Informant
  • Date and place of burial

Locating Records

Maryland State Archives

ONLINE DEATH INDEXES
There are several online death records located on the Maryland State Archives website. Clicking on the images of these indexes will direct you on how to order a copy of the death certificate. The current cost of death certificate copies is $12. (Certified copies cost $25.)

Maryland Online Death Indexes, 1686-1958, incomplete

1686-1958, Church Death and Burial Index, various dates for 13 churches MSA S1402
1898-1910, Death Index MSA SE6
1910-1951, Death Index MSA SE7

Baltimore City Online Death Index, 1875-1972

1875-1880, 1943-1949, Death Index MSA S1483
1875-1972, Death Index MSA CE42


DEATH INDEXES
Maryland Death Indexes on microfilm

There are also card indexes to death records available at the Maryland State Archives. Below is a list of the necessary information to view or request a copy of microfilm and original records that are available at the Maryland State Archives. The list includes death indexes and death records available..

INDEXES, Death
Bible and Tombstone Records Index, various dates MSA S1406, Index 32
1648-1720, 1865-1880, 1898-1918, Death Index, incomplete MSA S1404, Index 31
1951-1968, Death Index MSA S1260

There is no index to death records from 1968-1994 at the Maryland State Archives.


DEATH RECORDS
Death records are located at the Maryland State Archives and can be viewed onsite or a research request can be made.  To view fees and how to request information, go to the Maryland State Archives website, Placing Research & Copy Orders.

Below is a list of the necessary information to view or request a copy of microfilm and original records that are available at the Maryland State Archives.

Colonial Maryland Death Records (Up to 1720)

County Circuit Court Death Records, 1865-1884

  • Allegany Courty Circuit Court, 1865-1882 MSA T2007
  • Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, 1865-1880 MSA C61
  • Caroline County Circuit Court, 1865-1884 MSA C499
  • Charles County Circuit Court, 1865-1866 MSA T2151
  • Frederick County Circuit Court, 1865-1881 MSA C778
  • Howard County Circuit Court, 1865-1878 MSA C971
  • Kent County Circuit Court, 1865-1866 MSA C1049
  • Prince George's County Circuit Court, 1865-1866 MSA C1196
  • St. Mary's County Circuit Court, 1865-1867 MSA C1576
  • Washington County Circuit Court, 1865-1867 MSA C1945

Maryland County Death Records, 1898-1972

1801-1910, Board of Health MSA S1178; SM156 microfilm
1910-1951, Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics MSA S1179
1951-1969, Department of Health, Division of Vital Records and Statistics MSA S1268
1969-1972, Department of Health, and Mental Hygiene Division of Vital Records MSA S1488

State Death Records (Baltimore City & County), 1872-1994

1972-1973, Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, Division of Vital Records MSA SM28
1973-1979, Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, Division of Vital Records MSA S310
1879-1982, Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, Division of Vital Records MSA SM39
1973-1994, Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, Division of Vital Records MSA T1890

Baltimore City Death Records, 1874-1972 

1874-1972, Baltimore City Health Department, Bureau of Vital Statistics MSA CM 1132 microfilm 
1950-1972, Baltimore City Health Department, Bureau of Vital Statistics MSA C2108 
1914-1919, Hospital Death Records, Baltimore City Health Department, Bureau of Vital Statistics MSA CM1140 microfilm

The Maryland State Archives is always receiving additional records. Check the list of “transferred records” to see newly acquisitioned death records.

Family History Library

There are some Maryland Colonial death records at the Family History Library. The following are links to topics in the [Introduction_to_the_Family_History_Library_Catalog|Family History Library Catalog]] that list sources that can be viewed at the Family History Library.  Each source has either a book call number or microfilm number assigned to it. Microfilm records and books can be viewed at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Only microfilms and microfiche can be loaned from the Family History Library and viewed at local Family History Centers.  Below are links that contain death record sources for different counties in Maryland:

Division of Vital Records Department of Health & Mental Hygiene

From 1969 to the present, records and indexes for deaths can be ordered from the Division of Vital Records.  However, they are unable to give out certificates for genealogical purposes. If you are not directly related to the individual, you must order the death certificate from the Maryland State Archives.

You can obtain a death certificate from 1969 to the present, if:

  • You are the surviving relative of the deceased
  • Authorized representative of a surviving relative of the deceased
  • Funeral director who was in charge of the final disposition of the body of the deceased
  • An individual who has proven legal need


Click here, to download a death certificate application

To mail in a request:
Division of Vital Records
P.O. box 68760
Baltimore, MD 21215-0036
To call for more information: (410) 764-3038 or (800) 832-3277
To order for same day service with additional fee, go to Vitalchek.com 

References

Information provided here was taken from the following sources:

Eichholz, Alice. Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry Publishing, c2004).

The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America. (Logan, Utah : Everton Publishers, c2006).

Maryland: Research Outline. (Salt Lake City, Utah : Corp. of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of L.D.S., c1988).

Maryland State Archives

Division of Vital Statistics Department of Health & Mental Hygiene


 

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