Arizona Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Arizona Deaths 1870-1951 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Arizona, United States
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Flag of Arizona
Location of Arizona
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Record Description
Collection years -
Archive


Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images associated with its historic record collections online available for all FamilySearch.org patrons. However, ultimate rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. The images for the Arizona Deaths collection are available through the Family History Library, your local FamilySearch Center, and to members of FamilySearch's supporting organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of images and an index of Arizona death certificates for the years 1870 to 1951. The certificates are arranged in chronological order within each county. Each death certificate was created on a pre-printed form.

Statewide registration of vital statistics began in 1909 and the state achieved 90 percent compliance 1926. Some earlier records for 1887 to 1909 consist of deaths recorded by the individual counties where the death occurred. The counties that participated sent copies to the Arizona Department of Health Services, and the records are available at both places. The Office of Vital Records is responsible for maintaining and issuing certified copies of vital records, including death certificates for deaths that occurred in Arizona. The Office of Vital Records officially began recording birth and death events in July, 1909. However, it maintains a sampling of death records, from 1877, from other sources.

Death certificates were created to record deaths in Arizona in compliance with state law. Information pertaining to death is reliable; including death, name of the attending physician or attending medical professional, name and address of the funeral home used, and the exact date and place of burial. Other information is dependent upon the reliability of the informant.

Sample Images

The records usually include the following:

  • Death certificate number
  • Name of deceased
  • Date of death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Birth date of deceased
  • Birthplace of deceased
  • Parents' names and their birthplace
  • Physician's statement
  • Cemetery and burial place

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The place where the death occurred
  • The name of the person at the time of death
  • The approximate death date

Search the Collection

To search this collection by name: '
Fill in the requested information on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

To browse by image:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒ Select the "First two letters of surname" category
⇒ Select the "Surname, Given Name with Death Year" category which takes you to the images
If you did not find the person you were looking for, consider selecting the "Illegible Surname" category and see if you can locate them.

Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.

What do I do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s death record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:

  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find or verify their birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents (if the deceased is a child) to locate church and land records.
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
  • The name of the informant may be a relative.
  • The name of the undertaker or mortuary could lead you to funeral and cemetery records which often include the names and residences of other family members.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the deceased who may have died or been buried in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • The information in these records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.

What if I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Check for a different index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.

For a summary of this information see the wiki article United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.


Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Arizona, Deaths, 1870-1951." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Arizona Department of Health Services. Department of Library and Archives, Phoenix, Arizona.

Record citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Arizona, Deaths, 1870-1951.

Image Citation

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Arizona, Deaths, 1870-1951.