Delaware Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- 1 What is in the Collection?
- 2 Collection Content
- 3 What Can this Collection Tell Me?
- 4 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Known Issues with This Collection
- 7 Citing this Collection
- 8 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in the Collection?
The collection "Delaware, Death Records, 1855-1961" consists of a name index and images of Delaware statewide death records. From 1855 to 1961 the death records are arranged by year then alphabetically by the name of the deceased person. From 1855 to 1961, the death records are arranged by year then by certificate number.
The collection "Delaware Church Deaths, 1750-1886" consists of an index to Delaware church records, mostly from the city of Wilmington.
Death records include certificates, returns, physicians’ certificates and coroner’s returns. Death returns were turned into the State by county clerks prior to creation of death certificates.
On July 1, 1913, the state of Delaware established a law requiring the registration of births, deaths, and marriages and created the Bureau of Vital Statistics as an agency of the State Board of Health. Death records have been submitted to the Delaware Bureau of Vital Statistics since 1913. The city of Wilmington also has a register of vital statistics.
The Delaware Public Archives has death certificates created since 1855 up to 1961. The Archives also hosts files of early death records that were compiled from sources including tombstones, newspapers and family Bibles. The Public Archives also has records of some deaths that have not been indexed.
Death records are considered to be primary source records. Information in these records is usually reliable, depending on the knowledge of the informant. For example, a coroner would be able to give reliable information about the date, time, and cause of death, but might not know personal details about the deceased.
What Can this Collection Tell Me?
Delaware death certificates usually include:
- Name of deceased
- Date of death
- Place of death
- Age, gender and race of deceased
- Father's name and place of birth
- Mother's maiden name and place of birth
- Marital status of deceased
- Occupation of deceased
- Cause of death
- Place of residence
- Date and place of burial
The Delaware death certificates may also include:
- Name of undertaker
- Date of burial
- More place of death information, (name of village, hundred, etc.)
How Do I Search the Collection?
To begin your search you need to know the following:
- The name of the person at the time of death
- Other identifying information such as the death date or place
Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your 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.
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒ Select the "Digital Folder Number" category which takes you to the images
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 article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.
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.
I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?
- Use the information from this index to locate the original death record which usually contains additional information.
- 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.
- The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
- 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.
- Look at the name of the informant. This is often a relative.
- Indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?
- Look for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Search the related collection Delaware, Vital Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword Delaware, Death Records items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki article Delaware Archives and Libraries.|
Known Issues with This Collection
| Problems with this collection?|
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
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.
- "Delaware, Death Records, 1855-1961" and "Delaware Church Deaths, 1750-1886." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Bureau of Archives and Records Management. Hall of Records, Dover.
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 Delaware Church Deaths, 1750-1886.|
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 Delaware, Death Records, 1855-1961.|
|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 Delaware, Death Records, 1855-1961.|
How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
| 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.