Massachusetts Death Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Massachusetts, Death Index, 1970-2003 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Massachusetts, United States
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Flag of Massachusetts
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Location of Massachusetts
Record Description
Record Type Death Index
Collection years 1970-2003
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

This collection includes records from 1970 to 2003.
The collection consists of indexes to deaths from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Health Services in Boston. The index is provided by Ancestry.com.

Collection Content

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The index lists the following information:

  • Age at Death
  • Estimated Birth Year
  • DGS Number
  • Date of Death
  • Certificate Number or page number
  • GSU Film Number
  • Image number
  • Name of Deceased
  • Name of Father
  • Name of Mother
  • Name of Spouse
  • Place of Death
  • Sex
  • Page Number

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

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

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 individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. 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 and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

Use the locator information found in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestor in the death records. When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Download a copy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Continue to search the index and records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have served in the same unit or a nearby unit.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • You may need to compare the information of more than one family or person to make this determination.
  • Be aware that, as with any index, transcription errors may occur.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.

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:

"Massachusetts, Death Index, 1970-2003." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. 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.

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 Massachusetts, Death Index, 1970-2003.


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.