Michigan Death Certificates (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952 .
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What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of an index of death records from the Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics in Lansing for the years 1921 to 1952.

These records are also available on the Seeking Michigan website.

Collection Contents

The records usually contain the following information:

  • Name of deceased
  • Death date and place
  • Birth date and place
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Names of parents
  • Name of spouse
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Residence
  • Name and relationship of informant

How Do I Search the Collection?

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

  • Name
  • Date of death
  • Place of death

To search by index:
Fill in the requested information on the initial search page. Look at the list of entries created by your search. 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. You may need to compare the information on about more than one person to find your ancestor. 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.

Be aware that search returns may include a GS Film Number. This is not a searchable Family History Library microfilm number and will not lead you to images for your ancestor. The full record can be obtained from Michigan Department of Community Health.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Make a photocopy 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.

The following examples show ways you can use the information:

  • Use the names and relationships as a basis for compiling family groups.
  • Use the names, date, and residence or place to locate the individual or family in the census.
  • Use the names and places to locate additional records about the individual or family such as church and land records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • You may need to compare the information of more than one family or person to make this determination.
  • Look for burial and probate records in the same location.
  • The informant is often a close relative.
  • If no birth date is given, use age listed to determine an approximate birth date.
  • If the deceased is a child, look for records of the parents.
  • Be aware that search returns may include a GS Film Number. This is not a searchable Family History Library microfilm number and will not lead you to images for your ancestor. The full record can be obtained from Michigan Department of Community Health.

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

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
  • 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.
  • There is also the possibility that a family was missed in the census.

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:

"Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952." Database. FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org. accessed 2016.). Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing, Michigan.
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 Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952.