Talk:How to Find West Virginia Death Records

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In West Virginia, counties recorded deaths from 1853 through 1916, and the state has recorded deaths from 1917 to the present.

Online West Virginia death records

Deaths before 1853

Before 1853, no deaths were recorded by the county or state. You must search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s death date and place.

  Records that give death information:
Cemetery Records
Newspapers
Probate (wills, etc)
Tax Records
Church Records
Census
Bible Records
Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths after 1960

With an exact date (from your records or the index above), you can order a copy of the death record for a fee from the following locations:

To Order Death Certificates
From County of Death From WV Dept. of Health State office
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state County websites can be more difficult to use Offers a search of the state index for an additional fee May be more expensive than ordering from the county

If you do not know the exact date or place of death:
For a fee, the West Virginia Department of Health office will do a 3 year search (click on the death certificates tab).

Restrictions for persons born who died within the last 50 years:
To obtain a copy of the death certificate for those who died within the last 50 years, you must be:

  • The parents and grandparents of person on the certificate
  • The wife or husband of the person on the certificate
  • The children and grandchildren of the person on the certificate
  • The brothers or sisters of the person on the certificate
  • Funeral director
  • Anyone who has legal interest in the certificate
NOTE: A copy of the death record cannot be obtained by anyone except those listed above until 50 years have passed from the date of the death.

If you do not want to order the death record, there are other records with death information you can search.

Return to top: Choose another death year


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