Texas, Death Index, 1964-1998 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Texas Death Index, 1964-1998 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Texas, United States
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Flag of Texas
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Location of Texas
Record Description
Record Type Death Index
Collection years 1964-1998
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites



What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of a name index to Texas statewide death certificates for 4 million people who died between 1964 and 1998.

Collection Content

Standard forms for death certificates and report of death were filled out by a county clerk, mortician or medical professional, who talked to the informant. The certificates were filed with county clerks or local registrars, who forwarded the information to the Texas Department of Health, now known as the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Texas has recorded deaths from 1903 to the present, plus about 250 registrations from the 1890s-1939 and nearly 2,000 delayed registrations of death from 1890s-1990, as reported from obituaries and probate records.

Deaths were recorded to better serve public health needs. They were also used in connection with the probate of wills and the administration of estates.

Information pertaining to death is reliable; including cause of death, name of the attending physician or medical professional, name and address of the funeral home used, and the exact date and place of burial. The other information is usually provided by the informant (often a family member).

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Information in the index:

  • Name of deceased
  • Death date
  • Death place
  • Gender
  • Marital status

Important genealogical facts in death entries:

  • Date of death for the deceased. Starting around 1911, the records increasingly include the burial and birth dates and places.
  • Place of death for the deceased. Starting around 1911, the records increasingly include the cemetery name where buried, as well as the birthplace (the state and sometimes town or county).
  • Name of the deceased. Starting around 1911, the records increasingly include the name of the spouse and parents, often with maiden surnames of women. The informant, who is often a child or other family member, is also named.
  • Starting around 1911, the records increasingly note the names of the spouse and parents
  • Starting around 1911, indicate whether the deceased was single, married, widowed, or divorced at the time of death
  • Starting around 1911, give the occupation of the deceased and may identify the employer

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • 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 in the boxes 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. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination. 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 in the death index, 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 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.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military 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.

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.
  • Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
  • 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.


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


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:

"Texas, Death Index, 1964-1998." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Department of State Health Services, Austin.

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 Texas, Death Index, 1964-1998.


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.