Utah, Salt Lake County Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Utah, Salt Lake County Death Records, 1849-1949 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Salt Lake, Utah, United States
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Flag of Utah
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Location of Salt Lake County, Utah
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Location of Utah
Record Description
Record Type Death
Collection years 1849-1949
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
  • The Utah State Archives and Records Service A division within the Dept. of Administrative Services that manages records created by state and local governmental entities in Utah and provides access to historical government records.


What is in the Collection?

This project was indexed in partnership with the Utah Genealogical Association. The collection consists of an index and images for the years 1849 to 1949. Some records in this collection may be for deaths occurring before 1908 where the remains were re-interred between 1908 and 1949.

Collection Content

Sample Images

In 1847, death records were first recorded in the membership records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Later in 1851, the State of Deseret authorized the Church to register deaths on behalf of the government. Then in 1860, the Territorial Government of Utah authorized Ogden and Salt Lake City to keep a record of deaths in their cities. In 1888, this authorization was extended to all cities. Beginning in 1898, the State of Utah required all medical personnel, clergymen, sextons, and parents to register deaths with the county. In 1905, the State of Utah had the county clerks forward the original death record to the State Board of Health, making a second copy for their own county death register. All counties began reporting deaths to the state in 1905, when the Department of Health created the Division of Vital Statistics. A death certificate was required for burial in Utah, so compliance was high. Deaths from 1908 to 1949 were recorded on certificates.

Deaths for the years 1848 to 1908 are recorded in registers, which are bound into volumes. The volumes are arranged chronologically and the entries are arranged numerically within the volumes. Deaths from 1908 to 1949 were recorded on certificates. They are arranged numerically by registered number then by date of death (month and year).

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. The information recorded about the death is usually reliable, including the cause of death, the name of the attending physician or medical professional, the name and address of the funeral home, and the date and place of burial. The accuracy of other information depends on the reliability of the informant, often a family member.

What Can these Records Tell Me?

Death registers usually contain the following information:

  • Full name and gender of deceased
  • Death date and certificate number
  • Age in years, months and days
  • Place of death
  • Race
  • Marital status of deceased
  • Occupation of deceased
  • Birthplace of deceased
  • Parents' names

Death certificates usually contain the following information:

  • Full name and gender of deceased
  • Residence of deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Age in years, months and days
  • Race/color of deceased
  • Marital status and occupation of deceased
  • Sometimes, spouse's name, if married
  • Birthplace of deceased
  • Father's name and birthplace
  • Mother's maiden name and birthplace
  • Name and address of attending physician
  • Name of informant
  • Burial information

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know at least some of the following:

  • The name of your ancestor.
  • The approximate date of death.
  • The place where the death occurred.
  • The names of family members and their relationships.

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information in the list to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if it is the correct person. You may need to compare several persons in the list before you find your ancestor.

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page.


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

What Do I Do Next?

Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the information to locate funeral home, obituary or cemetery record.
  • Use the information to find other records such as birth, christening, marriage, census, land and probate records.
  • Use the information to find additional family members.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

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

  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of Utah, United States Genealogy.
  • Search in the Utah Archives and Libraries.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png 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, please read the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, feel free to report them at support@familysearch.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.

Collection Citation:

"Utah, Salt Lake County Death Records, 1849-1949" Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Management and Archives, Salt Lake City.

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 Utah, Salt Lake County Death Records, 1849-1949.


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Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.