Arizona Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Arizona Deaths 1870-1951 .
Collection Time Period
The certificates cover deaths from 1870 to 1951.
This Collection will include records from 1870-1951
Each death certificate was created on a pre-printed form.
For an alphabetical list of records currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.
Statewide registration of vital statistics began in 1909 and the state achieved 90 percent compliance 1926. Some earlier records for 1887 to 1909 consist of deaths recorded by the individual counties where the death occurred. The counties that participated sent copies to the Arizona Department of Health Services, and the records are available at both places. The Office of Vital Records is responsible for maintaining and issuing certified copies of vital records, including death certificates for deaths that occurred in Arizona. The Office of Vital Records officially began recording birth and death events in July, 1909. However, it maintains a sampling of death records, from 1877, from other sources.
The certificates cover deaths from 1870-1951.
Death certificates were created to record deaths in Arizona in compliance with state law.
Information pertaining to death is reliable; including death, name of the attending physician or attending medical professional, name and address of the funeral home used, and the exact date and place of burial. Other information is dependent upon the reliability of the informant.
Citations for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamnilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- Arizona Department of Health Services. Arizona Deaths certificates. Arizona Department of Library and Archives, Phoenix, Arizona.
Key genealogical facts found in all death certificates include:
- Dates of death and burial
- Frequently, birth date of the deceased
- City, county, and state of death
- Name and location of the cemetery where the deceased is buried
- Frequently, the country or state and sometimes the town and county of birth for the deceased
- Frequently, the country or state and sometimes the town and county of the birth for the parents
- Name of the deceased, married name of the spouse, names of parents, often with maiden name of the mother
- Name of the informant, who is often a child or other family member
- Age of the deceased usually in years, months, and days
- Sex of the deceased
- Residence or address of the deceased, often including length of residence at that place or in the United States, if foreign born
- Whether the deceased was single, married, widowed, or divorced at the time of death
- Occupation of the deceased
How to Use the Records
Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Name indexes to deaths make it possible to access a specific record quickly. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
When searching the index it is helpful to know the following:
- The place where the death occurred
- The name of the person at the time of death
- The approximate death date
Use the locator information found in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestor in the death records. Some on-line indexes, such as indexes to FamilySearch Historical Records, will take you directly to an image. Compare the information in the death record to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
When you have located your ancestor’s death record, 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.
- 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.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
Keep in mind:
- The information in these records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
For a summary of this information see the wiki article United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Arizona Genealogy Birth and Death Certificates
- Online Arizona Death Records and Indexes
- Death Records Search. A guide for finding death records on the internet.
Related Wiki Articles
- Arizona Birth, Marriage and Death Records
- Arizona Deaths and Burials (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- United States, How to Use Death Records
Conributions to This Article
| 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 FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"Arizona Deaths, 1870-1951," index and images, '’FamilySearch’’ (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FLVH-V7V: accessed 11 April 2012), George Washington Mason 1944; citing Arizona Department of Health Services. Arizona Deaths certificates, FHL film 2135637. Arizona Department of Library, Archives and Public Records, Records Management Division in Phoenix, Arizona.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.