California Death Index 1940-1997 (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: California, Death Index, 1940-1997 .
This Collection will include records from 1940 to 1997.
This collection consists of a name index of death records. The index was created by the California Department of Health Services, Vital Statistics Section in Sacramento.
The index includes the following:
- Date and place of birth
- Date and place of death
- Father's last name
- Mother's maiden name
How to Use the Record
To begin your search it is helpful to know:
- Identifying information such as age or death date and place
Search the Collection
To search the collection:
⇒ Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒ Select the appropriate "Year Range"
⇒ Select the appropriate "Surname Range" which takes you to the images.
Search the collection by image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. The index entries are brief so it is easy to confuse individuals. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images 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.
Using the Information
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. For example:
- Use the death date to obtain a death certificate.
- 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.
- Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- 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, check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Remember that indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
- Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
Unable to Find Your Ancestor?
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
- 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.
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword California, Death Records items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki article California Archives and Libraries. For additional information about this state see the wiki article California.|
Related Wiki Articles
- California, County Birth and Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- California, Death Index, 1905-1939 (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- California Vital Records
Contributions 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.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- "California, Death Index, 1940-1997." Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013.]]
text = California Department of Health Services. California, Death Indexes. California Department of Health Services, Vital Statistics Section, Sacramento, California.