How to Find North Dakota Death Records

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How to Find United States Deaths Gotoarrow.png North Dakota Deaths

North Dakota received statehood in 1889, and was created from Dakota Territory. In 1893, the government passed a law requiring registration of deaths. This law was later repealed and then reenacted in 1899. General compliance began in 1923, making registration consistent.

Next Step: When did the death occur?

Choose a time period to search for your ancestor's death record:

Learn more about U.S. Death Records

Deaths before 1893

Before 1893, 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
Probate (wills, etc)
Church Records
Bible Records
Return to top: Choose another death year

Deaths after 1893

STEP ONE: Find Death Information

For death that exist during this time period, try the following databases.

North Dakota Death Database - Includes Index Only
1893-Current - At North Dakota Department of Health Free; any death occurring in the last twelve months is not included in this index
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No death record for your ancestor? Other records with death information

If you do not find your ancestor's death, then contact the North Dakota Department of Health Office.

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

With an exact date (from a death certificate, Social Security Death Index, or cemetery record), 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 ND 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

Restrictions for obtaining a certificate:
To obtain a copy of the death certificate with cause of death and social security number, you must be:

  • The decedent's spouse, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, or sibling
  • Anyone who has legal interest in the certificate
    NOTE: An informal copy of the death certificate can be obtained by anyone, but it will NOT contain the cause of death or social security number.

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

Related Wiki Articles


Guide to Public Vital Statistics Records in North Dakota. By the North Dakota Historical Records Survey, Division of Community Service Programs, Work Projects Administration. FHL Book 978.4 V23h. FHL film 1,036,526 item 3

American Indian Agency Records.

1880-1942 Births, marriages and deaths, Standing Rock Agency. Bureau of Indian Affairs. FHL Films 1,204,876 and 1,021,936 FHL film first film 1204876