How to Find Virginia Death Records
How to Find United States Deaths Virginia Deaths
Statewide registration of deaths began in 1912 in Virginia.
Next Step: When did the death occur?
Deaths before 1853
Before 1853, 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:|
Deaths from 1853 thru 1912
In 1853, Virginia law required counties to record deaths, although records are incomplete. No deaths were recorded between 1896 and 1912.
If you cannot locate your ancestor in the databases below try searching for death information in other records.
For deaths that exist during the time period, try the following databases. Try each link.
|Virginia Deaths Databases - Includes Index Only|
|1853-1896 - At Library of Virginia||Free; dates vary by county; list of county coverage (scroll down)|
|1853-1912 - At FamilySearch.org||Free; dates vary by county; list of county coverage|
|Choose one of the following:|
||1853-1917 - use at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries||Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center|
||1853-1917 - use your Ancestry subscription||$, To obtain a subscription to Ancestry; Ancestry is often available through your local public library for free|
|Choose one of the following:|
||1853-1896 - use at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries||Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center|
||1853-1896- use your Ancestry subscription||$, To obtain a subscription to Ancestry; Ancestry is often available through your local public library for free|
|Can't search the index listed above?||Try searching other records for death information.|
|Can't find your ancestor in the index?||Tips for searching indexes|
|No death record for your ancestor?||Other records with death information|
Deaths after 1912
The state of Virginia began recording deaths in 1912. Currently, there are no indexes to Virginia deaths from 1912 to the present available online.
Obtain the Certificate
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 VA Dept. of Health State office|
|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|
If you do not know the exact date or place of death:
For a fee, the West Virginia Department of Health office will do a 3 year search (click on the death certificates tab).
Restrictions for persons who died within the last 50 years:
To obtain a copy of the death certificate for those who died within the last 50 years, you must be:
- The parents and grandparents of person on the certificate
- The wife or husband of the person on the certificate
- The children and grandchildren of the person on the certificate
- The brothers or sisters of the person on the certificate
- Funeral director
- Anyone who has legal interest in the certificate
- NOTE: A copy of the death record cannot be obtained by anyone except those listed above until 50 years have passed from the date of the death.
If you do not want to order the death record, there are other records with death information you can search.