North Carolina Deaths - FamilySearch Historical Records

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North Carolina Statewide Deaths
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This wiki article describes a collection that is available for free online at FamilySearch Record Search – Pilot Site. To access the collection, see North Carolina Deaths, 1906-1930

How To Use This Record[edit | edit source]

Death certificates are the best source of death information. The certificates contain clues for further research. 

Why This Record Was Created[edit | edit source]

Death certificates were created to record deaths in North Carolina in compliance with state law and to better serve public health needs. They were also used in connection with the probate of wills and the administration of estates. 

Record History[edit | edit source]

The State of North Carolina began recording deaths in March 1913. The trend of keeping state-wide death records throughout the United States expanded in the early 20th century after Congress passed a resolution in 1901 asking each state to gather information about births and deaths on a statewide basis. Because Congress did not fund it, it took several more years before it happened in every state. Death certificates were usually filled out by a mortician or medical professional. They filled in the information concerning the death and then obtained personal information on the deceased from an informant, usually a relative. Then, they sent the information to the county, who sent a copy to the state.
Death certificates were usually filled out by a mortician or medical professional. They filled in the information concerning the death and then obtained personal information on the deceased from an informant, usually a relative. That information was submitted to the county, who sent a copy to the state. The Vital Records Section of the Department of Public Health is responsible for maintaining and issuing certified copies of vital records, including death certificates for deaths that occurred in North Carolina. The Vital Records Section officially began recording birth and death events in 1913. See Wiki article North Carolina, Vital Records, Death Records to see availability of this colection.

Record Description[edit | edit source]

North Carolina death certificates are recorded on a printed form which was filled in by hand or typed. 

Record Coverage[edit | edit source]

This collection includes records for the years 1906-1994. 

The State of North Carolina began statewide registration in 1913 and achieved compliance by 1920. 

Record Content[edit | edit source]

The key genealogical facts found in most death certificates are:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Sex, race, marital status and age of the deceased
  • Dates of death and burial
  • Birth date and birthplace of the deceased
  • City, county, and state of death
  • Name and location of the cemetery where buried
  • Frequently, the country or state and sometimes the town and county of birth for the deceased
  • Names of parents, often with maiden surname of the mother
  • Name of the informant, who is often a child or other family member
  • Residence or address of the deceased, if foreign-born
  • Whether the deceased was single, married, widowed, or divorced at the time of death
  • Occupation of the deceased


Record Reliability
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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.

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