Finding the minimum information for church records
To find an individual's death date in church death records, you must at least know the individual's name, and either the name of the church where the ceremony was performed or the name of the clergyman that appears in the church death records. If you do not have the minimum information to find a church record, you can either:
Get help finding some of the minimum information by selecting the following item,
click the Back button on your browser to return to the list of other places where you can find death dates, or
read the paragraphs below for a few additional tips.
Finding church records
If you can find out the denomination of your ancestor's religion, you can try contacting all of the churches of that denomination in the area where you believe your ancestor lived. If they have records from the corresponding time period, they should be able to tell you whether or not your ancestor was a church member. If their records do not go back far enough, they may be able to tell you if any other churches of that denomination existed in the area at the time and where their records may be.
The International Genealogical Index (IGI), available through the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on both microfilm and the FamilySearch computer, contains references to some church records. To search through the IGI, you only need to know your ancestor's name, although knowing approximate birth and death dates and the area where your ancestor lived will help you narrow your search. When you find the name of an ancestor in the IGI, you can order microfilm copies of the records through the Family History Library.
Try finding a marriage certificate -- it will probably list a clergyman or church. If the individual lived in the same area throughout his or her life, the same church may have performed both the marriage and the burial ceremony.
Finding death dates
If the individual was a veteran who served and was killed in the Korean or Vietnam War, you may be able to find a death date through the death records in the Military Index on the FamilySearch computer at your local Family History Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Family History Library has all other wars indexed on microfiche. You only need to know the war and the veteran's name. Local community and genealogy libraries may also have war indexes. Contact individual libraries for their holdings.
Make sure to check photo albums, scrapbooks, diaries, and family Bibles at home. See the topic Finding information at home for more information. Also check for local histories. See the topic Finding previous research.
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