Where Can I Find Someone’s Date of Death for Free?

You can find a free date of death for Zachary Taylor and an awful lot of other folks (photo: Flickr Commons nkcr).

If you need to know a person’s date of death, there are some incredibly deep resources on the internet where you can find the information for free.

For relatively recent deaths (since about 1960) in the United States, search for the person’s name at the Social Security Death Index.  SSDI contains not only dates of death, but other useful personal information, such as the place of birth and place of death.

Other sites aren’t quite as parochial. You can search U.S. records, but also find information on death dates in the U.K, Canada, Australia, India, Egypt…pretty much all around the world. You won’t be able to find everyone you’re looking for, but there a surprising number — literally billions —  of free online records available.

Have a look at FindAGrave, with more than 35 million records, FreeUKGen, with a few hundred million UK records, and FamilySearch with untold numbers of individuals from around the world and across history.

Search in old newspapers too, for free death notices and obituaries.  You can also use the subscription service at Newspaper Archive, where you can search at no charge, but have to subscribe to retrieve the full article.

These resources, together, cover more than a billion records, but they still only scratch the surface of what’s out there. Browse through the resources at Free Genealogy Tools for more links to some great tools for family history research, or just to satisfy your curiosity.

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