Florida Death Records and Death Index
It may surprise you to learn how often genealogists face this particular set of circumstances. They are aware of when their ancestor was born, when they may have married, when their children were born but they just can’t find out when they died.
There are a fair few instances where the only information missing is the death date which can be very frustrating. This is why knowing what death records may be available to you can be vital in your research.
It is important to note that one of the biggest issues in finding a death record can be looking in the wrong place. You may be surprised how often people miss records because they are looking in the wrong county and sometimes even the wrong state.
In this post we will be looking at Florida state death records and indexes to try and help you find those elusive ancestors. So if you are confident that your ancestor likely died in the state of Florida then read on and hopefully we can help you out.
Also known as the Sunshine State, Florida became the 27th to earn statehood on March 3rd 1845. Its name comes from the 1513 expedition led by Juan Ponce de Leon. The name derives from the Spanish Easter celebration Pascua Florida which translates as “Feast of Flowers."
Beginning in the 19th century residents of northern states began the practice of traveling to Florida to escape the harsh winters in their home states. This would eventually lead to the state becoming a heavily touristic destination by the 20th century.
The sunny and balmy climate that earned the state its nickname is also ideal for the growth of citrus crops. This is why around 80% of the nation's citrus fruits are grown in Florida.
Social Security Death Index 1935 – 2014
All American citizens, naturalized immigrants and resident aliens require a Social Security number for proof of identification and authorization to work. This number follows us throughout our life and when we die this nine digit code is very important.
The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) is a database of death records that was compiled from the United States Social Security Administration Death Master File. This was until 2014 when the rules changed and public access to the Death Master File had to take place through a certification program.
Those researching the deaths of ancestors in Florida will likely find that most people who have died between 1936 and 2014 can be found on the Social Security Death Index. This does however only hold true if the person had a Social Security number when they died.
It is estimated that since 1973 the SSDI recorded 93% to 96% of the deaths of individuals aged 65 or over. The index was updated frequently and by June of 2011 there were 89,835,920 records available.
The index can be found on websites such as FamilySearch and Ancestry.com and offers details such as:
- Given name and surname (middle initial since the 1990s)
- Date of birth
- Month and year of death (Full date of death for accounts active after 2000)
- Social Security number
- State or territory Social Security number was issued
- Last place of residence when alive including ZIP code
Click here to search Ancestrydeathindex
U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007
This is more or less an extension of the information you can find from the Social Security Death Index. It has been extracted from the SSDI records but features more details. It does not include all of the names found in the SSDI however but there are at least 49 million names included.
In this record you may find additional information such as:
- Date and place of birth
- Parents names if deceased would be over 75 when you are viewing the records (may be redacted if under 75)
- Citizenship status
- Sometimes race or ethnic group
Click here to search AncestryDeathindex
Florida Death Index 1877 – 1998
This database is located on Ancestry.com so will require a subscription to search and view fully. It contains over 5 million death records from between 1877 – 1998 which were sourced from the Florida Department of Health's office of vital statistics.
Information available from this index includes:
- Name of deceased
- Death place
- Death date
- Birth date
- Certificate number and volume book number
Florida Death Records Index, 1877-1939
This collection of death records is located at the free to use Familysearch.org website that is administered by the Church of Latter day Saints out of Utah. You do need to register an account but there is no additional charge.
The information in this database comes from the Florida Department of Health and Vital Statistics but covers fewer years than the Ancestry database. They both offer the same information but this index only extends to deaths prior to 1939 while Ancestry’s index runs through 1998.
Florida Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1880
This is an interesting index for those looking for older state records for Florida deaths. Covering some 40 years between 1850 – 1880 this mortality schedule which can be found at the State Library and Archives of Florida website is very interesting.
Essentially a census of death records it lists the individuals who had died in the 12 months preceding the federal censuses. Obviously this means that the years 1849, 1859, 1869 and 1879 are the only years actually covered by this index. If your ancestor died during any of these years they may appear in the death index.
County Specific Obituaries, Death Indexes and Cemetery Records
Death prior to the official state requirement for vital record recording can often be hard to find in statewide indexes. This is why you should look at the county level as there can often be local indexes that can give you the answer to your questions.
|County||Death indexes, Obituaries and Cemetery Records|
|Boca||See palm Beach County|
|Dade||See Miami-Dade County|
|DeSoto||See Charlotte County|
|Ft Lauderdale||See Broward County|
|Gainesville||See Alachua County|
|Jacksonville||See Duval County|
|Pensacola||See Escambia County|
|St Petersburg||See Pinellas County|
|Tallahassee||See Leon County|
|Tampa||See Hillsborough County|
The state of Florida has a great deal of indexes available at the county level and a number of big death record indexes available through the big websites.
Link To or Reference This Page
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" Florida Death Records and Death Index". NameCensus.com. Accessed on December 8, 2023. https://namecensus.com/blog/florida-death-records-and-death-index/.
" Florida Death Records and Death Index". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/blog/florida-death-records-and-death-index/. Accessed 8 December, 2023
Florida Death Records and Death Index. NameCensus.com. Retrieved from https://namecensus.com/blog/florida-death-records-and-death-index/.