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.

About Florida

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
  • Gender
  • 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
  • Race
  • Birth date
  • Gender
  • Certificate number and volume book number

Florida Death Index, 1877-1998

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 Death Records Index, 1877-1939

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.

Florida Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1880

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
Indian River
Jacksonville See Duval County
  • Lee County: Fort Myers News-Press Obituary Index, 1930-1997 at Ancestry/free to search
  • Manatee Genealogical Society Tombstone Inscriptions Surname Index membership of Manatee Genealogical Society is required to access additional information about the names
  • Miami-Dade County Recorder's Record Search , 1974-present indexes some probate files and estate death certificates as well
Palm Beach
Pensacola See Escambia County
  • Pinellas County Genealogy Databases includes Pinellas County cemetery indexes, newspaper indexes (with obituaries) and a funeral home index
  • Pinellas County Probate Records Search circa 1980s to present
Santa Rosa
St Johns
  • St. Johns County Deaths 1800-2011 also has other genealogy indexes; from the St. Augustine Genealogical Society
  • · List of deaths and/or burials, 1800-1899 in St. Johns County , Florida; plus St. Johns County, Florida register of deaths that occured in or burials for the period 1900-1949 scanned book at FamilySearch
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.

Neil Edwards

Neil Edwards

Genealogist and family-tree research specialist

Neil was born in Shropshire, England surrounded by centuries of living history. His interest in the past has been a lifelong passion leading to undergraduate degrees in both Economic History & Geography and History & Politics.

This interest in history quickly translated to family history when he moved to the U.S. in 2010. It was here that he began working on his own family tree as well as that of his American wife. That research allowed him to gain a wealth of experience working with both U.S. and European genealogical documents and studying their best uses in researching family history.

Following 9 years of honing his genealogical research skills, Neil was proud to have earned a certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University in late 2019. Neil also took part in the research process for a Duke University study into the families of 19th Century UK Members of Parliament.

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