Indiana 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 Indiana 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 Indiana then read on and hopefully we can help you out.
Indiana’s very factual state motto reads “the crossroads of America” and considering its central location in the Midwest, that motto is apt. With the exception of Hawaii it is the smallest state west of the Appalachian Mountains.
It was the 18th state to join the union, being ratified on December 11th 1816 and just 40 years later would have the dubious distinction of being the home of the first ever recorded train robbery.
Residents of the state before and during the American Civil War played a huge role in the Underground Railroad with the farming community of Newport (now known as Fountain City) being referred to as “Grand Central Station."
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 Indiana 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
Indiana Death Certificates, 1899-2011
Indiana is a state that is very accommodating with regards to their vital records making them available to the public after a certain period of time. In this collection you can find digital images of thousands of death certificates from between 1899 – 2011 (or transcriptions for newer records).
You do require an Ancestry membership to make full use of this collection but it can be very helpful to your research.
In this record you can learn things such as:
- Name of the decedent and place of death
- Color or race
- Marital status
- Date of birth
- Parents name and birthplace
- Name and address of informant
- Date filed
- Date of death
- Physician's statement and cause of death
- Length of residence, if in a hospital or institution
- Date and place of burial
- Name and address of undertaker
- Later records may include spouse’s name
Click here to search the Indiana Death Certificates, 1899-2011
Pre-1882 Indiana Deaths
This collection can be found on the ACPL Genealogy Center website and records deaths recorded before 1882. It was in 1882 that the state required that all deaths be recorded and this was initially done on a county level.
The information in this collection comes from a number of sources including newspapers, county histories, family bibles and genealogical research. This means some of the information may be inaccurate but could still be close to correct in most cases.
Click here to search the Pre-1882 Indiana Deaths Collection
Indiana Wills and Probate Records, 1798-1999
This is a wills and probate index that covers over two centuries of records. It will list the wills and probates of deceased individuals whose estate warranted such a record in the state. You may be able to discover details on family members and what the person had in their possession when they died.
This is on Ancestry.com so you will need a paid membership to access the digital scans of these records.
Click here to search Indiana Wills and Probate Records, 1798-1999
Indiana Death Records Indexes, Obituaries and Cemeteries by County
There are plenty of statewide records but as mentioned for many years deaths were reported at the county level rather than the state.
The state of Indiana has plenty of historical societies and still has many of the early county death records prior to 1882. If your ancestor died in the state you have a reasonable chance of finding confirmation of this.
Link To or Reference This Page
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" Indiana Death Records and Death Index". NameCensus.com. Accessed on October 2, 2022. https://namecensus.com/blog/indiana-death-records-and-death-index/.
" Indiana Death Records and Death Index". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/blog/indiana-death-records-and-death-index/. Accessed 2 October, 2022
Indiana Death Records and Death Index. NameCensus.com. Retrieved from https://namecensus.com/blog/indiana-death-records-and-death-index/.