Kansas 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 Kansas 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 Kansas then read on and hopefully we can help you out.

About Kansas

The Great Plains state Kansas achieved statehood on January 29th 1861 becoming the 34th to the Union. It was a bloody struggle to reach statehood however as it was a race against time to see which side could send more settlers to the state.

It was the northern free states vs the southern slave owing states both struggling to gain a foothold in Kansas. This led to bloodshed and violence and the state's motto reflects these troubled beginnings, "Ad astra per aspera" (“To the stars through difficulties").

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 Kansas 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 Ancestry Death Index

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

Kansas, Deaths, 1811-1940

This collection is found on the FamilySearch website a creation of the Utah based Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints. It covers death records collected in the state between 1811 – 1940 and offers transcriptions of the records and some digital images.

The details that can be found include names, age, gender, marital status, occupation and date of death. There are no death certificates in this collection, just indexes and death registers.

Click here to search Kansas, Deaths, 1811-1940

Kansas Cemetery Abstracts

This is another FamilySearch collection which has records for cemeteries that are located in 60 of Kansas 105 counties. It features abstracts of the inscriptions found on grave markers which may be helpful in your research.

Click here to search Kansas Cemetery Abstracts

Death Records Indexes, Obituaries and Cemeteries by County

Kansas is a little conservative when it comes to access to vital records so often we have to rely on other death indexes if we can not order official records from the state. Many of these records and indexes are found at the county level.

County Death Records Indexes, Obituaries and Cemeteries by County
  • See Douglas County
  • See Riley County
  • See Johnson County
Overland Park
  • See Johnson County
  • See Sedgewick County


The majority of Kansas genealogical death indexes can be found on the county level at several localized websites. However, there are some collections available at the big genealogy sites like FamilySearch and Ancestry.com.

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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