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

About Louisiana

In 1803 the size of the United States was effectively doubled when Thomas Jefferson made a deal with France known as the Louisiana Purchase. This new 828,000 square miles of land would ultimately become 13 states and the first of which to be carved out was Louisiana itself.

Officially accepted into the Union on April 30th 1812 Louisiana became the 18th state in the Union. Originally a French territory to this day there are heavy influences from France especially in the Cajun community.

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 Louisiana 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

Louisiana Death Records Index, 1911-1971

Louisiana is one of those states that monetizes its vital records meaning if you need copies of birth marriage or death records you will have to pay a fee. This searchable index then can be found on the Louisiana Secretary of State website.

The website allows you to search for birth, marriage and death records and once located you can order copies of the original documents. In the case of deaths you have to wait 50 years after the event before you can order a copy.

Basic copies are $5 and a certified copy will cost $10. Those looking for copies for official reasons may need the certified copy.

Click here to search Louisiana Death Records Index, 1911-1971

Louisiana Deaths, 1850-1875, 1894-1960

As mentioned Louisiana keeps a tight rein on their vital records so you will not find digital images of death certificates easily. This collection is an index of recorded deaths spanning 1850 – 1960 with a gap of 19 years between 1875 – 1894.

This index covers a number of Louisiana parishes but not all. Statewide coverage for all parishes is available in this index but only between 1911 – 1959. This is because previous to this the death recording duties were performed on a parish by parish level.

As this is a FamilySearch index it is free to anyone with a registered account with the website.

Click here to search Louisiana Deaths, 1850-1875, 1894-1960

Southwest Louisiana, Deaths Index, 1840-1906

This is an Ancestry.com collection so it will require a membership to access and use. It covers just over 60 years prior to vital records becoming mandatory and the state taking over the gathering of these records.

Several parishes are covered in this collection and you may be able to discover basic biographical information regarding the deceased such as age, name, death place and death date. Occasionally there may be more detail in some records.

Death Records Indexes, Obituaries and Cemeteries by Parish

Unlike most states Louisiana is broken down into parishes rather than counties although the distinction is in name only. There are 63 parishes in Louisiana and a few of them have some local online death indexes that may be of some use to you.


Vital records in general are not easy to obtain through online research in Louisiana. You may discover certificate numbers but you will need to contact the Louisiana Secretary of State to order these records which will incur a small fee.

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.

Link To or Reference This Page

We spent a lot of time downloading, cleaning, merging, and formatting the data that is shown on the site.

If you found the data or information on this page useful in your research, please use the tool below to properly cite or reference Name Census as the source. We appreciate your support!

  • " Louisiana Death Records and Death Index". NameCensus.com. Accessed on October 1, 2023. https://namecensus.com/blog/louisiana-death-records-and-death-index/.

  • " Louisiana Death Records and Death Index". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/blog/louisiana-death-records-and-death-index/. Accessed 1 October, 2023

  • Louisiana Death Records and Death Index. NameCensus.com. Retrieved from https://namecensus.com/blog/louisiana-death-records-and-death-index/.