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

About Maryland

Maryland is one of the original 13 colonies and on April 28th 1788 became the 7th official state of the Union. Located in the middle of the eastern seaboard it is a state of varied natural beauty but also has impressive major cities such as Baltimore.

You have likely heard the term Mason-Dixon Line, a geographical boundary that essentially separated the slave holding South from the Free North. It was in Maryland that a land dispute took place between the Calvert family of Maryland and the Penn family of Pennsylvania. It took astronomer Charles Mason and surveyor Jeremiah Dixon five years to map this line, having started work in 1763.

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 Maryland 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 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 Social Security Death Index 1935 – 2014

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 U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007

Maryland Death Records Indexes covers 1898 – 2009

This is an index found at the Maryland State Archives website and at first glance you may think it is not an online database. In fact it tells you on several occasions that you need to use the “archives search room computers.” Worry not however as there is a way for you to search death records.

Scroll to the section entitled “Find a Death Record” and click “View Baltimore City.” You will be given a dropdown menu with year ranges and a list of the available records. It should be noted the years 1969 – 1972 are not here.

Click here to search Maryland Death Records Indexes covers 1898 – 2009

Maryland, Wills and Probate Records, 1635 – 1777

This collection of probate records and wills is located on and as such will require a paid membership to view and use. Around 140 years are covered in these records and may help you learn more about your ancestors immediate family and their financial security.

Click here to search Maryland, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1777

Maryland Register of Wills Records, 1629 - 1999

This collection from FamilySearch covers 370 years of wills, probate and other legal filings in Maryland. It is free to use as long as you have a registered account with the website but it can not be searched by name.

Using this collection will take some work but it is separated by county and there are subgroups based on year and types of records. You will likely have to search page by page so you should have some solid idea of when and where your ancestor may have died.

Remember not everyone made a will or went through any kind of probate so you may have to face the risk of searching for a while to find nothing. It’s the old school way some those who have been researching for decades already know this struggle.

Click here to search Maryland Register of Wills Records, 1629 - 1999

Baltimore City and County

Baltimore was mentioned earlier as being a large Maryland city which is very true. In fact Baltimore is so big we really need a whole section to address the online death records available in this city alone.

Baltimore City Death Index, 1875-1880 and 1943-1949

This is an index at the Maryland State Archives that allows you to search for death index listings between 1875 – 1880 and 1943 – 1949. It is obviously limited but if the death fell between these years this may be worth checking out.

Click here to search Baltimore City Death Index, 1875-1880 and 1943-1949

Death Notices and Obituaries from Baltimore Area Newspapers

This is an index that contains the obituaries posted in several Baltimore newspapers. This may cover deaths that occurred in countries such as Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard.

Click here to search Death Notices and Obituaries from Baltimore Area Newspapers

Assorted Baltimore City and County Cemeteries

Grave markers can be a source of information when researching the death of an ancestor. This is why an index such as this for Baltimore can be very handy. It contains information for grave markers for several of the city's cemeteries.

Click here to search Assorted Baltimore City and County Cemeteries

Death Indexes, Obituaries and Cemeteries by County

As you may have noted, the big genealogy sites such as and FamilySearch are a little lacking in collections of death records for Maryland. There are 23 counties in Maryland 7 of which have some local websites which feature potential death records.

County Death Indexes, Obituaries and Cemeteries by County
Anne Arundel
St. Mary’s


Maryland is not overtly well represented with online vital record availability but there are still some useful databases out there. As an original colony it has plenty of history we just have to dig deeper sometimes.

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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