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

About Mississippi

Taking its name from the mighty Mississippi River the state joined the Union as the 20th on December 10th 1817. Spanish explorers were the first to arrive in the region in 1540 establishing the first permanent settlement in the area soon after.

In the first half of the 19th century the state was the country’s top cotton producer, an industry that was powered by slave labor at the time.

The state is probably best known for being the birthplace of Blues music which is said to have originated in the Mississippi Delta. The music is said to have its roots in the songs sung by the African slaves while toiling in the fields.

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 Mississippi 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 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

Mississippi, Death Certificate Index, 1912-1943

This index of death certificates was acquired by reclaimtherecords,org and later gifted to FamilySearch. The Utah based FamilySearch is affiliated with the Mormon church and offers up its vast collection of genealogical resources for free.

Using a registered account you can search this index which features transcriptions of the original death index.

Click here to search Mississippi Death Certificate Index, November 1912-1943

Mississippi U.S. Index to Deaths, 1912-1943

This is a similar collection as above but this time it is from Ancestry.com so does require a paid membership to use. In this index you can likely find out the death certificate number which will allow you to order a copy of the original document you so wish.

Click here to search Mississippi, U.S., Index to Deaths, 1912-1943

Mississippi Wills and Probate Records, 1780-1982

This collection features over two centuries of will and probate records for the state of Mississippi many of which will have been recorded at the county level. Locating your ancestor in these records may help you understand more about their family and what they owned.

In a less inspiring voyage of discovery some researchers may locate their ancestors in some of these wills and named slaves who were passed down to the heirs of the deceased. This was not an unusual thing to find in wills in the south during slavery.

Click here to search Mississippi Wills and Probate Records, 1780-1982

Death Records Indexes, Obituaries and Cemeteries by County

There are some 82 counties in Mississippi but many of them are largely rural in nature. This means that only a few at present have online county specific death, obituary and cemetery records.


The death records in Mississippi are sometimes difficult to locate especially for early events. There is not a great deal available for most of the counties online so you may have to do some footwork and visit repositories when researching in this state.

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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  • " Mississippi Death Records and Death Index". NameCensus.com. Accessed on November 30, 2023. https://namecensus.com/blog/mississippi-death-records-and-death-index/.

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