Missouri 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 Missouri 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 Missouri then read on and hopefully we can help you out.
Also known as the “Show Me State” Missouri was admitted to the Union on August 10th 1821 as the 24th state. There were some issues achieving statehood as the then territories government wanted to continue the practice of slavery.
The Missouri Compromise was the answer to the problem as it allowed the Missouri government to join as a slave state as long as Maine could join the union as a free state. It also prohibited any of the remaining Louisiana purchase territories north of latitude 36°30’ to practice slavery. This aspect was however overturned in 1857 by the Supreme Court.
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 this state 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
- Sometimes race or ethnic group
Click here to search U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007
Missouri Death Certificates Index and Images, 1910-1971
This index of records can be found on the Missouri Secretary of State website and features free downloadable images of original death certificates. If the event occurred after 1971 you will have to order a copy of the certificate itself.
Click here to search Missouri Death Certificates Index and Images, 1910-1971
Indexes for Death Records, Cemeteries and Obituaries by County
Searching for death records on the county level can be harder than the state level but often for older records this is the only option. Thankfully Missouri has a large number of county level online databases that can be searched.
Many of Missouri’s death records and indexes can be found online especially at Ancestry.com. Be aware, this does mean you will need a paid membership to view them but there are still plenty of other records which are free to view online.
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" Missouri Death Records and Death Index". NameCensus.com. Accessed on September 24, 2022. https://namecensus.com/blog/missouri-death-records-and-death-index/.
" Missouri Death Records and Death Index". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/blog/missouri-death-records-and-death-index/. Accessed 24 September, 2022
Missouri Death Records and Death Index. NameCensus.com. Retrieved from https://namecensus.com/blog/missouri-death-records-and-death-index/.