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

About Oklahoma

The 46th state to be admitted to the Union on November 16th 1907, Oklahoma became part of the United States through the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. Throughout the 19th century the U.S government moved multiple Native American tribes into the region causing it to at one time to be referred to as the Indian Territories.

Around this time ranchers to the south in Texas wanted to expand and find new pasture lands. The government allowed this, creating what are known as land runs. This brought large levels of settlement to the area as more and more tribal land was given over to the Texas settlers

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
  • Gender
  • Sometimes race or ethnic group

Click here to search U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007

Oklahoma State Vital Records Index - Births and Deaths

This index can be found on the OK2 Explore website and features births from over 20 years ago and deaths from over 5 years ago. You will find basic details pertaining to the events and also locate the certificate numbers for the births or deaths.

Using these numbers you can actually order copies of the original certificates through the website with a death record costing $15.

Click here to search Oklahoma State Vital Records Index - Births and Deaths

Oklahoma Gravestones Photo Project

The Oklahoma Gravestone Photo Project is exactly as it sounds, it’s a gradually growing database of gravestone images that have been taken in Oklahoma cemeteries. You can perform a name search of the database and can even submit images yourself if you happen to have any.

Click here to search Oklahoma Gravestones Photo Project

Death Records Indexes, Obituaries and Cemeteries by County

There is a limited number of statewide death records in Oklahoma and when this happens your next step is to think more compactly. Prior to standardized vital records being reported to the state births, marriage and deaths were recorded in registers by county clerks.

These death records with the addition of obituary and burial records can often be found on county specific websites of which there are a few in Oklahoma that may help you with your research.

County Death Records Indexes, Obituaries and Cemeteries by County


When it comes to death records in Oklahoma the availability before the early 1900s is limited. There are some online indexes and collections that can be helpful at the county level however. Searching for a state issued death certificate is not hard but you will have to pay money to receive a copy.

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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  • " Oklahoma Death Records and Death Index". NameCensus.com. Accessed on September 29, 2023. https://namecensus.com/blog/oklahoma-death-records-and-death-index/.

  • " Oklahoma Death Records and Death Index". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/blog/oklahoma-death-records-and-death-index/. Accessed 29 September, 2023

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