Death records contain more than just the date of death. Important information about relatives can also be uncovered searching these
When searching vital records, you will likely look at birth record and marriage records. You may think that death records contain
little information about a person except for date of death. Death records will provide you with important information about a person.
Here’s some of the information you can find in death records:
- The birthplace of the person. You may not have known that your grandfather was born overseas until you
looked at his death record. Sometimes a county coroner will not check other county vital records to verify the deceased’s birth
place and will assume that the person was born in the town they died. Most of the time a family member or relative will be able to
give someone the correct date of birth to be included on death records.
- The name of the deceased person’s parents.
- Date of birth. Some people lie about their age, however death records must be as accurate as possible
and even if a person lied to everyone, the death record will reveal the truth.
- Cause of death.
- Where they died. If you are searching through very old county vital records, knowing where someone died is
important. Death records are normally filed where a person died.
Searching through county vital records is not always easy. If you don’t know where someone died, you may have to call or
visit many agencies and counties to find death records. This can be time consuming and expensive. Online record search
companies compile this information in one place. You can search for death records from California to Florida.
These searches can be relatively inexpensive. You don’t have to leave your home to find the death records you need and how to obtain a copy.
The Following genealogical information is available directly from Alabama agencies:
Alabama vital records include birth, death, marriage and divorce records. Alabama law did not require the recording of birth or
death certificates until 1908. The statewide recording of marriage certificates began in 1936 and divorce certificates in 1950.
The Alabama Department of Archives and History has indexes to those records, but original certificates must be obtained from the
Alabama Center for Health Statistics.
Alabama Department of Public Health
The RSA Tower
201 Monroe Street
Montgomery, Alabama 36104
Prior to 1908 some vital records were recorded at the county level. Generally this practice began around 1880. Most birth records
list sex, race, place and date of birth of individual but no name. The names of parents and physician/midwife attending are
also sometimes listed. Most death records list name of individual, and place of death, age at death and attending physician.
Some include place of burial and cause of death. Most marriage records include names of husband and wife, presiding official
at marriage, and signatures of two people who posted the marriage bond. Most divorce records list only date of divorce and names of
the parties and officials involved. Not all records are complete. Each county had vital events which went unrecorded or records
which were lost or damaged. Many courthouses have burned and the records they contained may be limited. Some counties separated
vital records by race, with records for whites and African-Americans recorded in separate books. The original designations recorded
on the volumes (White, Black, Colored) have been maintained on the records listed.