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06 June 2012

Before You Get That Death Certificate

If you want a copy of your ancestor's death certificate, think twice before paying one of those online places an exorbitant fee for "instant" or overnight services. Here are some general suggestions:

  • Check FamilySearch.org to determine if the certificates are online there at no charge.
  • Determine if the records have been microfilmed and are available via loan through the Family History Library.
  • Check the appropriate state archives or state historical library website to see if the certificates are online there.
  • Determine what the state office of vital statistics charges for a copy.
  • Determine what the county or town charges for a copy.
Unless you are settling an estate or performing some type of legal work, a certified copy probably is not necessary. Check around before getting your copy from the first place that comes up when you perform a Google search.

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