Mortuary and Funeral Home records are yet another little used resource by genealogy researchers. They are difficult to obtain, especially in hard copy from the original funeral home. You can contact them, but often, mortuaries went out of business, or were sold to another company. And many of the original records have been lost or destroyed.
Never fear though, there are a number of mortuary records that have been digitized and made available online.
Online record collections are available from subscription sites such as Ancestry.com and My Heritage – about 20 in total.
But there are other state and local collections available as well, and some of them are indexes only (from ledger books). And some are free and available online!
Here are some articles that may entice you to research Mortuary and Funeral Home records:
Have you ever looked at a mortuary record? There is an abundance of great information available! Here is a list of some of the information on such a record, besides the brand and cost of the casket:
Name of informant and person paying for the service
Cause of death
Address of the deceased
Burial location “to be”
In some cases – the name of the father and mother
Name of attending physician as well as hospital or place of death
Date of birth
Date of death
Date of planned burial
Obituary from multiple newspapers
Plus much more
Below are links to collections for the U.S. that are online and available for free. Be aware that some collections have full mortuary records, some are glorified death indexes, and some are just indexes to the actual mortuary records.
Note 1: There may appear to be duplicate titles in the links. This is because there is scanned images of an original typed list or scanned images of original applications, and also a transcribed copy of a voter registration list.
Note 2: Many of the links listed below take you to a FamilySearch Collection of digital images. Near the bottom of the page under Film/Digital Notes is the name of each sub-collection. If there is a camera icon at the right of the name (in the Format column) then the collections’ images are browsable. If there is a camera with a key icon, it is only available at a Family History Center or affiliated library. If there is a film reel icon, then it is only available in microfilm format, not digital.
(Updated September, 2020; recently added links are in BOLD)
District of Columbia
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!