How to Look Up Records of Dead People

••• birth marriage and death image by Warren Millar from

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It can be difficult and frustrating to obtain information on people who have recently passed away, and even more difficult if you don't have the contact information of friends and family, or know many details about the person who died. There are many online resources to help you track down information that is available to the public, including marriage and birth certificates, death records, and more.

Research newspaper obituaries if the person died recently and you know the town of the person who had died. Many newspapers will keep online obituaries available to the public and have a section on their homepage dedicated to obituaries. Some are quite extensive and allow you to type in the name or details of the deceased and will produce search results based on the name you provided.

Contact family and friends of the deceased and ask them for the information that you are looking for about the deceased. If you are looking for funeral details, many funeral homes will post these details on their Web sites or make it available to individuals who call. If you live in a small town where there are not a lot of available funeral homes, this is a viable option.

Go to a people search directory or an online public records directory to find information that is available to the public, such as birth certificates, death records, marriage licenses, divorce decrees and more. Web sites such as provide these details when you enter the name of the deceased person and which document you are looking for.

Contact insurance agents, landlords or lawyers for legal documents such as wills or home titles, although this information will only be provided to you if you are a co-signer on a loan or a named trustee in a will.


About the Author

Krista Martin has been writing professionally since 2005. She has written for magazines, newspapers and websites including Live Listings, "Homes & Living" magazine and the "Metro Newspaper." Martin holds an honors Bachelor of Arts in English from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Master of Journalism from the University of Westminster.

Photo Credits

  • birth marriage and death image by Warren Millar from