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California Death Index 1940-1997 - FamilySearch Historical Records

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California Death Index, 1940-1997
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
California, 
United States
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Flag of California
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Location of California
Record Description
Record Type Death Index
Collection years 1940-1997
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in This Collection?

This collection consists of a name index of death records for the years 1940 to 1997. The index was created by the California Department of Health Services, Vital Statistics Section in Sacramento.

Image Visibility

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images.

For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:

Death Index

  • Name
  • Sex
  • Date and place of birth
  • Date and place of death
  • Father's last name
  • Mother's maiden name

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The date and place of death

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

If these are indexes, the original records may contain additional information than was not indexed, or the information might have been indexed incorrectly. You may want to search for the original record at the California Department of Public Health.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the age or estimated birth date to find other vital records such as birth, baptism, marriage, and death records
  • Search for death or burial information in BillionGraves Index
  • Search for an obituary or cemetery record
  • Use census records to search for other family members

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching a nearby locality
  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names

Research Helps

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of California.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records/Guidelines for Articles.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.