How to Find Minnesota Death Records

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How to Find United States Deaths Gotoarrow.png Minnesota Deaths

Minnesota gained statehood in 1817. Statewide registration of deaths began in 1908. General compliance flollowed shortly after in 1910.

Next Step: When did the death occur? [edit | edit source]

Choose a time period to search for your ancestor's death record:

Learn more about U.S. Death Records

Deaths before 1870[edit | edit source]

Before 1870, no deaths were recorded by the county or state. You must search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s death date and place.

  Records that give death information:
Cemetery Records
Newspapers
Probate (wills, etc)
Tax Records
Church Records
Census
Bible Records
Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths between 1877 and 1939
[edit | edit source]

Some counties in Minnesota began to keep death records in 1877. Statewide registration started in 1899 but not every death was recorded. General compliance throughout the state began in 1917.

STEP ONE: Find Death Information[edit | edit source]

For death that exist during this time period, try the following databases.

Minnesota Death Databases - Includes Indexes Only
Try 1st:
1877-1939 - At FamilySearch.org Free; index of Minnesota death records created by Minnesota Department of Health and Vital Statistics. Microfilm copies of original records are available at the Family History Library and at Family History Centers
Try 2nd:
1900-1921 - At FamilySearch.org Free; index to death and burial records from the state of Minnesota. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and Family History Centers.
Try 3rd:
1877-1998 - At FamilySearch.org Free; index of deaths from the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Vital Records.
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No death record for your ancestor? Other records with death information

If you cannot locate your ancestor in the databases above, try searching for death information in other records.

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate[edit | edit source]

There are two options:

  • If the indexed information contained a GS microfilm number you can order the microfilm from the Family History Library.
  • If the indexed information did NOT contain a GS microfilm number, you can you can order a microfilm corresponding to the correct certificate number from the library's database of Minnesota death certificates, 1877-1939.


Deaths after 1939[edit | edit source]

The state of Minnesota began recording deaths in 1917.

STEP ONE: Find Death Information[edit | edit source]

For deaths that exist during this time period, try the following database.

Minnesota Death Databases - Includes Index Only
1877-1998 - At FamilySearch.org Free; index of deaths from the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Vital Records.

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate[edit | edit source]

To get an image of the certificate, you can order a copy of the death certificate for a fee from one of the following locations:

Death records are also maintained at the county level. County copies may be obtained at the Register of Deeds office in the county where the event occurred.


Restrictions for persons who died within the last 50 years:

To obtain a copy of the death certificate with information on the cause of death for those who died within the last 50 years, you must be:

  • The decedent's spouse, parent, child, grandchild, or sibling
  • Any person who provides documentation that he or she is acting on behalf of any of the previously mentioned persons

NOTE: A copy of the certificate with information about the cause of death cannot be obtained by anyone except those listed above until 50 years have passed from the date of death.

If you do not want to order the death record, there are other records with death information you can search.

Return to top: Choose another death year


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