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Old 07-12-2011, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 22,564,725 times
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Is there any way to find a death record from 1978 for free? I'm looking up my bio father (who I never knew) and I have his first name, last name, middle initial, state and date of death, and his date and place of birth. I see all these sites that will take your credit card number and claim to provide it, but I hate to give out that info, and who knows how credible they are. I also looked for an obituary, but again only found pay sites that claimed they could help.

I've never really tried to find this info before, but did find specific info on his parents and family that was interesting.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,593 posts, read 26,269,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
Is there any way to find a death record from 1978 for free? I'm looking up my bio father (who I never knew) and I have his first name, last name, middle initial, state and date of death, and his date and place of birth. I see all these sites that will take your credit card number and claim to provide it, but I hate to give out that info, and who knows how credible they are. I also looked for an obituary, but again only found pay sites that claimed they could help.

I've never really tried to find this info before, but did find specific info on his parents and family that was interesting.

You should be able to get a copy of the death certificate from the county in which he died for a small fee. Here in GA it was $10. Make sure they know he is your father or they may remove the info about cause of death.

The library in the county in which he died may be able to find an obituary for you, especially since you have the full name and date of death. They may charge a fee for copying, but again it is usually very small.

You can also try a web search using his name and dates of birth and death.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:47 PM
 
9,213 posts, read 18,125,195 times
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Depends what kind of "death record." If you want the actual death certificate, then see the last post. If you just want the official "record" that the death occurred, check the Social Security Death Index for free.
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Old 07-13-2011, 05:25 AM
bjh
Status: "Feel free to skip tough letters!" (set 11 hours ago)
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
26,421 posts, read 22,854,839 times
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Don't pay a private company a fee. Go to the government city, county or state that provides these document. No middle man.
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Old 07-13-2011, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
38,735 posts, read 45,247,137 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjh View Post
Don't pay a private company a fee. Go to the government city, county or state that provides these document. No middle man.
This is true. Many pvt companies will take your money then tell you they can't find any information and you're out the cost(s).

As bjh said, start your record search with the city, then the county, then the state, then federal records. Costs are minimal from government agencies.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:38 AM
 
58 posts, read 60,814 times
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I thought all deaths, divorces, marriages were public , with the exception of marriages that are filed upon marriage as 'confidential'...or not 'public'. however I did not think any death or divorce isnt included in public records within your town/city
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:08 AM
 
5,714 posts, read 12,861,446 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Sep View Post
I thought all deaths, divorces, marriages were public , with the exception of marriages that are filed upon marriage as 'confidential'...or not 'public'. however I did not think any death or divorce isnt included in public records within your town/city
Some states have specific policies i.e. blood relative. I sent for death certificate for my biological mother by filling out a form and including a small fee. You might obtain some information from his social security application, which you can obtain by sending a form to SS and also a fee.
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Old 07-13-2011, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
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Thanks for the tips. I'm most interested in an obituary, but don't know the county/city where he lived or died.
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:18 PM
 
9,213 posts, read 18,125,195 times
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If you can find his death in the SS death index (maybe try to find it on Familysearch or Rootsweb), then you can get the city and state where he died. Then you'll at least know which city's newspapers to look in.
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,415 posts, read 10,066,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
Thanks for the tips. I'm most interested in an obituary, but don't know the county/city where he lived or died.
If you don't know where he died, you can't get a copy of it by paying or for free.

If you find the place, and it's not somewhere you can visit, try finding someone at Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness who lives there. They may look either or both of them up for you.
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