Source Information Utah, U.S., Death Registers, 1847-1966 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2010.
Original data: Bureau of Vital Statistics. Utah Death Index, 1847-1966. Salt Lake City, UT, USA: Utah Department of Health. View Complete Source List

About Utah, U.S., Death Registers, 1847-1966

This database includes three different types of records:

  • an index to deaths that occurred in Utah between 1905 and 1951,
  • Utah death registers for 1898–1905 (the dates vary some by county, and Grand County include records for 1961–1966),
  • and interment records for Salt Lake City, 1848–1933.

Utah Death Index

In addition to the name of the deceased, the index provides the

  • date of death
  • county of death
  • gender
  • age at time of death
  • birth date
  • state file number

Not every entry will contain all of these details, but the index will provide the information you need to order a death certificate. Death certificates can be very valuable because of the amount of family information they provide. Death certificates for deaths occurring in Utah since 1905 can be ordered through the Utah Department of Health online or from:

Office of Vital Records and Statistics
P.O. Box 141012
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-1012

Death certificates 50 years old or older are also available from the Utah State Division of Archives and Records Service.

Utah Death Registers

County clerks assumed responsibility for recording deaths beginning in 1898, and they initially documented them in death registers. The registers included in this database record

  • name
  • occupation
  • age
  • term of residence in the city or county
  • marital status
  • sex
  • race
  • color
  • last place of residence
  • cause of death
  • date of death
  • name of party reporting the death

Images of the register pages are included.

Salt Lake City Interment Records

The interment records in this database record deaths and burials in Salt Lake City and extend both before and after the registers in the time they cover. They provide

  • ward
  • name of deceased
  • to whom related
  • birth date
  • birthplace
  • death date
  • cause of death
  • medical attendant
  • burial place

Images of the pages are included.

Vital Records in Utah

In Utah, the civil registration of births, deaths, and marriages developed slowly, culminating with a statewide system of recording births and deaths beginning in 1905.

Nearly all of the early county birth and death register books have been microfilmed and are accessible through the Family History Library. Some of the original books are still at the county seat, while others have been transferred to the Utah State Archives and Records Services.

(From Scott, Patricia Lyn, and Gary Topping. “Utah.” Alice Eichholz, ed. Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources. Third edition. Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Incorporated, 2004.)

Using Death Records

Modern death records (post-1910), though comparatively recent, are steadily increasing in value. People are living longer, and death records often provide information about birth as well as death.

Modern death certificates have not been standardized throughout the United States, but, like birth certificates, most of them contain the same types of information. The attached image, a death certificate from Oklahoma, is representative of most contemporary death certificates. It includes the deceased’s name, sex, race, date of death, age at the time of death, place of death, date of birth, place of birth, marital status, name of spouse, Social Security number, occupation, residence, father’s name, mother’s name, cause of death, and place of burial. Records from other states generally provide the birthplace of the deceased’s parents. The Social Security number is not always included, but, when it is, it can be invaluable because other records (subject to right-of-privacy laws) may be accessible if you have the Social Security number.

As any experienced researcher knows, death records are only as accurate as the knowledge of the person who provided the information. Many informants are unaware of the name of parents or are unsure about dates and places of birth. Always try to find additional information about parents and dates and places of birth whenever possible.

(From Cerny, Johni. “Vital Records.” Szucs, Loretto Dennis, and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, eds. The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy. Third edition. Provo, UT: Ancestry Publishing, 2006.)