Free death records from the 1970s

Free death records from the 1970s

A customer recently asked about free death records from the 1970s, after being frustrated by Ancestry and other paid sites that dominate Google. Here's what she asked:

"I am trying to find my mom's uncle but all apps charge to find information ... I need to know when he died. It was between 1967-1975."

The "all apps charge to find information" is a reference not only to's expensive subscription costs, but also the other Internet parasites which gum up Google search results, such as paid obituary sites and fee-based newspaper archives.

As for municipal vital records, death certificates of people who died 20-60 years ago often cannot be accessed by anyone other than immediate family.

But there is another source of free death records from this period, as shown in the following sample:

free death record sample

The free death record alternative is the FamilySearch Social Security Death Index. It's not comprehensive, but it contains birth, death, and location information that can help fill in the blanks for relatives who died in the last 60 years, according to the FamilySearch wiki:

"This is an index of deceased individuals whose deaths were reported to the Social Security Administration. It has been kept since 1962, when operations were computerized. The index includes a few deaths from 1937 to 1961, about 50 percent of deceased persons from 1962 to 1971, and about 85 percent of deceased persons from 1972 to 2005."

There is no charge to access this feature, other than a free FamilySearch account. I also created a video showing how to do it on a mobile phone (YouTube):

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