The state department of health has the responsibility of recording the deaths of tens of thousands of residents who die each year. This index lists over 7 million individuals who died in the state of Texas from 1903-2000. A few deaths from years prior to 1903 are also included. The index was provided by the Texas Department of Health. Information available in this index includes:
- Name of deceased
- Death county
- Death date
- Death certificate number
- Marital status
Note: not all entries will provide all of this information. In addition, only deaths from 1903-63 and 1999-2000 are linked to images of the original Department of Health index. Where to Go From Here:
With the information provided in this index, you may be able to obtain a copy of a death certificate. Because more information is often provided in an original record than in its index, it is important that you obtain a copy of the original record, if possible. For information on how to order a copy of a death certificate, visit the Texas Department of State Health Services website (www.tdh.state.tx.us) or write to:
Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics
P. O. Box 12040
Austin, TX 78711-2040
Vital Records in Texas:
Beginning in 1903, with mandatory recording of births and deaths, copies of county records are maintained at the Bureau of Vital Statistics, Texas Department of Health, 1100 West 49th Street, Austin, Texas 78756. Statewide indexes were microfilmed by the Texas State Library and copies are additionally available at several genealogical libraries. The death index is alphabetical within broader periods of time: 1903-40; 1940;45; 1946-55; then annually for 1956-73. The Genealogy Section of the Texas State Library provides limited correspondence service by checking indexes for a particular name for a small fee. If a birth or death record is not found at the state level, it is prudent to check the proper municipal or county office.
Taken from Wendy Bebout Elliot, "Texas," Red Book, ed. Alice Eichholz (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004).
About Death Records in General:
Modern (post-1910) death records, 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. Most contemporary death certificates include 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 some states 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.
Taken from Cerny, Johni, "Research in Birth, Death, and Cemetery Records." In The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, ed. Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1997).