Death Records

Prior to 1913, for the most part, information on deaths will have to be obtained from family Bible records, cemetery records, census records, newspaper records, church records, wills and estates (usually yielding a date range only), and other types of records.

Estate records cited come from loose estates at the North Carolina State Archives. If you want to see a record mentioned, contact or visit the Archives to get a copy of the record.

There are some death certificates at the State Archives in Raleigh which date as early as 1907, according to reports from researchers. Death certificates were required as of 1913, and there were two registers of the certificates from then until 1960 (one at county level and one at state level). After 1960, only the state register was required. There are restrictions as to what is available, under the right-to-privacy laws.

The mailing address for North Carolina Vital Records is 1903 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC, 27699-1903. They require specific information first, and the payment of a fee, so please check this webpage:

North Carolina Vital Records: Genealogical Research

Older death certificates are held at the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh, and are open to viewing.

North Carolina State Archives

You can find some records online:

North Carolina Deaths, 1906-1930

North Carolina, Deaths, 1931-1994

North Carolina, Deaths and Burials, 1898-1994

North Carolina, Probate Records, 1735-1970

It is wise to remember that the informant for the death certificate may have given wrong information for remote events or other details, whether due to grief, confusion or distraction, or simply not knowing and/or guessing at the answer. Verify the information with every other type of record that you can find, and weigh the evidence, cite your sources, and note your reasoning and conclusions.

When researching individuals from the earlier decades of Guilford’s history, the exact or approximate date of death can be determined sometimes from other records.  I am gradually combining names and dates from the main record sources for the first seven decades, starting with wills and estates.  I do not plan to add cemetery records, as people can easily check Find-A-Grave and Cemetery Census themselves, and the Guilford County Genealogical Society publishes a series of volumes on cemetery records.  Those are under copyright, and they are a valuable source of revenue to the society.

Please visit the Vital Records page to see more information on types of vital records for North Carolina.

Deaths for Guilford County