How to Find Out What Year a Relative Died

Death records are archived online by the Social Security Administration in an index containing more than 65 million records. Every person born in the United States is given a Social Security number and when they pass away, their name, age and other statistics are recorded in the Social Security Death Index. If you need to know what year a relative died, all you have to do is access the record online.

Access the Social Security Death Index (

Type in the first and last name of the individual. Do not use the middle name -- middle names are not indexed. Use maiden names when searching for women.

Click on the submit button and the records containing the names you provided will populate.

Try submitting more information if your search yields too many results. Using a Social Security number will produce an exact match.

Read the results page to determine the year of death. This page also contains tools to order an official report, access or order a photocopy of the individual's original request for a Social Security number.

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About the Author

Jennifer Gibbons is a freelance writer in Florida. She has been writing professionally since 2001 and her work has appeared in magazines such as "Senior Living" and "Mature Lifestyles." She is working on a Bachelor of Arts at State College of Florida with a major in mass communications. Gibbons is also a professional photographer and an accomplished portrait artist.