How to Find Out What Year a Relative Died

Written by jennifer gibbons
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How to Find Out What Year a Relative Died
Death records are recorded online by the Social Security Death Index. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

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.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Access the Social Security Death Index (

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

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

  4. 4

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

  5. 5

    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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