You may purchase a copy of a death certificate from ancestry.com for a charge for persons you locate in the California Birth Index and California Death Index 1940–1997. Simply go to Ancestry.com and search for your ancestor using keywords (name) and any other information you have. Click on the "Browse" button next to "California Deaths, 1940-1997." This will take you to a page with all available records for your ancestor. You can choose which record set you want to view by selecting the "View Available Records" at the top left corner of the screen.
Death certificates are important resources for learning more about a person's life and career before they died. A death certificate can tell us where someone was born, what year and month he or she died, as well as other relevant information about the deceased's life. Certificates can also help identify unknown relatives.
People had different ways of recording information about events in their lives. These notes were often included with letters sent through the mail. As time went on, printers began adding information to each page of a book that was being printed. By the late 18th century, printers started including certain documents with their books, such as death notices. These documents provided information about the people who had died.
Where Can I Look for Death Records in California? An online third-party search service can be used to locate death records. Records can also be acquired from the California Department of Public Health for a fee.
How Do I Find Out If Someone Is Dead? This depends on how long they have been dead. If they are very old, there's no way to know for sure unless you find some kind of evidence that someone died at that time.
How Do I Find Out if Someone is Buried? You would usually know if someone is buried because there would be a grave marker showing where they are buried. But sometimes graves are lost or covered up, so they wouldn't show up if you were looking for them.
How Do I Tell If A Body Is Buried Under Soil? This would depend on how far under the soil they are buried. If they are only buried a few inches deep, then you could just take a look and see if anything seems out of place like rocks or trees that aren't supposed to be there.
If they are buried deeper than that, you would need to use some tools or help from someone who does to excavate them from time to time.
How Do I Tell If Someone Is Alive? This would depend on how long they have been missing.
Your ancestor's burial place is frequently discovered in the following records: Some death certificates are available for free through FamilySearch.org, while others must be requested from the county clerk's office. Keep in mind that death certificates are only issued in the state where the death occurred. For deaths that took place in another state, a copy of the death certificate may be obtained from the online database Death Records Online.
A few counties have also begun recording cremations, which can help you learn more about your ancestors' beliefs regarding burial versus cremation. Cremations were common before 1900 when most people could not afford gravesites, so many families chose to scatter their loved ones' remains over large areas or sell any remaining bones. Today, most people prefer to give their bodies a dignified final farewell by having them burned or buried.
Cemeteries are full of evidence that helps family historians discover more about their ancestors' lives and occupations. To start exploring, search for your ancestor's name inside FamilySearch.org's historic collections. Also consider searching public records including birth, marriage, death, and divorce records; cemetery records; census records; and historical society publications.
Death certificates are classified into two types: informative and certified. Anyone can request informational copies. To obtain a certified copy, you must be closely linked to the deceased individual. In California, a list of those who can obtain a certified copy can be found here. An official from the county recorder's office will review your relationship with the deceased to determine if you are eligible to receive a copy.
Informational copies are usually received within one month of filing of the death certificate. Certified copies take six months to three years to process depending on the type of certification requested. The cost is $5 for each page copied. Copies are free if you are filing the death certificate for legal purposes such as probating an estate or pursuing a wrongful death claim.
California uses a standard form death certificate. It includes information about the decedent's name, address, date and place of birth, marital status, occupation, cause of death, and age. There is also a section at the end of the form for relatives or others to comment on how they knew the decedent. This is known as the "closing paragraph."
There is also a supplemental death certificate that can be used when necessary. For example, if the original death certificate does not contain all of the information required by law, another form can be completed and submitted with the death record.