How To Find Out if Someone Died Recently

Find a specific obituary

If you know the name and location of the person you’re looking for, a quick Google (or other search engine) query is your best bet beyond obituary search sites. Type in the person’s name, location and terms like “death,” “died,” “obituary” or other similar words to narrow down your results.

There should be plenty of results that pop up, but be careful to pay attention only to the listings that appear to match your search. For instance, make sure you’re looking at the right city, have the correct spelling for the person’s name and make sure all other details are accurate.

This may take a while, but it’s a good way to figure out the truth.


Tips for Finding Out If Someone Died

Before you begin your search, make sure you’re aware of a few things. As mentioned before, death is a difficult topic. It might not always be easy to find what you’re looking for, especially if you don’t have a personal relationship with the deceased.

Keep these tips in mind:

  • Be respectful: The biggest thing to keep in mind is respect. Always be respectful of those who passed on, their families, and their right to privacy. Knowing what to say when someone dies is an important part of the process.
  • Reason for death: While information about when a person died might be publically available, you don’t have access to how this individual died. This is something the family would need to share with you. 
  • Consider a premium service: If you want results quickly, the fastest way to learn is by paying for a subscription to an online search service.

How to Find Out if Someone Died in Another Country

A location-based search is a little different if it is suspected a person died in another country. For one, depending on the country, that information may not be available to the public, it may not be available online, or even easily researched in-person. If the person believed to be deceased was a citizen of the United States, there is a possibility that information may be available through the National Archives.

5. Search Newspapers

Because you likely don’t have the time or patience to sift through old newspapers physically, do an online search. While social media and online obituary websites have made this less common, many families still only publish memorials through the paper. This might be the only record of death that’s publically available. 

If you know where the person died, search these specific newspaper websites. If there is no website, contact the newspaper via phone or email and ask if they have a record for the name you’re looking for. Most modern newspapers, even smaller publications, have some kind of online search tool. 

Search for a specific gravesite

If you know the person’s name and location, you can always search for their gravesite. will tell you where a gravesite is if you type in the person’s details.

If a listing is found, you’ll see more than just the location of a person’s final resting place. The website will also provide memorials, photos and more information about the person who passed away. This site includes celebrity and historical figure gravesites, images and additional information as well.

These methods should help you discover whether someone you know has passed away; however, they also serve as reminders that anyone can find out just about anything about you online, even long after you’re gone.

If you’d like to keep your information private, be sure to adjust your online settings and delete unnecessary information while you still can. Tap or click here to learn how.

How to find out where someone is buried

If you’re not sure where someone’s burial place is or where a deceased person was cremated, you can find out online, but whatever UK online service you come across, it’s unlikely to be free. Generally, the more details you want to know, you will usually have to pay a fee.

For example, you can visit Deceased Online to get information from burial, cremation registers and grave maps regarding where the person you are looking for was buried or cremated, but you will need to be registered or have a purchase voucher/subscription to be able to do this, which is not free.

Similarly, you can visit another website such as Findagrave UK, which offers a free service, but you need to know the cemetery location to be able to locate the deceased person. If the right person shows up on their search list, there should be a picture of the headstone to help you find it in the cemetery. This site is for graves only, however, and you won’t find information on cremations here.

Locate Death Certificates

Winston Churchill's death certificate.

Bettmann/Getty Images

As you begin to identify the people who owned and lived in your home, the next step is to learn how and where each of them died. The best source for this type of information is usually the death certificate which will identify both the residence as well as the place of death, along with the cause of death. Many death databases and indexes can be accessed online—generally indexed by surname and year of death. You’ll have to look at the actual death certificate, however, to learn whether the individual actually died in the home.

Some death certificates and other death records can be found online in digitized format, while others will require a request through the appropriate state or local vital records office.

Information you may Find on a Death Certificate or Record [ edit

  • Age at death
  • Cause of death
  • Date and/or place of birth
  • Date and/or place of burial
  • Details about the length of illness
  • Disposition of cremated remains
  • Exact time of death
  • How long in this country or location
  • Maiden name of deceased woman
  • Marital status at the time of death
  • Name of surviving spouse
  • Name (and sometimes address) of informant, frequently a surviving spouse, child or other close relative
  • Name and location of mortuary
  • Names of parents
  • Occupation and/or name of employer
  • Residence of the deceased
  • Religious Affiliation
  • Signature of attending physician
  • Whether single, married, widowed or divorced
  • Witnesses at the time of death

3. Use Word of Mouth 

It may sound obvious, but another great way to find out if someone has died is to simply ask around. If you have any type of relationship with the person who passed, friends and family will likely be willing to answer your questions. When reaching out to family members inquiring about a death, be sure to broach the topic respectfully and with sympathy. In addition, be prepared that some people may choose to forego answering questions if the memory is too painful.  Be courteous and pursue one of the other options listed in this article if this is the case.

Not sure how to to locate a decedent's friends and family? Reach out on social media! Start by drafting a gracious note to ask if they would be willing to answer some questions. 

A Research-Based Approach

Without directly asking a person’s loved ones, there are other ways to find out if someone died. Some of these methods include:

A vital records search – Armed with information about a person’s last known residence, it is possible to check with local governing agencies to determine whether a death certificate has been filed for a person. Typically, records like this are kept at a local courthouse or clerk’s office. In some areas, this information may be accessible to the public online for a fee.

Searching genealogical records – Increasingly more people are interested in learning about their forebears. This information is often achieved through genealogical research, much of which is published digitally through membership websites dedicated to family research. In some cities, public library cardholders can access this information at local libraries. For people who worked in the United States, the Social Security Death Index may have a record of their demise. Other corporate-owned and operated databases may also be useful. However the information is accessed, many people have found birth and death information by using this valuable method.

Visit Relevant Websites – Knowing where a person worked, where they attended school, what charitable organizations they were affiliated with, or even which church they attended can be quite useful when trying to find out if someone died. Often, these organizations will publish information about a person’s passing directly on their website or in a newsletter distributed to other members. When using this method, including websites that may be relevant to people close to them. For example, an association close to the parent or a spouse of the person being investigated may also publish condolences.

Reading social media posts – Friends and family members often post information about a loved one’s death on social media sites. Sometimes, knowing the name of just a single friend or family member may be all that is needed to connect to a larger network of people who know the person being investigated.

Searching for an obituary – Websites like specialize in publishing obituaries online. By inputting a person’s full name while searching by state and city, it may be possible to find out if someone died. 

Searching For a Burial Site – In addition to being able to search for obituaries online, people can also search for where a person’s body is buried. A search like this isn’t the greatest for uncovering information about a person recently deceased, as most entries are user-submitted and may take some time to make their way to a particular database. For those who may have passed away many months or years prior to a search, however, this type of search may prove to be invaluable.

Checking local newspapers – Obituaries are not only published online. Many are still published in local newspapers. Death notices are also routinely published in local press outlets, as are funeral announcements. When using this research method, do note that online and print editions may differ, so it is always a good idea to check both mediums. 

What Information Do You Need to Find Someone?

The more information you can provide or search for online, the better. Try to determine details including:

  • The person’s full name
  • Aliases and nicknames they may have used
  • Their age
  • Their town of residence
  • Their place of birth
  • Their birth date
  • Marriages/divorces
  • Their place of work
  • Email address or phone number

These details can confirm whether the obituary you found belongs to the right person or not and can help you narrow down your search considerably.

Dig into Public Property Records

Getty / Loretta Hostettler

A variety of public land and property records can be used to identify the former owners of your home, as well as the land it sits on. Most of these property records will be found at the municipal or county office responsible for creating and recording property records, although older records may also have been moved to state archives or another repository. 

Tax Assessment Records:  Many counties have current property assessment records online (locate them through a search engine with [county name] and [state name] plus key phrases similar to assessor or evaluation (e.g. pitt county nc assessor). If not on-line, then you definitely'll discover them computerized on the county assessor's workplace. Search by proprietor title or choose the property parcel on a map to acquire the actual property parcel quantity. This may present data on the land and any present constructions. In some counties, this parcel quantity will also be used to retrieve historic tax data. Along with figuring out property homeowners, tax data can be utilized to estimate a constructing's development date by evaluating the assessed worth of the property from one 12 months to the subsequent. If buildings aren't particularly talked about, you may determine doable development by noting the date of an evaluation that will increase out of proportion to different close by properties.

Deeds: Recorded copies of assorted kinds of land deeds can be utilized to determine former landowners. In the event you’re the house owner, your personal deed will doubtless determine the prior homeowners, in addition to reference the prior transaction through which these homeowners first acquired title to the property. If you’re not the house’s proprietor, then you may find a replica of the deed by looking the grantee index on the native recorder’s workplace for the title(s) of the present property proprietor(s). Most deeds you learn ought to reference the speedy prior homeowners of the property (those promoting the house to the brand new homeowners) and, often, the deed guide and web page variety of the earlier deed. Discover ways to analysis a sequence of title and how to find deeds online.

Does a Loss of life in a Residence Have an effect on the Worth?

One of many questions people marvel is whether or not dying can impression property values. There are lots of factors that influence as appraisal however dying in a property isn’t often considered one of them.

If a murder has occurred in a house, it can postpone many individuals from eager to reside there. Murders in a home are a turnoff for a lot of potential house consumers. Even when a dying occurred within the distant previous, consumers could be involved about being haunted.

Whether or not their considerations stem from private expertise or they’ve watched too many horror films, it’s prone to negatively have an effect on the value. Most potential consumers aren’t going to sweat a dying from pure causes.

A violent homicide or identified haunted home could possibly be a a lot completely different story affecting property worth. For a sure proportion of consumers, it is going to be a deal-breaker.

Although it won’t hassle you, it may grow to be a problem whenever you ultimately promote the home. Regardless, it’s all the time a good suggestion to search out out as a lot as doable in regards to the house earlier than you commit your cash to purchasing.


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