Finding North Dakota Death Records Back to 1881

North DakotaThe state government of North Dakota has made investigating about any possible death record on an ancestor in that state much easier. On the site North Dakota Public Death Index there is a simple search box.  Just two items have to be included. One is the surname of the individual you are looking for and a death date range.

On the surname you may have to try a couple different versions of the spelling since it does not allow a  * or ? for a wildcard letter when you are unsure of the surname.  A given name is not necessary, which is good since the first name may be different form of a known name. This only becomes a problem if the surname is very common. For example, ‘Smith’ in the time period of 1920 to 1925 had 188 entries.

You have to put in the search a time period; one that includes a month, day and year.  However, that is just a range. Placing 01/01/1920 to 12/31/1922 is fine if you think the ancestor died around 1921. In fact you are allowed a ten-year range such as 01/01/1910 to 12/31/1919.

Then click the search button for the index listing of individuals that match your input information. There will be a column of the full name, the date of death (with month, date and year), the county in North Dakota they died in, the gender, their age at death, their full birth date, along with the county and state they held their residence.  Knowing their residence is important in case that relative died in North Dakota but lived permanently in another state or even neighboring Canada.

Having that information can really give a boost to your research. It is especially useful to identify any children who died as infants that you did not have in your family lineage.

From there on the site you can also order online a certified copy of the death certificate from the state of North Dakota.

This Midwestern state joined the union November 2, 1889, so having the death index go back to 1881 is very helpful. The population of the state prior to statehood was about 37,000. By 1890 it had grown tremendously to 191,000 residents. In 1920 there was  population of 647,000 people in North Dakota. With most natives of the state, they have a German heritage followed next by Norwegian and then Irish.

So it is a good site to check for any possible leads on vital information concerning any ancestors who may have been near or in the North Dakota area.

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