Source Information

Ancestry.com. Minnesota, Death Index, 1908-2017 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2001.
Original data: State of Minnesota. Minnesota Death Index, 1908-2017. Minneapolis, MN, USA: Minnesota Department of Health.

About Minnesota, Death Index, 1908-2017

This database is an index of deaths recorded by the state of Minnesota from 1908 to 2002. The registration of births and deaths on the county level began in 1870, however, state-level registration of deaths in Minnesota did not begin until 1908. The index includes:



  • Name of the deceased
  • City and county of death
  • Date of death
  • Birth date
  • Birthplace
  • Mother's maiden name
  • State file number

Note: Each entry may not contain all of this data.

Non-certified death certificates may be ordered from the Minnesota Historical Society for a small fee of $8. For information on ordering non-certified death certificates visit the Minnesota Historical Society website. If a certified death certificate is needed, please visit the Minnesota Department of Health website for more information. The Department of Health can also issue non-certified certificates. However, the fee is slightly more expensive than that of the Historical Society.

Death records are usually a good source of genealogical information. Modern death certificates have not been standardized throughout the United States, but, like birth certificates, most of them contain the same types of information. Most death certificates include the deceased's name, sex, race, date of death, age at the time of death, place of death, date of birth, place of birth, marital status, name of spouse, Social Security number, occupation, residence, father's name, mother's name, cause of death, and place of burial. However, always remember that death records are only as accurate as the knowledge of the person who provided the information. Be sure to find out who the informant was and what kind of relationship he had with your deceased ancestor to determine how well he would have known your relative. Many informants are unaware of the name of parents or are unsure about dates and places of birth. Always try to find additional information about parents and dates and places of birth whenever possible.

Taken from Cerny, Johni, "Research in Birth, Death, and Cemetery Records." In The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, ed. Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1997).