How can I find out for sure whether or not someone died?
August 8, 2013 11:14 AM Subscribe
How can I find an official record of someone's death to confirm that they did in fact die? Googling for his obituary turns up very little information, and his local newspaper has very spotty online archives that don't include the year of his death.
posted by rhiannonstone to law & government (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My mother's second husband was an awful, abusive man, and even though we'd left him years before, we were both very relieved when we heard he'd passed away in the mid-1990s. For some reason I got it in my head to look for his obituary recently, and was a little freaked out that I couldn't find it. I did find a reference on one of the find-a-grave sites to the grave of someone with a similar name--he was John Winstead Smith, the reference I found was to John Winston Smith*--who died around the same time, but couldn't find an obituary or any other details to determine whether or not it was the same man. I live on the other side of the country, so can't drop by the county clerk's office or hit up my local library for a microfiche session. So how can I find an obituary or official death record? I feel like this should be much easier than it's proving to be!
(And please don't advise me to just let this go, my mother still lives in the same county and if he's still alive that's information at least one of us needs to have.)
*Not his actual name, of course.