Knowledge — 2 years ago

Iowa Death Records: How to Find Death Records in Iowa?

by Charry A.

How to Find Death Records in Iowa, Iowa Death Records

How to Find Death Records in Iowa?

While looking for information on ancestors, we mostly try to find their birth certificates and marriage certificates. What most people tend to ignore are the death records of their ancestors. Sometimes, even though we are aware of the date and place of death of our ancestors, it is still vital to track down their death records. Death records can give us so much more information than just where and when our ancestors died. So when you are trying to find out important details about your ancestors, and are looking through public records, make sure do not skip past the death records.

Death records comprise of funeral home records, obituaries as well as death certificates. All these documents together can give us an insight into heaps of information about the deceased person. From the death records, we can get details on their parents, their spouse, their kids, and their siblings. We also get information about where they were born, whether they were married or not, their occupation and also the cause of their death. When trying to find information about our deceased ancestors, their death records can be extremely helpful.

How to Find Death Records in Iowa

Iowa death records

In the US, all events that occur in each state including death, birth, and marriage are recorded. The bureau issues roughly around 85,000 certified copies of such events annually and registers over 100,000 such events. In the state of Iowa, it was only in July 1880 that the official registration on marriages, births, and deaths began. The original public death records Iowa can be found with the Department of Public Health and the Bureau of Vital Statistics. There are also local registrars in counties that maintain records of death, births as well as marriages that have occurred in the county. State records are also available with the state registrar if you are wondering how to find death records in Iowa.

The county registrar, however, does not have death records between the years 1921 and 1941 in their custody. In order to get a copy of the death records, you need to send in an application in writing and you need to give sufficient proof that you are entitled to the records you are requesting access to. You are entitled to get the records of a person only if you are the person’s spouse, parents, child, sibling, guardian, grandparent or legal representative. You can get copies of Iowa death records from the state office either in-person, over the phone or by using the postal service. The fee to get the records will have to be paid to the Department of Public Health, Iowa. If you are collecting the records in person, you can make the payment in cash. As of July 2019, the fee to process death records is 15 dollars in Iowa.

 Public Death Records Iowa

Iowa death records online

In Iowa, you also have the option of accessing online death records. No deaths were recorded in Iowa before 1880, so you will have to use substitute records to find out about the death of your ancestors. You can use cemetery and obituary records, which are maintained between 1850 and 1990, however, these records are limited. You can also refer to church records, census details, and newspapers for more information.

How to find death records in Iowa?

To get access to death records in Iowa, you will have to follow a few steps.

Step 1- There are a number of online sites that let you access death records. The first step is to know which database you need to access. If you are looking for death records between 1850 and 1990, you can refer to For records between 1917 and 1935, you can try the State Historical Society of Iowa.

Step 2- The next step is to obtain the certificate. You can get a copy of the records for a fee from the Iowa Public Health Department.


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