A. First, try to obtain your relative’s death certificate from the California state vital records office. Check to see if the newspapers carried an obituary. Either of these sources should give the name of the funeral home.
While most funeral homes have no problem accommodating genealogists in their requests for relatives’ records, keep in mind that funeral home records are private records, and the funeral home is within its rights to restrict or deny access. Also because funeral home records are private records, the content varies from one funeral home to another and from one time period to another.
To locate the funeral home, try searching for it online using your favorite search engine or a directory site such as FuneralHomesDirectory.com. Or use the following reference guides to help you locate funeral homes: American Blue Book of Funeral Service (Kates-Boylston), The National Yellow Book of Funeral Directors (Nomis) and The Redbook (National Directory of Morticians). One of these directories should be available in your public library’s reference section.
- instructions on finding death records
- family history clues you’ll find in death records
- sample death records with source citations
- a form to help you organize your death records search
- other old records that provide death information