Researchers with Maryland ancestors are indeed fortunate that all Maryland death certificates through 2012 are now available online. (Until recently, only certificates 100 years old or older were posted online.) The records are available - to varying degrees - on the Maryland State Archives website and the Internet Archive website. The following discussion offers advice on what is where and how to best locate the death record that you're looking for. Step one is checking the online indexes
, then step two is locating the online certificate
Before checking the original indexes, try searching the Baltmore County Genealogical Society's statewide death index database
. Be aware however, that this database is not yet complete
. However, new information continues to be added toward the ultimate goal of a comprehensive searchable database of Maryland's death certificates.
While the original death certificate indexes are available on the Internet Archive website (here
), the following indexes as posted on the Maryland State Archives website are easier to navigate
. For any index entry of interest you locate, be sure to record the name, date, county/city, and certificate number (if any).
Maryland Counties Indexes (Baltimore City deaths for 1875-1972 are indexed separately from deaths in the Maryland counties - see indexes below.)
Baltimore City Indexes
- 1875-1942: CE42 (also for a searchable database for 1875-1880 see S1483)
- 1943-1949: S1483
- 1950-1972: CE42
- 1973-2014: SE151
Using the following Maryland State Archives website links, find the batch of records that contains the certificate you need based on the date, county/city information, and certificate number (if any) you found in the index. Note the "MSA Citation" number for that batch of records. (Example MSA Citation numbers include SE43-9601 and CM1132-61.)
Maryland Counties Certificates
- May 1898 - April 1910: SE42
- May 1910 - June 1951: SE43
- July 1951 - June 1969: SE44
- June 1969 - 1972: SE45
- 1973 - 2014: SE46
Baltimore City Certificates
For certificates at least 100 years old, you can view them on either the Maryland State Archives website or the Internet Archives website. For certficates less than 100 years old, you can view them only on the Internet Archive website.
Viewing Certficates on the Maryland State Archives Website
Batches of certificates at least 100 years old will have a "Links" hot link that you can select to move on to viewing the certificates. (There will be options for viewing the certificates as part of large PDFs or as individual certificates.) For more recent certificates that are not available on the Maryland State Archives website, the notation will instead say "*Links" (with an asterisk).
Viewing Certificates on the Internet Archive Website
Follow one of the following Internet Archive links depending on the date and place of the death.
From the resulting list of files, choose the link for the time period you are interested in.
You'll then have access to batches of PDF files identified by MSA Citation number. The links will appear in the lefthand navigation bar, as shown in the illustration. Select the correct MSA Citation number for the certificate you're seeking. (In the illustration, for example, MSA Citation number SE43-1565 - outlined in blue - has been selected.) Finally, scroll through that PDF to locate the certificate you need.