How to Find Out if Someone Died in Your House

Ever wondered if a person has died within your house? Apparently lots of people have, particularly if they reside in a mature home. Interestingly, this morbid curiosity has boosted web services for example which promises, for $11.99, a study detailing “any records found proclaiming that there is a dying in the address.” They utilize public record information and databases, however, and condition within their FAQs their search covers “only a small fraction of the deaths which have happened in the usa” which many of their data “comes from the mid to late 1980s to provide.”

While dying certificates usually record the address in which the dying happened, most online dying databases don’t index these details. Public property records let you know concerning the proprietors of the particular house, although not others and also require resided there. So how will you really find out about the people and also require died within your house? And may you’re doing so free of charge?


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Begin With Your Preferred Internet Search Engine

picture of the ghost rising from the dead body inside a bed

Getty / Rob Nau

You’ve likely already attempted this straightforward step, but entering a home address right into a internet search engine for example Google or DuckDuckGo may uncover interesting details about a specific property. Try entering the home number and street name in quotes-departing from the final road/rd., lane/ln., street/st., etc. unless of course the road name is quite common (e.g. park avenue). Add-on the town name too (e.g. “123 beauregard” lexington) to assist narrow the outcomes. Should there be still a lot of results, you may even have to add some condition and/or country name for your search.

For those who have identified all of your home’s former residents, a search may also include their surname (e.g. “123 beauregard” lightsey).


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Dig into Public Property Records

Deed books

Getty / Loretta Hostettler

A number of public land and property records may be used to find out the former proprietors of your house, along with the land it sits on. Many of these property records is going to be available at the municipal or county office accountable for creating and recording property records, although older records might also happen to be gone to live in condition archives or any other repository.

Tax Assessment Records: Many counties have current property assessment records online (see them via a internet search engine with [county name] and [condition name] plus keywords for example assessor or assessment (e.g. pitt county nc assessor). Otherwise online, then you will locate them computerized in the county assessor’s office. Search by owner name or choose the property parcel on the map to get the real estate parcel number. This can showcase the land and then any current structures. In certain counties, this parcel number may also be used to retrieve historic tax information. Additionally to identifying property proprietors, tax records may be used to estimate a building’s construction date by evaluating the assessed property’s value in one year to another. If structures aren’t particularly pointed out, you are able to identify possible construction by noting the date of the assessment that increases from proportion with other nearby qualities.

Deeds: Recorded copies of various land deeds may be used to identify former landowners. If you are the homeowner, your personal deed will probably find out the prior proprietors, in addition to reference the last transaction by which individuals proprietors first acquired title towards the property. If you’re not the home’s owner, you’ll be able to choose a copy from the deed by searching the grantee index in the local recorder’s office for that name(s) of the present house owner(s). Most deeds you read should reference the immediate prior proprietors from the property (those selling the house towards the new proprietors) and, usually, the deed book and page quantity of the prior deed. Learn to research a series of title and the way to find deeds online.


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Consult Census Records and City Directories

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard within the 1940 census.

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard residing in Encino, California (1940 census). National Archives & Records Administration

Tracking lower previous proprietors of your house is a superb start, only informs an element of the story. How about the many other people and also require resided there? Children? Parents? Cousins? Even lodgers? This is when census records and city directories come up.

The U.S. government required a census each decade starting in 1790 and also the resulting US census records through 1940 are available to the general public and available on the web. Condition census records can also be found for many states and periods of time-generally taken about mid-way in between each federal decennial census.

City directories, readily available for most cities and lots of towns, may be used to complete gaps between available census enumerations. Search them by address (e.g. “4711 Hancock”) to discover everybody and also require resided in or boarded in the residence.


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Locate Dying Certificates

Winston Churchill’s dying certificate

Winston Churchill’s dying certificate.

Bettmann / Getty Images

While you start to identify those who owned and resided in your house, the next thing is to understand where and how all of them died. The very best source for this kind of information is often the dying certificate that will identify both residence along with the host to dying, combined with the reason for dying. Many dying databases and indexes could be utilized online-generally listed in surname and year of dying. You will need to consider the actual dying certificate, however, to understand if the individual really died in your home.

Some dying certificates along with other dying records are available online in digitized format, while some will need a request with the appropriate condition or local public record information office.


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Expand Your Research to Historic Newspapers

2 older women searching at historic newspapers

Sherman / Getty Images

Vast amounts of digitized pages from historic newspapers could be utilized online-a great resource for obituaries, in addition to news products, local gossip, along with other products that may mention the folks and occasions associated with your house. Look for what they are called of proprietors along with other residents you’ve formerly identified inside your research, along with the house number and street name like a phrase (e.g. “4711 common”).

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