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How to Find Out How Someone Died

We know it is very uncomfortable and difficult to find out that someone you know has passed away. It is awkward to ask people about that person. This situation happened when someone was suffering from a terminal illness. Sometimes the family of the dead person creates the news through different channels.

But in most cases, you can’t find the news on any channel. We have done some research and collected different ways to find out how someone died. Here in this article, we have a complete list of specific methods.

There are different ways to find out how someone died.

Online Obituaries

Online obituaries are the first and best way to find out if someone has passed away or not. There are different ways to create online obituaries, which are explained one by one below.

Try on the search engine:

You can use popular search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to find out about that specific person. For using this method, you should have some information about that person, like their name, phone number, family member's name, and location. You have to put a person's name along with the keyword "obituary.

Checking social media

When you're trying to find out how someone passed away, checking social media can be surprisingly helpful. Many people use platforms like Facebook and Instagram to share news of a loved one's death or to remember them. If the person you're curious about is active on social media, you can look at their profile or those of their close friends and family.

For recent cases, you might quickly find posts that mention how they died. If it's an older case, you may need to dig deeper into their social media history. Also, checking the person's profile can provide clues. After someone passes away, their profile often becomes a place where friends and family share memories and condolences. Looking at posts around the time of their deaths might give you the information you're looking for. So, in the quest to uncover the details of someone's passing, social media can be a valuable tool, offering a unique glimpse into their story.

Check local news websites.

If you have the city and state of that person, you may be able to find information about the person who has passed away. First of all, try to search the local newspaper and find their online website, then go to the obituaries section of those local newspaper sites.

You can find the newspaper sites by writing "city-state local newspaper obituaries “on Google, or you can find the information by putting the name of that person on legacy.com. Some famous news websites like:

  1. Google News Archives
  2. US News Archives
  3. International News Archives

You can even call that local newspaper site for more information about obituaries.

Browse the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) and online death indexes.

If you are living in the United States and want to find out who died after 1962, then social security death indexes are another way. The Social Security Death Index contains a list of persons who are dead and reported to the SSDI. Even if you can find the person's information who died before 1962, you can't locate that person easily.

FamilySearch.com is another source for the death index. It provides information based on the state's death record. You can select that specific state and find the people who have passed away. Again, you should have basic information about that person, like their name, date of birth, city, and state of birth. It will make it easy to find the information.

Genealogy Sites for Older Deaths:

Genealogy websites are especially helpful for finding individuals who have died decades or even centuries ago. These websites require only some basic information to retrieve details about the specific person you are searching for.

Online government databases:

Although obtaining data from government bodies is time-consuming, But the local government maintains the data for their people. You have to request to get the information. It will take some days or weeks to approve your request to get the information of that specific person.

Research the person.

Conversations with Family Members

Conversation with family members is a simple and easy way to get to know the person whom you know. Family members are the prime source of insights about that person. Sometimes family members feel unable to tell you what happened to the person who passed away. In this case, you have to respect the emotions of the family members. But if you are close to his or her family, they will more likely tell you how that person died.

If you don’t know any family members, then you can search for the person's organization or workplace. Where can you get helpful information?

Records at the local courthouse:

Searching the will and estate of the missing person is another way to find out the truth about the person you are searching for. You have to go to the local courthouse of the country in which the person was living. They have records of whether the person registered his will or estate before his death. Usually, they charge some fee for searching the name or records. But the fee for this inquiry is very minimal. So, you can get the information for your desired person.

State or national archives facility

In some countries, they have archive facilities or vital records. Sometimes these records are also digitized. To get the information, you have to fix the appointment or become or register as a researcher. Most of these records are for those who died in wartime.

Local City Records Office:

The local city record office is also a good source for getting information about who you know. You must know the person's local city, where he or she is living. Local cities make death certificates for the person who passed away. Although this is a public record, getting a copy of the death certificate would cost a small fee.

But you can get the necessary information from there. You can call the head office and make your inquiry like this: May I get information about how some died? These local records may take some time to be updated, so you may have to wait for some time to get the information.

Local police station

If you still didn't get the desired information, You can call the local police station for more information. The police may have a report file or any other information about the death of the person. Maybe they will call you to come to the police station. So, this is another method to get the information.

Word of mouth

It is another way to find information about someone who has died. If you are close to the person, family members and friends can tell you the details. But be respectful with family or close friends, as this is the most sensitive and emotional situation.

Person's Gravesite

Checking the person's gravesite is not the first choice to confirm their death. Gravesite data is not up-to-date but after some time, you can check the information about the person.


Navigating the sensitive matter of finding out how someone died involves a range of methods, from online searches to direct inquiries with family members or authorities. Choose the approach that suits the situation and respects the emotions of those involved, acknowledging the sensitivity of the matter.

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