14 November 2023

Death Certificates at Michiganology.org

The majority of death certificates found at Michiganology.org are from 1897-1947. Due to Michigan law the records must be seventy-five years old or older to be online. The years 1948-1952 have indexes, but no images. You have to wait until January of the new year before next year's certificates are posted. January 2024 is when the 1948 death certificates will be posted. 

Every January I would have my list of Michigan deaths I needed to find. I got behind on lookups for about four years. Recently, I took some time to catch up. One of my 1947 certificates was for Charles Zobel, my first cousin twice removed. 

Source: Michigan Department of Health, "Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1950," Index and Images, , Michiganology (www.michiganology.org : accessed 1 May 2023), Entry for Charles A Zobel, 25 June 1947; Michigan Department of Community Health, Lansing

Above is what the certificates look like. This one is nice because most of it is typewritten. Some are not and those can be hard to read.

Search tips: On the search within this collection page, put the name you are looking for in the seach box, select sort by "title/last name" in the drop down menu at the top of the page, next select "table" in the display drop down menu. Using "table" is the only one that gives you last name, first name, and county information in the search results. I have found this to be successful for me. You can't refine the search. Other sort by options include type, first name, or place. If you aren't sure of the last name you can search by these other options. 

If you have ancestors who died in Michigan, check out the death certificates at Michiganology. Remember some of the genealogical relevant information is only as good as the informant.


  1. Thanks for this very good reminder. I've used Michiganology in the past but not lately! Off I go to do some lookups.

  2. I wait each year for the new certs to come online. Although I miss our former site Seeking Michigan, I have learned to navigate Michiganology. I’m grateful to have this information as I am a 3rd generation Michigander.

  3. I am getting the hang of Michiganology, too. I believe it is here to stay.

  4. It's fairly easy to get more recent death certificates from MI, if you are willing to pay a fee. In my case, it was my great-grandfather who was taken to the state hospital at Ypsilanti in 1943. He's available now (he died in 1947), but I wasn't willing to wait a few years when I ordered it. In any case, you only need to fill out a form, and apparently, being his great-granddaughter was considered close enough as a relative. (He had tuberculosis, as it turns out.) I know I ordered it from a state site, but of course, I can't find the bookmark, now!