Statewide registration of births and deaths began in 1919. Death records for 1919-1930 are indexed and available online in the Georgia Death Certificates. Death records for 1928-1930 are available online in the Georgia Non-Indexed Death Certificates. Death records for 1919-1940 are also indexed and available through FamilySearch.org.
The originals through 1942 are also available at the Georgia Archives.
For death certificates from 1943 to the present, contact the Georgia Department of Public Health at:
1680 Phoenix Blvd, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30349
You may also request a death certificate from the Vital Records office of the county where the death occurred. A list of county offices is available online at vitalrec.com
In 1914, a State Board of Health was charged with the duty of compiling vital statistics in the state. Early registration was scant. The few certificates that were filed with the state were grouped roughly by year as they were gathered together, placed in binders, and stamped with a “file number.” To some extent the sequence of the certificates reflects the order in which they were received by the state registrar. These certificates, which cover principally the years 1914 to early 1919, are available online in the Georgia Death Certificates collection.
In general, there are no official death records before 1919. The City of Savannah (Chatham County) began recording deaths in 1803. Death records from 1803-1890 are housed at the Georgia Historical Society. For more information, please contact
The Georgia Historical Society (1803-1890) 501 Whitaker Street
Savannah, GA 31401
Chatham County Health Department (1891-present)
P. O. Box 14257
Savannah, GA 31416
Death Registers are available from 1803 through 1966 on Ancestry.com
The City of Macon (Bibb County) began recording deaths in 1882. For more information, please contact
Macon (Bibb County) Health Department
171 Emery Highway
Macon, GA 31261
The City of Atlanta (Fulton County) began recording deaths in 1889. For more information, please contact:
Fulton County Vital Records
Fulton County Government Center
141 Pryor Street, SW Suite 1029A
Atlanta, GA 30303
The City of Augusta (Richmond County) began recording deaths in 1904. For more information, please contact:
Richmond County Health Department
1916 North Leg Street
Augusta, GA 30309
An 1875 Act of the Georgia General Assembly mandated statewide registration of births, deaths, and marriages. Few counties complied with this law and even fewer citizens within those counties reported the required information. This effort for statewide registration of vital records was funded by the legislature for only two years and after 1876 it was largely abandoned by the counties.
The few extant death records from this period are available on microfilm for the counties below.
When death records are not available, researchers are encouraged to search the following sources which may prove useful:
Federal census records – Federal census records can be helpful in the absence of death records. Federal census records through 1940 are available at the Archives through Ancestry.com.
A possible date span for a death may be determined when an individual appears in one census and disappears from the next. In some cases, there may be a separate mortality schedule that can furnish a death date. This schedule was devised to collect data about individual who died during the twelve months preceding the census day of June 1st. Mortality censuses exist for the years 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880. If a slave died during the census year of 1850 or 1860, the same data was given on the mortality schedule as for other persons who died, even though personal data was not collected in the slave schedules.
Cemetery records – Tombstone inscriptions can provide dates of birth and death. These often are published in genealogical magazines and books.
County Records - County records (particularly wills and other estate records) are a useful substitution for death records. Pre-1900 county records for the majority of Georgia counties are available at the Archives.
Family Bible records – In the 1930s the Georgia Society Daughters of the American Revolution began compiling Bible records for Georgia families. Forty-five typescript volumes have been deposited in the Georgia Archives