Genealogy and Family History

What's in a Death Record?

Death records include official state death registrations, newspaper obituaries (see the Newspaper page for information on this topic), and records maintained by funeral homes and cemeteries. 

In Florida, death registrations were not required by law until 1899, although some information exists going back to 1877.  The Florida Death Index (1877-1998) is available for searching in Ancestry Library Edition, available at branch public libraries in Hillsborough County.  The Florida Department of Health website provides information as to how to order a copy of the death certificate. 

Funeral home records may include a large number of details about the deceased individual, including:

  • the name and address of the deceased
  • the birth date and location
  • the death date and location
  • the sex, marital status, and race
  • the name of the attending physician
  • the cause of death
  • the names of the parents
  • the occupational title of the deceased and type of business
  • the Social Security Number (which can be used to obtain an SS-5 from the Social Security Administration)
  • information about the funeral services (date, time, location, and other details)
  • a list of names and relationships of survivors (usually made available for purposes of the newspaper obituary)
  • the exact location of the burial, including cemetery name, lot, section, and space number
  • a list of pall bearers (active or honorary), who may be relatives or close friends

Cemetery records may include some of the same details, such as the date and time of the burial and the lot, section, and space number for the burial.

    Hillsborough County (Florida) Funeral Home and Cemetery Records

    The Special and Digital Collections department of the USF Tampa Library provides access to records for the following funeral homes and cemeteries:

    • F.T. Blount Funeral Home Records (March 1924-October 1991)
    • A.P. Boza Funeral Home Records (January 1929-October 1991)
    • Lord & Fernandez Funeral Home Records (May 1947-May 1951 and January 1959-March 1976)
    • Garden of Memories Cemetery Records (February 1984-January 1989)