Typically, people looking for information on their ancestors skip right past the death record, heading in a beeline for other vital records such as marriage and birth. One might not imagine what a document about death could possibly do with the living. Documents of death, like any other vital records, can be very helpful in various ways. Perhaps the most significant information such record can provide is the cause of death. With the knowledge of how genetics contribute to health and diseases, the fact that an ancestor may have died from a genetically predisposed disease is paramount. Death records also provide so many other important details about the deceased. The central repository for Illinois death notices is the Bureau of the Vital Statistics which functions under the Department of Public Health.

Death records are not public records in Illinois. The State restricts access to such records only to those who are related to the decedent. When doing background checks and you’re not at any point related to the decedent, you will have to submit a letter from the agency that demands the death certificate. Hence, if you wish to conduct genealogy research, you may have to settle for an uncertified copy of a death record. Bear in mind that this copy will only be obtainable if the death occurred at least 20 years before the date of your request.

Certified and uncertified copies of death records can be obtained from the Division of Vital Records. Additionally, such copies of death notices can also be acquired through the Office of the County Clerk in the county where the death took place. For deaths recorded prior to 1916, these can only be obtained from the county clerk’s office.

The fee for a certified copy of the death certificate is $19, while the uncertified, genealogical copy costs $10. Extra copies of the same record for a certified copy are $4 each if requested at the same time. If no record is found as part of a certified search, a no record statement will be issued. Such fees are non-refundable even if a record is found or not. Payment can be made by check or money order payable to the Illinois Department of Public Health or with a credit card. Payment should not be in cash. A $10 is charged for the handling for credit card transactions and an additional $19.50 fee if you opt that the death record be delivered to your doorstep.

In appealing for a copy of a death record, the significant information you need to provide are the decedent’s full name, date and county of the death, the parents’ name, your relationship to the deceased, and the reason for your request. If you are a legal representative, a written and notarized document naming you as the authorized individual should be submitted. If your purpose is to claim legal, personal or property interest, a printed document proving that you have a personal or property interest at stake, such as a will naming you, should be provided.

Acquiring copies of death records in the State of Illinois can be done online, by mail, by fax, or in person. The average processing time for death records requests takes days to weeks depending on the method of acquisition exploited and the volume of requests received in the office of Vital Records. If you want to get a copy of a death record in an expedited and practical way, then do it online. Simply search the web for online service providers, perform a little background check on the record provider you’re eying on to ensure accuracy and less errors, and hire their services. There are a lot of online record providers which proffer the same service but for only a minimal fee. What’s more, these providers can also give you the records you need in just a matter of minutes.

Read more about Death Records and its associated searches at Death Notices online.