Record of Death Notices of U.S. Citizens Aboard, 1835-1855. Publication A1 848, ARC ID: 1227672. Records of District Courts of the United States, RG 21. The National Archives at College Park, Maryland, U.S.A.
Notices of Deaths of U.S. Citizens Abroad, 1857-1922. Publication A1 849, ARC ID: 1227673. Records of District Courts of the United States, RG 21. The National Archives at College Park, Maryland, U.S.A.
One responsibility of U.S. consulates is to report deaths of American citizens occurring within their districts to the U.S. Department of State. This data collection contains these death reports for the years 1835 through 1974 and is compiled to provide satisfactory proof of an American death as that information may not be available from any other source. It does not include the deaths of active military personnel, which are reported to the Defense Department rather than the Department of State, or the deaths of individuals whose citizenship status was unknown.
Information regarding the deceased individual was compiled on form FS 192 “Report of the Death of an American Citizen.” For years 1963 through 1974 reports are organized by year, then alphabetically by surname; however, for the years 1910 to 1962 a Decimal File system was used. The first numbers in the system were year range, then file number, which for years 1910 to 1949 are 3, followed by a number representing the country. The year ranges 1950 to 1962 are in file 2 followed by country number. If you wish to contact NARA for additional information about these records, an understanding of the Decimal File system will help you locate them.
Details about the deaths of historically significant individuals such as author Sinclair Lewis and banker J.P. Morgan, both of whom died in Rome, Italy, and Kathleen Kennedy Cavendish (Marchioness of Hartington) sister of President John F. Kennedy, who died in a plane crash in France are listed in this database. Various conspiracy theories, some previously classified, such as the death of Amelia Earhart by Japanese execution in Saipan 1937 for spying can be found in this database. Additionally, of the 1,517 casualties incurred in the sinking of the Titanic various names of the 333 recovered bodies are found in these records.
Information in this database:
- Place and date of record
- Name of deceased
- Nativity (which may include birth date and place)
- Last known address in the U.S.
- Date of death
- Place of death
- Cause of death
- Disposition of the remains
- Names of friends and family members who were informed of the death, had a copy of the report sent to them, or was traveling or residing abroad with the deceased
- Miscellaneous remarks