The New Jersey death certificate contains comprehensive information regarding the identity of the deceased, and the cause and manner of death. Among the components are full name; age at time of death; date of birth; and marital status (including surviving spouse’s name). Other relevant information includes the funeral facility with the place and method of disposition, e.g. cremation. Highest educational attainment, last employer and race/ethnic designations are evidenced by this document, as are place, cause, manner, and pronunciation of death. Both the funeral director and the attending physician are signatories to a New Jersey death certificate, which requires a raised municipal seal to make it official.
Certified copies of the New Jersey death records can be purchased from the New Jersey Office of Vital Statistics and Registry for $25.00. Additional copies cost $2.00 for each. The state authorizes VitalCheck to process online requests, a convenient alternative if time is of the essence.
While the death certificate may be the most definitive proof of passing, not all parties demand that level of authenticity. A death notice or obituary, for example, may suffice in some instances since newspapers require funeral home confirmation before publishing. Most of the larger New Jersey daily papers now have significant online presence, complete with obituaries dating back to at least the last few years (some much longer). Additionally, many funeral homes themselves operate searchable websites where inquirers can research past memorial services.
Searching death records can be a depressing, even morbid, undertaking. In a densely populated state like New Jersey, the task can seem daunting. However, the combination of local government processing and 21st century research technology makes it all a little easier.