Quick tip – Why Did He Die Elsewhere?

Sometimes, you will find a death record that shows your ancestor died in a different place from where he was living all his life.

Common reasons are:

  • He was in a hospital receiving care.
  • He was institutionalized in a mental hospital. This sometimes happened to elderly people who suffered from dementia.
  • He was in jail.
  • He was there on business.
  • He may have been living with relatives.
  • He may have been visiting relatives.

If you read the death record, it should say whether the person was an official resident of the place where he died, or merely visiting. Even an extended stay in a hospital or prison would count as a visit, not residence. Sometimes the informants of the death record can help, for example if they were hospital employees or jail wardens. Death records sometimes have addresses that you can look up in contemporary address books or by typing in the address in a search engine.

man in black clothes calling at a door

Jan Striening, image of a death informant. Credits: Collection Nederlands Openluchtmuseum, Geheugen van Nederland (Public Domain)

About Yvette Hoitink

Yvette Hoitink, MLitt, CG®, QG™ is a professional genealogist, writer, and lecturer in the Netherlands. She has a Master of Letters in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee, and holds the Certification of Genealogist and Qualified Genealogist credentials. Yvette served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Genealogists and won excellence awards for her articles in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. Yvette has been doing genealogy for over 30 years. She helps people from across the world find their ancestors from the Netherlands and its former colonies, including New Netherland. Read about Yvette's professional genealogy services.


  1. Bart Lenselink says

    I have found two death records for several of my ancestors. This happened especially if the hospital where he/she was nursed was located in a different municipality than where he/she lived..

  2. When he’s young he can be serving in the militairy.

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