Few websites provide access to records like birth certificates and census records free of charge, but familysearch.org does. It can be difficult to find records when you are first starting out.
If you start just by entering a relative’s first and last names, too many results will come back.
If we know that Guillermo Abril was born in 1901 and died close to 1951, we can get much better results.
In this particular instance, if you search Guillermo Abril, with a birthdate of 1901 and a death date range from 1949 to 1953, you can find a death certificate that looks like this.
This is exciting. From just this little half sheet of paper from 1951, we can tell that Guillermo Abril was born November 18, 1901 and died August 29, 1951.
We can tell that his parents were Abram Abril from California and Margarita Nunez from Mexico.
We can tell that Guillermo was a butcher and his cause of death was a coronary infarction, or heart attack.
We can tell that he lived in Phoenix he was buried at St. Francis Cemetery near 48th Street and McDowell Road.
You can also search for birth and death certificates through the Arizona Department of Health Services.
For relatives from other states, here’s an index of resources, organized by state, for searching death certificates.