Vital Records – Birth, Marriage, Death, Divorce

Genealogy vital records is one of the most important aspects of family history research. These documents are created by the government, containing information about your ancestor’s birth, marriage, death and occupation. However, these documents are not always accurate. In order to be certain, you need to have a certified copy of the document. This means that you have to provide evidence that your ancestor’s name is not spelled incorrectly or that the person does not have a different surname than the one on the document.

If you are unsure about how to obtain a copy of vital records, there are many websites to help you. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) provides information about the creation of civil records and how to find modern vital records. You can also browse the database of over three million veterans’ cemetery records. Lastly, Ancestry provides links to state and local government agencies that maintain these records.

While most states did not create statewide registration systems until the early 1900s, they did begin keeping records of births and deaths in the mid-1800s. They were usually created near the time of the event. Eventually, however, the information on these records becomes public. As a result, you can access these records even if they are several decades old.

Birth and death records are the most common types of vital records. Other types of records include marriage and divorce. Although these are more recent than birth and death, they are still useful in your genealogy. To request a record, you will need to know the date of the event, the name and place of birth, and the person’s relationship to you.

A certificate of birth must have the name, date, and place of birth, as well as the person’s signature. This certificate must also have an explanation of the person’s relationship to you and a telephone number. Certified copies of these documents will cost a small fee. There are additional fees for marriage and death records.

Depending on the location, the fee will vary. If you order by mail, it will take longer to process your request. Generally, you can expect priority handling of your request to take two weeks. If you would like your documents to be sent overnight, you will have to pay the overnight delivery service. Also, if your ancestor’s name is not listed in the record, you will need to provide a notarized letter that authorizes a different mailing address.

Some counties have records that are filed before 1905. You can order a copy of a certificate of birth or death from them. If you want to use the information to find out more about your ancestors, you will need to have a valid ID to show the registrar.

Vital records are the cornerstone of genealogy. Unlike obituaries, which can contain the same information, birth and death records are more likely to be accurate. Since these records are the government’s documents, they have standard laws governing them. Many local offices did not comply with the registration laws, and they did not always record all the information that was legally required.


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