Branching Out: Access Arizona
8/1/2004
What's new in discovering, preserving and celebrating your family history.

While many states are raising fees and making vital records more difficult to get, Arizona is going against the grain to improve your access to its records. The state Department of Health Services has unveiled a free, searchable online database <genealogy.az.gov> of 400,000 birth and death records — including images of the certificates.

You can search by an individual's first and last names, and check options to search for the same first or last name (or both) of the person's parents. Sort results by name, birth date, death date, father's or mother's name, and county. Clicking on the individual's name launches a PDF image of the certificate. (You'll need the free Adobe Reader software, downloadable from <www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html>, to view the image.)