The Facts of Life: Vital Records

The Facts of Life: Vital Records

You live to dig up your ancestors' birth, marriage and death certificates. Well, get ready to live large: Our resource list will lead you right to those data-filled documents.

Birth, marriage and death dates are the essence of genealogical research. The heart and soul. The meat and potatoes. And official vital certificates — created when your ancestors reported a family birth, marriage or death to their local governments — are the primary sources of these dates. Getting them is tops on any researcher’s to-do list: In most cases, such certificates list not only the date of the event but also an ancestor’s full name, parents’ names, residence and other facts that can add branches to your family tree.

The resources in this section provide vital-records information or tell you how to get it. If you find your US ancestor in an index, request a copy of the certificate from the vital-records office in his or her state — we’ve listed the contact information starting on page 16. (Look on the office’s Web site for order forms, fees and instructions.) Originals typically provide more details than indexes, and you can check for transcription errors.

These genealogical holy grails do have limitations, though: Since most US states didn’t mandate vital registration until the late 1800s or early 1900s, some ancestors might not have been recorded. Record dates vary in Europe, too. (But towns and counties may have begun keeping records before the law required it, so it’s worth checking with local governments.) Also remember that many states limit access to certificates from the past 50 or 100 years. If you face such hurdles, use our resources for finding “substitute” vital records — newspaper announcements, family Bibles, church and cemetery records and the like.

Research Tip: Before you request copies of your ancestors’ certificates, visit the state vital-records office Web site. You may learn county offices or state archives hold older records, and you’ll find information about making a request, copy fees and access restrictions.

 

 

US Vital Records

National and regional Web sites

• Ancestry.com $

<Ancestry.com >: A US subscription includes a trove of online records and indexes, including vital statistics. To see states and years covered, search the card catalog.

Cyndi’s List — Vital Records

<www.cyndislist.com/usvital.htm>: Link to dozens of sources for birth, marriage and death information.

Family Tree Legends Records Collection $

<www.familytreelegends.com/records>: This subscription site offers access to birth, marriage and death data from 16 US states.

GeneaLinks: A Marriage Records Database

<www.genealinks.com>: Search more than 30,000 user-contributed records. You’ll also find helpful research guidance.

Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records

<www.deathindexes.com>: Look in this directory for links to both free and fee-based online death indexes. They’re organized by state and county.

PublicRecordFinder.com

<www.publicrecordfinder.com/vitalrecrds.html>: This site links you to dozens of sources for vital records — some records are old, some aren’t.

USGenWeb Archives Marriage Project

<www.rootsweb.com/∼usgenweb/marriages>: Click on your ancestral state to see what records volunteers have transcribed.

USGenWeb state pages

<www.usgenweb.com/states>: Each US state and county has a USGenWeb site. Genealogical goodies vary, but many sites feature links to small databases of vital-recordstranscriptions.

VitalChek $

<www.vitalchek.com>: Order copies of vital records from all US states through this commercial site.

VitalRec.com

<www.vitalrec.com>: Billed as “the most comprehensive resource for ordering vital records on the Internet,” VitalRec.com points you to resources and instructions for getting your kin’s vital stats.

VitalSearch

<www.vitalsearch-worldwide.com>: You have to sign up for a free guest pass, and you’ll be assaulted by ads, but you can access a bonanza of birth, marriage and death data here — most notably indexes to California and Texas records.

Western States Historical Marriage Record Index

<abish.byui.edu/specialcollections/fhc/gbsearch.htm>: This growing index has 360,000 records from Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Where to Write for Vital Records

<www.cdc.gov/nchs/howto/w2w/w2welcom.htm>: Get details about all state vital-records offices.

US Vital Records

 

State Web sites

Arizona Genealogy Birth and Death Certificates

<genealogy.az.gov>: Find images of actual birth records more than 75 years old and death records more than 50 years old.

Database of Illinois Death Certificates, 1916-1950

<www.sos.state.il.us/GenealogyMWeb/idphdeathsrch.html>: Search this index by your ancestor’s name and county (or select “statewide” to search all counties).

El Paso County (Texas) Clerk Birth Records Search and Death Records Search

<www.co.el-paso.tx.us/clerk/birthsearch.htm> and <www.co.el-paso.tx.us/clerk/deaths.htm>: Search for births older than 75 years and deaths older than 25 years.

Genealogical Research in the Maine State Archives

<www.state.me.us/sos/arc/research>:Scroll down and click Genealogy for indexes to Maine marriages (1892 to 1966 and 1976 to 1996) and deaths (1960 to 1996).

Hood County (Texas) Genealogical Society Index of Records

<www.granburydepot.org/MainIndex.htm>: Scroll down and click on the links to birth (1903 to 1928), marriage (1854 to 1866, then reconstructed to 1875), divorce (1968 to 2000) and death (1903 to 1998) records.

Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, 1763-1900

<www.sos.state.il.us/departments/archives/marriage.html>: This index logs more than a million Illinois marriages.

Indiana State Library Genealogy Database: Marriages Through 1850

<199.8.200.229/db/marriages_search.asp>: The state library compiled this collection from county courthouse records, Quaker meeting records and marriages published in The Hoosier Genealogist.

Kentucky Vital Records Index

<ukcc.uky.edu/∼vitalrec>: Access death indexes for 1911 to 1986 and 1987 to 1992, plus marriage and divorce indexes for 1973 to 1993.

Library of Virginia: Vital Statistics

<www.lva.lib.va.u s/whatwehave/vital>: The library’s online databases include the Death Records Indexing Project (covering 15 cities and counties from 1853 to 1896), Henley Marriage/Obituary Indexes from Virginia Newspapers (45,000 notices published between 1780 and 1876) and Index to Marriage Records (from a variety of mostly 18th- and 19th-century sources).

Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1910 $

<www.newenglandancestors.org/research/database/mass_bmd>: You can search this New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) database with a $75 annual Research Membership.

Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 $

<www.newenglandancestors.org/research/database/vital_records>: NEHGS’ members-only collection covers early Bay State births, marriages and deaths, too — these records come from books of vital statistics for 351 cities and towns.

Michigan Genealogical Death Indexing System

<www.mdch.state.mi.us/pha/osr/gendisx>: Here volunteers have transcribed facts from 170,000 microfilmed Michigan death records covering 1867 to 1897.

Minnesota Birth Certificates Index and Minnesota Death Certificates Index

<people.mnhs.org/bci/search.cfm> and <people.mnhs.org/dci/search.cfm>: The Minnesota Historical Society maintains these searchable indexes of births (1900 to 1910) and deaths (1905 to 1996).

Missouri Birth and Death Records Database

<www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/birthdeath>: Search abstracts of pre-1909 birth, stillbirth and death records.

NYC Death Records Search

<www.italiangen.org/nycdeath.stm>: This online index to more than 2.7 million New York City death certificates spans 1891 to 1936, with coverage to 1948 in the works.

North Dakota State University Institute for Regional Studies

<www.lib.ndsu.nodak.edu/ndirs/bio&genealogy>: Get access to databases of several record types, including 15,000 Cass County marriage licenses and 59,000 names from obituaries in Fargo’s The Forum newspaper (1895 to July 1899, 1901 to 1904 and 1984 to 1995).

Ohio Death Certificate Index

<www.ohiohistory.org/dindex>: Look here for people who died in Ohio between 1913 and 1937.

Oregon Historical Records Index

<genealogy.state.or.us>: Among this site’s holdings are 13,000 Portland births (1881 to 1902) and 50,000 deaths (1881 to 1917), plus vital records from various counties.

Ross County (Ohio) Marriage Records, 1789-1945

<www.scioto.org/Ross/catalogs/marriagecatalog.html>: These researcher-submittedrecords date from 1789 to 1945.

South Dakota Birth Records

<www.state.sd.us/applications/ph14over100birthrec>: Search 124,000 plus birth records older than 100 years.

Tennessee Death Records Index 1908-1912

<www.state.tn.us/sos/statelib/pubsvs/death2.htm>: This index covers nearly 98,000 Tennessee death records spanning 1908 to 1912.

Texas Birth Certificates — Gregg County

<www.co.gregg.tx.us/hartiam/birth/birthdefault.asp>: This database includes births going back to the 1800s.

Town of Natick (Mass.) Vital Records 1874-1913

<freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/∼searchinglinane>: Run a surname search of these listings from town clerk reports.

Vital Record of Rhode Island, 1636-1850 $

<www.newenglandancestors.org/research/database/vital_records_ri>: Search this electronic version of James N. Arnold’s 21 volume work, originally published in 1891.

Vital Records of Braintree, Massachusetts 1640-1793

<freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/∼dyer/braintre.htm>: To “search” these birth, marriage and death records, use the Find command under your Web browser’s Edit menu and type your ancestor’s name.
 
Images: Request copies of birth (top) and death (bottom) certificates from state vital-records offices. You can use the online indexes listed in this section to pinpoint which records to order.
 

US Vital Records

Books

• 37,000 Early Georgia Marriages by Joseph T. Maddox (self-published)

The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records, 55 volumes, edited by Lorraine Cook White (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

Boston Births, Baptisms, Marriages, and Deaths, 1630-1699 and Boston Births, 1700-1800 by William S. Appleton (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

Early Alabama Marriages, 1813-1850 (Family Adventures Publishing)

Early Connecticut Marriages by Frederic W. Bailey (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

Early East Tennessee Marriages, Early Middle Tennessee Marriages and Early West Tennessee Marriages by Byron and Barbara Sistler (self-published)

Early Massachusetts Marriages Prior to 1800 by Frederic W. Bailey (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

Early Pennsylvania Births, 1675-1875 by Charles A. Fisher (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

The Family Tree Resource Book for Genealogists edited by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack and Erin Nevius (Family Tree Books)

A Guide to Kentucky Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1852-1910 by Jeffrey Michael Duff (Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives)

Indiana Source Book, 10 volumes (Indiana Historical Society)

Iowa Marriages Before Statehood, 1835-1846 by Shela S. Fretwell (self-published, from <www.fretwell-family.com/books.html>)

Kentucky Marriages, 1797-1865 by G. Glenn Clift (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

Louisiana Marriage Contracts: A Compilation of Abstracts From Records of the Superior Council of Louisiana During the French Regime, 1725-1758 by Alice Daly Forsyth (Polyanthos)

Marriage Records of Early Texas, 1824-1846 compiled by Norma Rutledge Grammer (Fort Worth Genealogical Society, from <www.rootsweb.com/∼txfwgs/publications_2.html>)

Marriage Records in the Virginia State Library: A Researcher’s Guide, 2nd edition, by John Vogt and T. William Kethley Jr. (Borgo Press)

Maryland Marriages, 3 volumes, by Robert William Barnes (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

Missouri Marriages Before 1840 by Susan Ormesher (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 6th edition, by Clarence A. Torrey (Genealogical Publishing Co.): Also see supplements compiled by Melinde Lutz Sanborn (Genealogical Publishing Co).

New Jersey Marriage Records compiled by William Nelson (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

The New Orleans French, 1720-1733: A Collection of Marriage Records Relating to the First Colonists of the Louisiana Province by Winston DeVille (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

North and South Carolina Marriage Records From the Earliest Colonial Days to the Civil War by William Montgomery Clemens (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

Oklahoma Territory Weddings by Frances Murphy Bode (Pioneer Book Committee)

Pennsylvania Marriages Prior to 1790 edited by John B. Linn and William H. Egle (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

Pennsylvania Vital Records, 3 volumes (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

Printed Sources: A Guide to Published Genealogical Records edited by Kory L. Meyerink (Ancestry, $49.95): The Vital and Cemetery Records chapter contains listings of books for each US state.

Red Book, 3rd edition, edited by Alice Eichholz (Ancestry)

Sourcebook of Michigan Census, County Histories, and Vital Records edited by Carole Callard (Library of Michigan)

The Sourcebook to Public Record Information, 6th edition (BRB Publications)

South Carolina Marriages, 2 volumes, by Brent H. Holcomb (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

South Carolina Marriages, 7 volumes, by Barbara R. Langdon (self-published, <www.scgen.org/books/langdon.htm>)

Tennessee Divorces, 1797-1858 by Gale W. Bamman and Debbie W. Spero (self-published)
 
 

US Vital Records

State vital-records offices

Alabama

Vital Records, State Department of Public Health, Box 5625, Montgomery, AL 36103, (334) 206-5418, <ph.state.al.us/chs/vitalrecords/vrecords.html>

Alaska

Bureau of Vital Statistics, 5441 Commercial Blvd., Juneau, AK 99801, (907) 465-3391, <www.hss.state.ak.us/dph/bvs>

Arizona

Office of Vital Records, Box 3887, Phoenix, AZ 85030, (602) 364-1300, <www.azdhs.gov/vitalrcd>

Arkansas

Division of Vital Records, Slot 44, Arkansas Department of Health, 4815 W. Markham St., Little Rock, AR 72205, (501) 661-2174, <www.healthyarkansas.com/certificates/certificates.html>

California

Office of Vital Records, Mail Stop 5103, Box 997410, Sacramento, CA 95899, <www.dhs.ca.gov/hisp/chs/ovr/ordercert.htm>

Colorado

Department of Public Health and Environment, Vital Records Section, 4300 Cherry Creek Drive S., Denver, CO 80246, (303) 692-2200, <www.cdphe.state.co.us/hs/certs.asp>

Connecticut

Department of Public Health, Vital Records Section, 410 Capitol Ave., Box 340308, Mail Stop 11VRS, Hartford, CT 06134, (860) 509-7897, <www.dph.state.ct.us/oppe/hpvital.htm>

Delaware

Office of Vital Statistics, Box 637, Dover, DE 19903, (302) 744-4549, <www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/ss/vitalstats.html>

District of Columbia

Department of Health, Vital Records Division, 825 N. Capitol St. NE, Washington, DC 20002, (202) 671 5000, <dchealth.dc.gov/services/vital_records/index.shtm>

Florida

State Office of Vital Statistics, Attention: Customer Service, Box 210, Jacksonville, FL 32231, (904) 359-6900, ext. 9000, <www.doh.state.fl.us/planning_eval/vital_statistics>

Georgia

Vital Records, 2600 Skyland Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30319, (404) 679-4701, <health.state.ga.us/programs/vitalrecords>

Hawaii

State Department of Health, Office of Health Status Monitoring, Issuance/Vital Statistics Section, Box 3378, Honolulu, HI 96801, (808) 586-4533, <www.hawaii.gov/health/vital-records>

Idaho

Bureau of Health Policy and Vital Statistics, Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720, <www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/site/3335/default.aspx>

Illinois

Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Records, 605 W. Jefferson St., Springfield, IL 62702, (217) 782-6553, <www.idph.state.il.us/vitalrecords>

Indiana

Vital Records Department, State Department of Health, 6 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204, (317) 233-2700, <www.in.gov/isdh/bdcertifs/birth_and_ death_certificates.htm>

Iowa

Department of Public Health, Bureau of Health Statistics, Lucas State Office Building, Des Moines, IA 50319, (515) 281-4944, <www.idph.state.ia.us/eh/health_ statistics.asp>

Kansas

Office of Vital Statistics, Curtis State Office Building, 1000 SW Jackson St., Suite 120, Topeka, KS 66612, (785) 296-1400, <www.kdhe.state.ks.us/vital>

Kentucky

Office of Vital Statistics, 275 E. Main St. 1EA, Frankfort, KY 40621, (502) 564-4212, <chfs.ky.gov/dph/vital>

Louisiana

Vital Records Registry, Box 60630, New Orleans, LA 70160, (800) 454-9570, <www.oph.dhh.state.la.us/recordsstatistics/vitalrecords>

Maine

Vital Records, 11 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333, (207) 287-3181, <www.maine.gov/dhhs/bohodr/recorder.htm>

Maryland

Division of Vital Records, 6550 Reisterstown Road, Baltimore, MD 21215, (800) 832-3277, <mdpublichealth.org/vsa/html/apps.html>

Massachusetts

Registry of Vital Records and Statistics, 150 Mount Vernon St., Dorchester, MA 02125, (617) 740-2606, <www.mass.gov/dph/bhsre/rvr/vrcopies.htm>

Michigan

Vital Records Requests, Box 30721, Lansing, MI 48909, (517) 335-8666, <www.michigan.gov/mdch>: Click Birth, Death, Marriage & Divorce Records.

Minnesota

Department of Health, Attention: Office of the State Registrar, Box 9441, Minneapolis, MN 55440, (612) 676-5120, <www.health.state.mn.us/divs/chs/osr>

Mississippi

Vital Records, Box 1700, Jackson, MS 39215, (601) 576-7981, <www.msdh.state.ms.us>

Missouri

Department of Health and Senior Services, Bureau of Vital Records, Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102, (573) 751-6387, <www.dhss.state.mo.us/BirthAndDeathRecords>

Montana

Office of Vital Statistics, Department of Public Health and Human Services, Box 4210, Helena, MT 59604, (406) 444-2685, <vhsp.dphhs.mt.gov/dph_l2.htm>

Nebraska

Vital Records, Box 95065, Lincoln, NE 68509, (402) 471-2871, <www.hhs.state.ne.us/ced/nevrinfo.htm>

Nevada

State Office of Vital Records, 505 E. King St., Room 102, Carson City, NV 89701, (775) 684-4242, <health2k.state.nv.us/vital>

New Hampshire

Department of State, Division of Vital Records Administration, 29 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301, (800) 852-3345, ext.4651, <www.sos.nh.gov/vitalrecords>

New Jersey

Vital Statistics, Customer Service Unit, Box 370, Trenton, NJ 08625, (609) 292 4087, ext. 582, <www.state.nj.us/health/vital/vital.shtml>

New Mexico

Vital Records, Box 26110, Santa Fe, NM 87502, (505) 827-0121, <dohewbs2.health.state.nm.us/vitalrec>

New York

State Department of Health, Vital Records Section, Certification Unit, Box 2602, Albany, NY 12220, (518) 474-2005, <www.health.state.ny.us/vital_records>

New York City

Office of Vital Records, 125 Worth St., CN4, Room 133, New York, NY 10013, (212) 788 4520, <www.nyc.gov/html/doh>

North Carolina

Vital Records, 1903 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699, (919) 733-3526, <vitalrecords.dhhs.state.nc.us/vr>

North Dakota

Division of Vital Records, 600 E. Boulevard Ave., Department 301, Bismarck, ND 58505, (701) 328-2360, <www.vitalnd.com>

Ohio

Department of Health, Vital Statistics, Box 118, Columbus, OH 43216, (614) 466-2531, <www.odh.state.oh.us/vitstats/vsmain1.htm>

Oklahoma

Vital Records Service, State Department of Health, 1000 NE 10th St., Oklahoma City, OK 73117, (405) 271-4040, <www.health.state.ok.us/program/vital/brec.html>

Oregon

Vital Records, Box 14050, Portland, OR 97293, (503) 731-4108, <egov.oregon.gov/dhs/ph/chs/order>

Pennsylvania

Division of Vital Records, Box 1528, New Castle, PA 16101, (724) 656-3100, <www.dsf.health.state.pa.us/health/cwp>: Click Birth and Death Certificates.

Rhode Island

Office of Vital Records, 3 Capitol Hill, Room 101, Providence, RI 02908, (401) 222-2811, <www.health.ri.gov/chic/vital>

South Carolina

Office of Vital Records, Department of Health and Environmental Control, 2600 Bull St., Columbia, SC 29201, (803) 898 3630, <www.scdhec.net/vr>

South Dakota

Vital Records, State Department of Health, 600 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501, (605) 773-4961, <www.state.sd.us/doh/vitalrec>

Tennessee

Vital Records, Central Services Building, 421 Fifth Ave. N., Nashville, TN 37247, (615) 741-1763, <www2.state.tn.us/health/vr>

Texas

Vital Statistics, Department of State Health Services, Box 12040, Austin, TX 78711, (888) 963-7111, <www.tdh.state.tx.us/bvs>

Utah

Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Box 141012, Salt Lake City, UT 84114, (801) 538 6105, <health.utah.gov/vitalrecords/silver>

Vermont

General Services Center, Reference/Research, 1078 US Route 2, Montpelier, VT 05633, (802) 828-3286, <www.bgs.state.vt.us/gsc/pubrec/referen>

Virginia

Office of Vital Records and Health Statistics, Box 1000, Richmond, VA 23218, (804) 662 6200, <www.vdh.state.va.us/vitalrec>

Washington

Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics, Box 9709, Olympia, WA 98507, (360) 236-4300, <www.doh.wa.gov/ehsphl/chs/cert.htm>

West Virginia

Vital Registration, Room 165, 350 Capitol St., Charleston, WV 25301, (304) 558-2931, <www.wvdhhr.org/bph/oehp/hsc/vr/birtcert.htm>

Wisconsin

Vital Records, Box 309, Madison, WI 53701, (608) 266-1371, <www.dhfs.state.wi.us/vitalrecords>

Wyoming

Vital Records Services, Room 172, Hathaway Building, Cheyenne, WY 82002, (307) 777 7591, <wdhfs.state.wy.us/vital_records>
 
Image: You can find marriage information in many types of documents, including licenses, certificates, newspaper announcements, family Bibles, prenuptial agreements and church banns (public notification of a couple’s intent to marry).
 

International Records

Web sites

FindMyPast.com $

<www.findmypast.com>: This database has UK births, marriages and deaths starting in 1837.

British Columbia Archives’ Vital Event Indexes

<www.bcarchives.gov.bc.ca/textual/governmt/vstats/v_events.htm>: Search indexes of births (1872 to 1903), marriages (1872 to 1929) and deaths (1872 to 1984).

FamilyRelatives.org $

<www.familyrelatives.org>: See images of UK birth, marriage and death indexes for 1866 to 2002, with transcriptions for 1866 to 1920 and 1984 to 2002.

FamilySearch: Vital Records

<www.familysearch.org>: Click on the Search tab, then Vital Records Index to access Scandinavian and Mexican birth and marriage data. Check the International Genealogical Index (see page 22) for European ancestors, too.

Foreign Consular Offices in the United States

<www.state.gov/s/cpr/rls/fco>: These offices may be able to advise you on vital-records requests from countries with hard-to-access records.

FreeBMD

<freebmd.rootsweb.com>: Volunteers are furiously transcribing UK vital records for this database; coverage varies by year.

Genlias

<www.genlias.nl>: This Dutch site has mostly 19th- and 20th-century baptism, marriage and death records.

Genline $

<www.genline.com>: Search more than 12 million images of Swedish church records.

National Archivist $

<www.nationalarchivist.com>: This commercial site offers databases licensed from the British archives. Collections include registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths at Sea (1854 to 1890) and Index to Divorce and Matrimonial Causes (1858 to 1903).

New Brunswick Vital Statistics Search Engine

<archives.gnb.ca/apps/govrecs/visse/?l=en>: Search nearly 700,000 vital records from the 1800s and early 1900s.

ScotlandsPeople $

<www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk>: This site offers a fully searchable index of Scottish births from 1553 to 1904, marriages from 1553 to 1929 and deaths from 1855 to 1954.

Books and CDs

• Following the Paper Trail: A Multilingual Translation Guide by Jonathan D. Shea and William F. Hoffman (Language & Lineage Press)

• International Vital Records Handbook, 4th edition, by Thomas Jay Kemp (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

• Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers, 3rd edition, by Cecil Humphrey- Smith (David Brown Book Co.)

• Vital Records Index for Western Europe CD (FamilySearch)
 

Vital-Records Substitutes

Newspaper announcements

Ancestry.com $

<Ancestry.com >: Look for wedding announcements and obituaries in this searchable index with images of US, Canadian and UK newspapers from 1765 through 2002. You can subscribe for $49.95 per year.

Louisiana Biography and Obituary Index

<obits.gno.lib.la.us/nopl/obitindex.htm>: Search obituaries and death notices from New Orleans newspapers dated 1804 to 1972, plus information from historical Louisiana biographies.

Massachusetts Obituary and Death Notice Searches $

<www.mass-doc.com/news_record_ request_form.htm>: For $35, you can request an obituary search of most post-1875 Massachusetts newspapers (but you won’t get a refund if your ancestor doesn’t turn up).

ObitsArchive.com $

<www.obitsarchive.com>: It’s free to search this index of recent obituaries (dating back only to the 1970s) from 500 newspapers, but you pay $3.50 to see an article or $19.95 for a 30-day pass limited to 30 downloads.

Obituary Daily Times

<www.rootsweb.com/∼obituary>: RootsWeb volunteers have indexed 10 million recent death notices from hundreds of newspapers.

Obituary Depot

<www.daddezio.com/obituary>: This site’s links to obituary resources are organized by state.

Obituary Links Page

<www.obitlinkspage.com>: Navigate to statewide and local obituary databases from this state-by-state directory. You’ll find many links to Ancestry.com’s subscription site, but they’re clearly marked.

Obituary Search — Pine Bluff, Arkansas

<pbjc-lib.state.ar.us/obits/obits.htm>: Access obituaries and death notices appearing in the Pine Bluff Commercial from 1950 to 1968, 1970 to 1973 and 1989 to the present.

RootsWeb Obituaries Database

<userdb.rootsweb.com/obituaries>: Tap into 114,000 user-contributed death notices covering more than 38,000 surnames.

USGenWeb Archives Obituary Project

<www.rootsweb.com/∼usgenweb/obits>: This volunteer-run database categorizes obituaries by state and county or by publication name.

• Vermont Chronicle Marriage and Death Records Transcriptions

<community.middlebury.edu/∼swilson/introvc.html>: Search a surname index to death and marriage notices in the weekly Vermont Chronicle from 1826 to 1898.
 

Vital-Records Substitutes

 

Vital-Records Substitutes

Cemetery and funeral home records

American Battle Monuments Commission

<www.abmc.gov>: Search for WWI, WWII and Korean War casualties who are buried in commission cemeteries or listed on the Walls of the Missing.

Ancestors at Rest

<ancestorsatrest.com>: Scan the photos and transcriptions of coffin plates, funeral cards, obituaries, wills and other death records for your ancestors’ names.

Canadian Funeral Home Directory

<www.generations.on.ca/funeral.htm>:Look up contact information for your ancestor’s funeral home.

Cemetery Junction

<www.daddezio.com/cemetery>: This directory of US, Canadian and Australian cemeteries has links to Web sites and, where available, tombstone transcriptions.

Cemetery Surveys

<www.cemeterysurveysinc.com>:A simple search of this site — focused mostly on Southeastern states — lets you zoom to potential ancestors’ tombstone transcriptions and photos.

Cemetery Transcriptions From the NEHGS Manuscript Collections $

<www.newenglandancestors.org/research/database/cemeteries>: NEHGS members can search this growing database, which covers more than 1,650 cemeteries and burial grounds in New England, New York and eastern Canada.

Farber Gravestone Collection

<www.davidrumsey.com/farber>: View more than 13,500 images documenting 9,000 mostly pre-1800 gravestones in the Northeastern United States. Captions list the name of the person buried, year of death and location of the cemetery.

Find a Grave

<www.findagrave.com>: Get burial information on thousands of well-known people or use the “non-famous” search of 7.5 million records.

Genealogy.com Virtual Cemetery

<www.genealogy.com/vcem_welcome.html>: Site visitors submit the tombstone details in this database. Many entries include photos, so you can see the stones.

Historic Congressional Cemetery

<www.congressionalcemetery.org/Online _Menu.html>: Search 20,000 obituaries and death notices, plus other documents relating to the 60,000 people buried here.

Interment.net

<www.interment.net>: Access nearly 3.9 million cemetery records from 8,000-plus cemeteries around the world.

Kentucky Cemetery Database

<catalog.kyhistory.org/help/cem_ database_intro.htm>: This database, an ongoing Kentucky Historical Society project, contains 179,750 gravestone records from 3,170 cemeteries.

Links to Resources on Cemetery History and Preservation

<www.potifos.com/cemeteries.html>: This portal links to cemetery Web sites, records databases, online discussion groups and more.

Los Angeles County Burial Permits, 1870 to 1892

<www.scgsgenealogy.com/LA-Co-Burial.htm>: Browse the Southern California Genealogical Society’s alphabetical database of LA burial permits.

Michigan Cemetery Sources

<michigancemeteries.libraryofmichigan.org>: Search a directory of 3,700 cemeteries, then click the links to find transcriptions in books, microfilms and online.

Nationwide Gravesite Locator

<gravelocator.cem.va.gov>: This database lists veterans and their dependents buried in Veterans Affairs National Cemeteries and state-run veterans cemeteries.

New Mexico Ancestors

<www.rootsweb.com/∼nma>: Dig up tombstone photos — along with thousands of record transcriptions — for your forebears from the Land of Enchantment.

Tombstone Art and Symbols

<www.tales.ndirect.co.uk/A_ZINDEX.HTML>: Consult this illustrated glossary of common tombstone carvings to learn their meanings.

USAFuneralHomesOnline.com

<www.usafuneralhomesonline.com>:Track down your ancestors’ death records with assistance from this comprehensive guide to the nation’s funeral homes.

USGenWeb Tombstone Transcription Project

<www.rootsweb.com/∼cemetery>:Ancestors buried far away? This volunteer-runproject lists cemeteries by state, along with links to transcriptions. You might even find a kind soul who’ll do a lookup or visit a cemetery for you.
 

 

Vital-Records Substitutes

Family bible and church records

Ancestor Hunt

<www.ancestorhunt.com/family_bible_ records.htm>: Search a master index of surnames extracted from family Bible records, as well as images of pages from a few Bibles.

Ancestry.com UK and Ireland Collection $

<Ancestry.com >: A $99.95 annual subscription fee gets you access to records including Pallot’s marriage and baptism indexes for England, covering 1780 to 1837.

Bible Records and Links

<members.tripod.com/∼bonestwo/index-91.html>: Link to Bible sources and collections of Bible records.

Bible Records Online

<www.biblerecords.com>: One dedicated genealogist has transcribed and digitized records from 1,100 Bibles containing more than 3,000 surnames.

British Origins $

<www.britishorigins.com>: Databases here include large collections of church records and Boyd’s Marriage Index, with 7 million names from 1538 to 1840. A year’s subscription costs about $42.

The Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names

<www.yadvashem.org>: This searchable database contains about 3 million names of Holocaust victims gathered from family members’ Pages of Testimony identity cards and other victim lists.

Family Bibles

<familybibles.blogspot.com>: Browse this Web log of Bible records and page images.

Family History Online $

<www.familyhistoryonline.net>: This UK Web site’s databases include more than 55 million records, many from churches. Search the name index for free; use prepaid vouchers to view index entries for about 9 cents each and transcriptions for about 13 cents each.

FamilySearch: International Genealogical Index (IGI)

<www.familysearch.org>: Click on the Search tab, then select the IGI link from the left frame. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ mammoth vital-statistics collection encompasses millions of births and marriages in the United States and abroad. Much of the data was extracted from original records; church members submitted the rest. If you have Scottish ancestors, try using Scots Origins’ <www.scotsorigins.com> special IGI interface to search records by parish, which you can’t do on FamilySearch.

The Genealogy Spot Family Bibles and Genealogy Records

<www.thegenealogyspot.com/family_ bibles>: Link to researcher-contributed Bible records, some with page images.

GENUKI Church Database

<www.genuki.org.uk/big/parloc/search.html>: Find locations of 1800s UK parishes.

Index to Online Bible Records

<www.genealogy-books.com/idxbible.htm>: This chart links to transcriptions from dozens of family Bibles.

Locating Catholic Church Records in New Mexico

<www.nmgs.org/chrchs-intro.htm>: Find tips for locating your ancestors’ church and the records it kept.

Mission 2000 <www.nps.gov/tuma/M2000.html>: The Tumacácori National Historical Park Web site hosts Spanish mission records from southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico. The database documents 8,000 baptisms, marriages and burials spanning the late 17th century to the mid-19th century.

National Society Descendants of Early Quakers

<www.terraworld.net/mlwinton>: This Web site has useful information on researching Quaker ancestors.

Olive Tree Genealogy: Church Records of New Netherland/New York

<www.olivetreegenealogy.com/nn/church>: Scroll down to see the church names and available records you can peruse on this site.

The Research Program in Historical Demography $

<www.genealogie.umontreal.ca/en/acces.htm>: Looking for kin from Quebec? This University of Montreal site lets you search 758,500 baptisms, marriages and burials from pre-1850 Catholic parish registers for free. To get the in-depth information, pay about $17 for 150 “hits.”•

UNESCO Archives Portal

<www.unesco.org/webworld/portal_archives/pages/Archives/Religious_Communities_Archives>: If you’re trying to locate overseas church archives, check this portal — it’ll connect you to more than 300 worldwide.

USGenWeb Church Records Project

<www.rootsweb.com/∼usgenweb/churches>: This USGenWeb Archives project links to church histories, registers and other records organized by state.

Western Reserve Historical Society Bible Records Index

<www.wrhs.org/library/template.asp?id=328>: Search an index of more than 35,000 Bible record entries.
 
From the September 2005 Family Tree Sourcebook
 

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