Best Websites for Vital Records

By David A. Fryxell Premium

Vital statistics are the cornerstone for genealogy research. Use these resources to find your ancestors’ names, birth dates and places, death dates and places and marriage information.
Putting the grand in Grand Canyon State, this site makes it a snap to search for PDFs of a birth certificate (1855-1938) or death certificate (1870-1963).
Not quite at its billion goal yet, this upstart cemetery website is getting there fast. Cleanly designed and easy to use, you can search it by individual or cemetery. Android and iOS apps make it easy to contribute tombstone photos and transcriptions wherever you travel.
The standout at this site continues to be the Western States Historical Marriage Index, now with more than 911,000 entries from a dozen states. You also can search the Idaho State Death Index (1911-1951) and a separate Eastern Idaho Death Records file.
Searching this collection of more than 1.27 million birth, 1 million marriage and 2.7 million death records from the Chicago area is free. Downloading copies of the original records costs just $15 for both birth and marriage records or $17 for death records – less than a Chicago-style stuffed pizza.
Now part of the empire and sporting a new iOS app, this still-free collection of 116 million grave records is searchable by name or you can browse by cemetery. Many entries have photos of the headstones.
This searchable database of more than 250,000 Utah death certificates (1904-1961) is linked to images of the original records. You also can search for birth certificates (1905-1913), then click over to the sister Utah State History site to search nearly 600,000 cemetery records.

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From the September 2014 issue of Family Tree Magazine


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