Overview of Vital Records

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Vital Records

This article is part of a series.
Overview of Vital Records
Marriage Records
Births and Deaths in Public Records
Cemetery Records
List of Useful Vital Record References

This article originally appeared in "Vital Records" by Johni Cerny, BS, FUGA in The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy

Vital records, as their name suggests, are connected with central life events: birth, marriage, and death. These records are prime sources of genealogical information, but, unfortunately, official vital records (those maintained by county and state governments), are available only for relatively recent time periods. Marriage records, the oldest of the vital records, will be considered first. The more recent records of birth and death will follow. The chapter concludes with a discussion of records related to the burial of an individual and suggestions for cemetery searches.


Coming soon...

External Links

Where to Write for Vital Records - USA

Directory of Online Death Records and Indexes - USA