United States Genealogy Vital Records Search
Birth, marriage, divorce, and death records, known as vital records, are a foundation of genealogy research. Vital records can provide birth date, death date, names of family members, and location, and these records of an ancestor's life are the basis for the search of additional genealogy records.
Vital records are considered primary records and likely more accurate because they were recorded on or near the time of the event.
The U.S.A. does not have a nationwide system of vital records registration. Vital Records in the United States are recorded at the state level and the states did not begin to keep centralized vital records until the early 1900s. While more and more vital records databases have been placed online, there is still a long way to go.
Online Vital Record Databases
- Vital Records at FamilySearch
Birth, christening, marriage, and death listed by state at the Mormon genealogy web site.
- Vital Records at Ancestry.com
Birth, christening, marriage & divorce, and death, burial, cemetery & obituary records. Index and transcription is free, if an image is available there is a fee to download.
RootsWeb Birth Records
User Contributed transcribed birth records
RootsWeb Marriage Records
User contributed transcribed marriage records
RootsWeb Death Records
User transcribed death records
Offline Vital Records
- Where to write for vital records
Where to write for copies of original vital records listed by state.