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Vital Records Search and Genealogy

Need Dates - Find Them Here

A vital records search yields dates on which to hang the rest of your family history. However, vital records can be hard to find. Here's help on where to look for these vital statistics of a person's life.

When we talk of a vital records search, we include those records for:

Some people also include:

Such registrations contain varied information about your family tree members.

In Canada and the United States, all births, marriages, and deaths have to be registered. Since these records are maintained by a government agency, they are available to family history researchers with certain restrictions for privacy concerns.

In Ontario, the requirement for all births, marriages, and deaths to be registered dates from 1869.

In the United States, the first registrations began at all different times, and not necessarily corresponding to the year in which the state joined the union. For detailed information about individual US states, see the Tables for Vital Records by State. They are here:

Finding the dates of your ancestor's major life events gives you a framework on which to hang the other information you have about them.

Such records also may give you information that confirms that a child was born to the family and died between the census years, thus informing you of its existence which you might not have known before.

There is usually more information to glean from a vital records search than purely name of the individual and a date - often the parents' names, the location of the event, and other information is available too.

Mother and grown daughter
My mom and her mother at the family home

To remain organized you will need some forms on which to record the data for each birth, marriage, and death. You need to keep the sourcing information about each registration. You will also need to have to-do and done lists to be a guide for your searches.

A good secondary source for a vital records search can be the local newspapers. They often have archives which will yield information in these areas, both in notices and in articles.

Although newspapers are not primary sources, they can often contain much greater detail about a birth, wedding, or funeral than the official registrations do. As such, they add interesting insights into the lives of your ancestors. They can also add information you might never find anywhere else.

Use the primary sources, if you have them, for the exact details of dates, names, places.

Vital Records Provide the Skeleton for Your Family Tree





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And if you ever decide to discontinue, every issue has a form for stopping the newsletter.

How there's so much free information on this site ...

I have some affiliate links on this website. If you buy a product through them I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps keep the site free of charge.  To learn more, see my affiliates disclosure document

How there's so much free information on this site ...

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