Can't Find a Vital Record?

Mar 25, 2012

Sometimes, alternate records that can help you piece together the information you're seeking when vital records aren't available.  (Note that some of these records are not primary sources, and the information provided should be considered in light of that.) For more information on primary and secondary sources, and original and derivative records, click here.  

Here are some suggestions:


  • Can't find a birth record? Consult: bible records, tombstones, death certificates, obituaries, baptismal records, military records, marriage licenses, the SSDI, census records


  • Death records:  Consult: bible records, tombstones, obituaries, cemetery records, the SSDI, church records, funeral home records, private papers (letters, journals, diaries)


  • Marriage records: Consult: bible records, newspaper notices, county records like wills, deeds, and court minutes, census records, pension applications, private papers