Alaska Vital Records
This entry was originally written by Dwight A. Radford in Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
Alaska began recording births, deaths, and marriages in 1913. Copies of certificates can be obtained by writing the Department of Health and Social Services, Bureau of Vital Statistics, 5441 Commercial Blvd., Juneau, AK 99801 <www.hss.state.ak.us/dph/bvs/default.htm>. They require a photo ID to order vital records. Since the department does not accept personal checks from individuals, money orders should be used and made payable to Bureau of Vital Records.
The Bureau of Vital Statistics has an extensive collection of Alaska church records, in order to create delayed birth certificates for people who did not have an official record at their birth. The department borrows the original church registers, microfilms them, and returns them to the congregation of origin. The Bureau of Vital Statistics will conduct searches of these “delayed” birth records, but requests will be denied if the information is needed for genealogical purposes. For a listing of some of the church records collected and microfilmed by the Bureau of Vital Statistics, see Church Records.
Alaska has divorce records beginning in 1950, which can be obtained from the Bureau of Vital Statistics. Earlier divorce records are at the clerk of superior court in the judicial district where the divorce was granted. This includes Juneau and Ketchikan (First District), Nome (Second District), Anchorage (Third District), and Fairbanks (Fourth District).
Another important source for vital records is the periodical Anchorage Genealogical Society Quarterly, which has serialized the society’s extraction of early vitals.