Hawaii Vital Records
This entry was originally written by Dwight A. Radford for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
Hawaii has birth and death records beginning in 1853. Prior to 1896, however, the records are incomplete. Early vital records were kept by local government authorities and clergymen. There are a few missionary reports that date back as early as 1826. They are on file at the Hawaii State Archives, the Department of Health, and the Daughters of the American Revolution Library in Honolulu at 194 Makiki Heights Dr., Honolulu, HI 96822. Many are also at the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City.
Since 1911, delayed birth certificates can be applied for in Hawaii. They often contain valuable genealogical information. The FHL has seventy microfilm rolls of delayed birth records for Hawaii. This collection contains 50,000 delayed birth records (1859–1903, with indexes for 1859–1938).
The Hawaii State Health Department has birth, marriage, and death records from 1896 to the present, although some records date back to 1853. These are located at the Office of Health Status Monitoring, Vital Records Section, P.O. Box 3378, Honolulu, HI 96801 www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/hawaii.htm. Microfilm copies of birth, marriage and death records (1909–25; indexes, 1909–49) are available at the FHL.
The Hawaii State Archives collection contains records of early Hawaii marriages (1826–1929; index for 1826–1910). The FHL in Salt Lake City also has many of these records, as well as the index.
FamilySearch.org has a variety of collections available for free online:
- Hawaii, Births and Christenings, 1852-1933
- Hawaii, Marriages, 1826-1922
- Hawaii, Deaths and Burials, 1862-1919
Divorce records were not registered by the State Department of Health until July 1951. Copies of these can be obtained by writing this office. Earlier divorce records were recorded by the circuit court in the county where the divorce was granted. A collection of divorce records from 1849 to circa 1899 is on file at the Hawaii State Archives. These are records from the five circuit courts that have been microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah and are available through the FHL.
For a summary of vital records in Hawaii, see Charles G. Bennett’s article “Vital Records in Hawaii,” Hawaii Medical Journal 15 (November/December 1955).
- Hawaii Birth, Marriage, and Death Records - free up-to-date guide to accessing Hawaii birth, marriage, and death records (FamilySearch Research Wiki). Includes links to FamilySearch vital record databases.