Overview of Vital Records

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Using Newspapers in Family History

This article is part of a series.
Overview of Newspapers in Family History
List of Genealogical Information in Newspapers
Vital Statistics in Newspapers
Local News
Biographical Sketches in Newspapers
Legal Notices in Newspapers
Public Announcements and Advertisements
Immigration Information in Newspapers
Slave Information in Newspapers
Reunion Information in Newspapers
How to Find Newspapers
Searching Newspapers
Religious Newspapers
Ethnic and Foreign-Language Newspapers
List of Useful Newspaper Resources

This article originally appeared in "Vital Records" by Johni Cerny, BS, FUGA in The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy

Vital records, as their name suggests, are connected with central life events: birth, marriage, and death. These records are prime sources of genealogical information, but, unfortunately, official vital records (those maintained by county and state governments), are available only for relatively recent time periods. Marriage records, the oldest of the vital records, will be considered first. The more recent records of birth and death will follow. The chapter concludes with a discussion of records related to the burial of an individual and suggestions for cemetery searches.


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