Finding the minimum amount of
information for vital records
To find an individual's birthplace on a vital record, such as a birth, death, divorce, or marriage certificate, you must at least know the individual's full name at the time of the event, the approximate year of the event, and the state or county of the event, depending on when the event took place. If you do not have the minimum information to find a birth certificate or other vital record, you can either:
Get help finding some of the minimum information by selecting one of the following items,
click the Back button at the top of this window to return to the list of other places where you can find birthplaces, or
read the paragraphs below for a few additional tips.
Finding vital records
Even if you don't have the minimum information required to find the original records, you're not completely out of luck. Indexes to vital records have been made for some states and counties. These indexes provide you with the information you need to access the original record. Check with libraries and genealogy societies in the area -- they may know if any indexes exist for the records that you need.
Genealogy.com, Inc. also has Family Archives containing marriage records. The FamilyFinder Index, a feature of Family Tree Maker software and also available for searching at FamilyTreeMaker.com, is an index of over 220 million names from census records, marriage records, social security death records, actual family trees, and more. This feature can help you by telling you if your ancestor's name is actually listed on one of the marriage CDs Genealogy.com sells. Using the FamilyFinder Index couldn't be easier -- all you need to do is enter the names of your ancestors right into your own computer. If the FamilyFinder Index tells you that your ancestors are listed, then it's simple to locate your ancestor's record. For more information about FamilyFinder, or for information about purchasing CD-ROM indexes, see the topic All about FamilyFinder.
If the individual was a veteran who served and was killed in the Korean or Vietnam War, you may be able to find a birthplace through the death records in the Military Index on the FamilySearch computer at your local Family History Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Family History Library has all other wars indexed on microfiche. You only need to know the war and the veteran's name. Local community and genealogy libraries may also have war indexes. Contact individual libraries for their holdings.
Try finding out where the individual's parents were married. The mother may have given birth in the same town.
Make sure to check photo albums, scrapbooks, diaries, and family Bibles at home. See the topic Finding information at home for more information. Also check for local histories. See the topic Finding previous research.
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