Family History Expos Genealogy Blog » Family History Education, Research Tips » Ask-the-Pros – Question and Answer – Vital Record Substitutes

Ask-the-Pros – Question and Answer – Vital Record Substitutes

Question: If you can’t find a vital record in the United States what can you do?

Answer: Here are a couple of ideas to help when vital records are hard to find.

To figure when civil registration of vital records began is a specific state you can look  ”Redbook” available online through Ancestry.

While civil registration is a relatively new tool for learning about ancestors vital recordings there is still hope. Church records are full of great stuff! Different religious organizations had emphasis on different practices but this is a great place to start. Identify the church your ancestor may have attended. Then learn if the records are kept locally or archived regionally. The FamilySearch Library Catalog has large collections of church records be sure to check there.

Check for guides to the church records of your interest. They will help you understand the history of the religion and how to access the records. Good luck with your research!

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