Maine, Vital Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Maine Vital Records, 1670-1912 .
The collection consists of indexes and images of birth, marriage, and death records. The collection is arranged in alphabetical order by surname then by year within each surname. When a surname folder begins or ends at the beginning or end of the surname, the surname alone is used in the collection listing. When the surname is split into more than one folder, the year is also included with the surname. The records in this collection are for the years 1670 to 1912.
The original vital records in Maine are kept by town clerks or selectmen. Although some towns have existed since the 1650s, most vital records date from about 1700. Copies of most of the existing vital records have been sent to the Maine State Archives.
These records were created to keep track of the vital events happening in the lives of the citizens and to safeguard their legal interests.
These records are generally reliable but can vary depending on the knowledge of the informant.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- "Maine Vital Records, 1892-1922," FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org). Maine State Archives, Augusta, Maine. FHL microfilm, 148 reels, Family History Library Salt Lake City, Utah.
The following important biographical facts may be found in the birth records:
- Child’s name
- Child’s sex
- Birth date
- Birth place
- Whether stillborn or living
- Number of child in the family, 1st, 2nd, etc.
- Parent’s names
- Parent’s race
- Parent’s residence
- Father’s occupation
- Name and address of person reporting the birth
The following important biographical facts may be found in the marriage records:
- Full name of bride and groom
- Marriage date
- Marriage place
- Residence of bride and groom
- Age of bride and groom
- Race of bride and groom
- Occupation of bride and groom
- Birthplace of bride and groom
- Number of marriage for bride and groom
- Date intent was filed
- Officiator’s residence
- Officiator’s title
- Parents of bride and groom
- Parent’s residence
- Parent’s race
- Parent’s occupation
- Parent’s birthplace
The following important biographical facts may be found in the death records:
- Name of deceased
- Death date
- Death place
- Age in days, months, and years
- Marital status
- Birth place
- Name of parents
- Birthplace of parents
- Occupation of father
- Name of spouse
- Cause of death
- Name of person reporting the death
- Address of person reporting the death
- Undertaker’s address
How to Use the Record
When searching the index it is helpful to know the following:
- The county where the birth, marriage, or death occurred
- The name of the person at the time of marriage
- The approximate date the event occurred
- The place the event occurred
- The name of the individual or individuals such as the names of the bride and groom, the infant, or the deceased
Search the Collection
To search the collection by name, fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.
To browse the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "Record Type and Year Range"
⇒Select the "Surname Range (Year)" which takes you to the images
Using the Information
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:
- Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
- Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
- Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
- Use the parent’s birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- The name of the officiator may be a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
- Use a marriage number to identify previous marriages.
- The name of the undertaker or mortuary could lead you to funeral and cemetery records, which often include the names and residences of other family members.
- Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
- Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been born, married, or died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
Keep in mind:
- The information in marriage records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one marriage record to another record.
If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Search for the marriage record of the marriage partner if known.
- Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
|This citation example isn't from this collection. You can help by replacing this example with a citation for a record found in this collection.|
United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71
Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023