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, 1670-1907 .
The collection consists of indexes and images of birth, marriage, and death records for the years 1670 to 1907. 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.
For a list of records by document type, dates and surnames currently published in this collection, select the Browse.
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,1670-1907." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Division of Vital Statistics. State Board of Health, Augusta.
The following may be found in the birth records:
- Child’s name and gender
- Birth date and place
- Whether stillborn or living
- Number of child in the family, 1st, 2nd, etc.
- Father's name, birth place, race, and occupation
- Mother's maiden name, birth place, race, and occupation
- Parent’s residence
- Name and address of person reporting birth
The following may be found in the marriage records:
- Date and place of marriage
- Full name of bride and groom
- Residence(s) of bride and groom
- Ages of bride and groom
- Race of bride and groom
- Occupation of bride and groom
- Birthplace of bride and groom
- Number of marriage(s) for bride and groom
- Widowed or divorced?
- Name of groom's father and birth place
- Father's residence, race and occupation
- Name of groom's mother, including maiden name
- Mother's residence, race and occupation
- Name of bride's father and birth place
- Father's residence, race and occupation
- Name of bride's mother, including maiden name
- Name and title of officiator of marriage
The following may be found in the death records:
- Name and age of deceased in year, months and days
- Date and place of death
- Birth place of deceased
- Gender, race, marital status and occupation of deceased
- Name of father and father's occupation
- Maiden name of mother
- Cause of death
- Name and address of person reporting the death
- Name and address of undertaker
How to Use the Record
When searching the collection it is helpful to know
- Identifying information such as the approximate date and place the event occurred
Search the Collection
TTo 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 those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person.
If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection image by image.
⇒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
Look at the images one by one. Again you will need to compare the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor.
Be aware that with either search you may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination. Keep in mind:
- There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
- You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
- Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
- If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
- Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.
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.
- Use the parent’s birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
- The name of the officiator may be a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
- 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.
- 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.
Unable to Find Your Ancestor?
- 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.
General Information About These Records
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.
Known Issues with This Collection
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
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