Maine, Vital Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.|
Collection Time Period
The records in this collection are for the years 1892 to 1922.
The records are handwritten on preprinted pages. The collection consists of birth, marriage, and death records which are arranged alphabetically by surname.
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
Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Name indexes make it possible to access a specific record quickly. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
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
Use the locator information found in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestors in the records. Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
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.
Record Record History
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.
Why this Record Was Created
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.
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Contributions to This Article
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Sources of Information for This Collection
"Maine Vital Records, 1892-1922," database, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/); citing Maine State Archives, Augusta. FHL microfilm, 332 reels, Family History Library Salt Lake City, Utah.
We welcome your assistance in adding source citation information for individual archives when collection data was collected from various sources or archives. The format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections
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.
Examples of citations:
• 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