Maine Vital RecordsEdit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

Revision as of 16:12, 17 May 2012 by Pipkincm (Talk | contribs)

United States  Gotoarrow.png  Maine  Gotoarrow.png  Vital Records Vital Records consist of births , adoptions, marriages , divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. United States Vital Records has additional research guidance on researching and using vital records. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Maine Office of Vital Records or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred.

Contents

 
Vital Records Collage.JPG

Vital Records Reference Dates

Maine's vital records start the following years:


Birth, Marriage, and Death Records

Town: abt 1600s

State:  1892


Maine Birth, Marriage, and Death Records Online

The following is a list of online resources useful for locating Maine Vital Records which consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths.  Most online resources for Maine Vital Records are indexes. After locating a person in an index always consult the original record to confirm the information in the index.

Birth, Marriage, and Death Records

Before 1892

Vital records are kept by town clerks or selectmen. Although some towns have existed since the 1650s, most vital records date from about 1700. The vital statistics are often arranged by family.

Although the original vital records are kept by the town clerks, copies of most of the existing pre-1892 vital records are at the Maine State Archives. The Family History Library also has an extensive collection of Maine town vital records, including:

  • Noyes, Benjamin Lake. Vital Records Copied from Town, Church, & Cemetery Records in Various Towns and Counties of Maine Along the Atlantic Seaboard. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1971, 1972. This source organizes names alphabetically by locality. It includes histories of some areas; people's birth, marriage and death dates; and names of spouses and children. FHL film 873738 items 1-2
  • Torrey, Clarence Almon. New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Andover, Massachusetts : Northeast Document Conservation Center, [1983?]. Most of the pre-1700 New England marriages collected from printed and manuscript records in the New England Historic Genealogical Society. FHL films 929494-929500

The Family History Library and the Maine State Archives also have an index to pre-1892 vital records for 80 towns. The index includes birth, delayed birth, marriage, and death records.

  • Maine. Division of Vital Statistics. Index to Vital Records Prior to 1892 of . . . 80 Towns. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1953. These records of births (including delayed births), deaths, and marriages are arranged alphabetically by surname and then chronologically by year within each surname. FHL films 009743-883
  • Maine State Archives. Delayed Returns for Births. Deaths, and Marriages, 1670-1891. [N.p., 197-]. The records are arranged alphabetically by surname and then chronologically, earliest date through 1891. Some records are out of order. FHL films starting at 1002375

Many of the births and marriages recorded in the town records have been extracted and are listed in the International Genealogical Index (IGI) at the Family History Library and Family History Centers. Some vital records have been published in genealogical periodicals.

After 1892

State registration of vital statistics began in 1892. You can obtain copies of these records by writing to:

Office of Vital Records
244 Water Street, SHS #11
Augusta, Maine 04333-0011
Telephone: 207-287-3181

or

Maine State Archives
State House Complex, Station 84
Augusta, Maine 04333-0084

For indexes of birth, marriage, and death records for the years 1892 to 1922 (marriage records extend to 1953), see:

Maine State Archives - marriage index 1892-1967, 1977-1996; death index 1960 to three years ago

  • Maine. Division of Vital Statistics. Index to Vital Records, 1892-1907. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1954. Births, marriages, and deaths are arranged alphabetically by surname and then chronologically by year within each surname. FHL films 9884-10067
  • Maine. Division of Vital Statistics. Index to Vital Records 1908-1922. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1954. Records are arranged alphabetically by surname. FHL films 10068-215
  • Maine. Division of Vital Statistics. Index to Vital Records: Bride's Index to Marriages, 1895-1953. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1954. This index includes names of brides, names of grooms, and marriage data. FHL films 010261-371

Gretna Greens. When an eloping Maine couple's marriage is not in their home county, search for it in alternate places like Elkton, Cecil, Maryland, or Prince William County, VA, or in towns just across the Canadian border.[1]

Divorce Records

Original records are in the office of the clerk of the district court where the divorce was granted. Divorce proceedings prior to 1892 can be found in the court records at the Maine State Archives. For certified abstracts of divorce decrees since 1892 contact:

Office of Vital Records
244 Water Street, SHS #11
Augusta, Maine 04333-0011
Telephone: 207-287-3181

The Family History Library does not have copies of these divorce records.

Adoption Records

Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child and Family Services - Maine Adoption Reunion Registry

Substitute Records

These links will take you to wiki pages describing alternate sources for birth, marriage and death records.

  • Church Records: Depending on the denomination, church records may contain information about birth, marriage and death.
  • Cemetery Records: Cemetery records are a rich source of birth and death information. These records may also reveal family relationships.
  • Census Records: Census records are a valuable source for birth and marriage information. You may also determine approximate time of death when the individual disappear from the census. This is a good place to begin a search.
  • Newspapers: Besides obituaries, local newspapers may contain birth and marriage announcements and death notices. Also check newspaper social columns for additional information.
  • Periodicals: Local genealogical and historical societies often publish periodicals which may contain abstracted early birth, marriage and death information.
  • Military Records: Military pension records can give birth, marriage and death information. In addition, soldiers' homes records can include this same information.
  • Probate Records: If no death record exists, probate records may be helpful in estimating when an individual has died. Probate records in the 20th Century often contain the exact death date.
  • History: Local histories, family histories, and biographies can all be sources of birth, marriage, and death information. Often this information is found in county-level records or in surname searches of the Family History Library catalog.

Tips

  • Information listed on vital records is given by an informant. Learn the relationship of the informant to the subject(s) of the record. The closer the relationship of the informant to the subject(s) and whether or not the informant was present at the time of the event can help determine the accuracy of the information found on the record.
  • If you are unable to locate vital records recorded by governments, search for church records of christening, marriage, death or burial. A family Bible may have been used to record births, marriages and deaths.
  • Privacy laws may restrict your access to some vital records. Copies of some vital records recorded in the last 100 years may be unavailable to anyone except a direct relative.
  • Search for Vital Records in the Family History Library Catalog by using a Place-name Search and then choosing Vital Records. Search for Maine to locate records filed by the state and then search the name of the county to locate records kept by the county

Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:

References

  1. Arlene H. Eakle, "Have you searched and searched for a marriage without finding it?" in Genealogy Blog at "http://www.arleneeakle.com/wordpress/2007/02/19/

 

Need wiki, indexing, or website help? Contact our product teams.


Did you find this article helpful?

You're invited to explain your rating on the discussion page (you must be signed in).