Alaska, Vital Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Alaska, Vital Records, 1816-1959 .
This article describes a collection of records at
Alaska, United States
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Flag of Alaska
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Location of Alaska
Record Description
Record Type Archive Birth, Marriage, Death
Collection years 1816-1959
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Alaska State Archives

What is in the Collection?

This collection includes an index and digital images of births (1816 to 1912), marriages (1816 to 1959), and deaths (1816-1959) from the Alaska State Archives.

Collection Content

Sample Images

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Birth Records

  • Name of child
  • Birth date
  • Birth place
  • Race
  • Number of child in family
  • Maiden name of mother
  • Name of father
  • Age of parents
  • Residences of parents
  • Birth places of parents
  • Occupation of father
  • Live or stillbirth
  • Cause of stillbirth
  • Informant

Marriage Records

  • Names of groom and bride
  • Place of residence
  • Date of marriage
  • Place of marriage
  • Age
  • Race
  • Birthplace
  • Occupation
  • Previous marriages
  • Witnesses
  • Marriage officiator

Death Records

  • Name of deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Date and place of birth
  • Date and place of burial
  • Occupation
  • Residence
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Physical description
  • Marriage status
  • Cause of death
  • Names of parents
  • Birthplaces of parents
  • Relatives names
  • Informant
  • Name of undertaker

How Do I Search the Collection?

To search the collection it is helpful to know the following:

  • The name of your ancestor.
  • The date of death.
  • The date of birth.
  • The residence of your ancestor.
  • The names of other relatives and their relationships.

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information 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.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s vital 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.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Search Alaska Census records from this town/municipality/state to find this person as a child in the birth family and also as a parent in their adult family.
  • Record names of family members listed, immigration dates, occupation, residence, birthplace, parents birthplace, and other information leading to more clues about your ancestor. Sometimes several individuals of the same name may exist in the records. To differentiate, note all information from the record including names of parents, ages of parents, occupations of parents, or residence of parents.


  • Use the birth record as a source for your ancestor’s parents. This record is proof of the relationship.
  • Note individuals listed as witnesses or godparents. Witnesses and godparents were often relatives.
  • Try searching for the parents’ marriage record in the same locality as your ancestor’s birth place. A marriage record can provide more information about your family, especially the mother’s maiden name—which is frequently unknown.
  • A birth record may note the mother’s age. Use her age to calculate her estimated birth year.
  • Birth records may provide the number of children a mother has given birth to up until that point in time. Use this information to locate birth records of your ancestor’s siblings.


  • Marriage records sometimes note witnesses or bondsmen. In some cases, witnesses or bondsmen were relatives of the bride or groom. Remember to note those individuals because they may help identify the extended family.
  • Use the ages of the bride and groom to estimate their birth years.
  • Couples were usually married in the locality where one or both parties lived. Search records from that locality for other information about the family such as census records, marriages of siblings, and family birth records.
  • Occupations were often the best way to differentiate between individuals of the same name. Note the occupations listed to ensure that you have identified the correct individual as your ancestor.
  • If the officiator of the marriage was a minister, you may be able to determine to which religion or congregation your ancestor belonged. Alaska Church Records can lead to more records about the family.


  • Use the death or burial date to find other records that may provide more information on your ancestor. These include obituaries, grave markers, sexton’s records, or a civil or religious death records.
  • Remember that a burial date is not always the same as a death date.
  • Search [[Alaska Cemeteries|cemetery] records. Sometimes a person is buried in a city or town in which they did not die. Do not assume that a burial place is the same as a death place. Search towns or municipalities near where they lived for the burial.
  • Family members were often buried near each other. Pay attention to individuals buried in the same cemetery as your ancestor—they may have been family members. Similarly, if your ancestor is buried among other relatives, it may be a clue that you have located the correct individual.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they were born, married or died, then try searching the records of a nearby locality.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images.
  • If the bride and groom were from different localities try searching the records of both places for the marriage record. It was common for a couple to be married in the bride’s home town.
  • Sometimes marriage records for a particular locality are missing. Try searching newspapers for an announcement of the marriage.
  • When a widow was applying for her deceased husband’s military service, she frequently had to prove that she was married to the soldier. This was often done by sending a copy of the marriage certificate, county marriage register, or page from the family bible. Because marriage records for a locality may be missing, the widow’s pension application may be the best place to locate marriage information.
  • Try searching newspapers for an obituary, death notice, or notice of your ancestor’s estate to determine when your ancestor died.
  • Search cemetery transcripts for a transcript of your ancestor’s grave marker.
  • Look for probate records for the region and time period in which your ancestor supposedly died. These records may give clues about when he or she passed away.

Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

“Alaska, Vital Records, 1816-1962” Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2016. Citing Alaska State Archives, Juneau.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Alaska, Vital Records, 1816-1959.

Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Alaska, Vital Records, 1816-1959.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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