Delaware Vital Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Delaware, Vital Records, 1650-1974 .
This article describes a collection of records at
Delaware, United States
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Flag of Delaware
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Location of Delaware
Record Description
Record Type Vital Records
Collection years 1650-1974
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of various vital records from the Delaware Public Archives. It includes birth, marriage, death, bible, and tombstone records. Although the records span various year ranges they generally cover the years 1650 to 1974.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Delaware, Vital Records, 1650-1974.

Collection Content

Coverage Map

To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Delaware marriages, click here.

Sample Images

The following information may be found in the birth records:

  • Child’s name
  • Child’s sex
  • Birth date
  • Birth place
  • Registration date
  • Race
  • Parents' names
  • Parents' address
  • Parents' birth places
  • Father’s occupation

The following information may be found in the marriage records:

  • Full name of bride and groom
  • Marriage date
  • Marriage place
  • Residence or address of bride and groom
  • Age of bride and groom
  • Groom’s occupation
  • Birth place of bride and groom
  • Parents of bride and groom
  • Number of marriage for bride and groom
  • Officiator

The following information may be found in the death records:

  • Name of deceased
  • Death date
  • Death place
  • Age or birth date
  • Marital status
  • Cause of death
  • Occupation
  • Birth place
  • Name of parents
  • Surviving spouse
  • Race
  • Last known address
  • Parents' names
  • Informant’s names
  • Informant’s residence

How do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search, it will be helpful to know the following:

  • The name of the individual or individuals, such as the names of the bride and groom, the infant, or the deceased
  • The approximate date and place of the event

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

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "Record type"
⇒Select the appropriate "Year"
⇒Select the appropriate “Folder number" which takes you to the images

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors 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 article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the birth date 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 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 parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • The father’s occupation can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
  • The parents' birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other counties.
  • Compile the marriage 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 marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married 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.
  • It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile birth entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the birth records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born in the same county or nearby.
  • The information in vital records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from record to record.

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

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.
  • Search the appropriate related collection
Delaware State Birth Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
Delaware State Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
Delaware State Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities. Records of Delaware residents may also be recorded in adjoining states, such as Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Citations for 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:

"Delaware Vital Records, 1650-1974." Database with images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2016. Public Archives, Dover.

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 Delaware Vital Records, 1650-1974.

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 titleimage.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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