Maine Vital Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|Access the Records|
Maine, Vital Records, 1670-1907 .
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Maine, United States|
|Flag of Maine|
|Location of Maine|
|Record Type||Vital Records|
- 1 What is in the Collection?
- 2 Collection Contents
- 3 What Can this Collection Tell Me?
- 4 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Known Issues with This Collection
- 7 Citing this Collection
- 8 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in the Collection?
The collection consists of an index and images of birth, marriage and death returns acquired from the State Board of Health, Division of Vital Statistics and the state archives. Records are organized alphabetically, then chronologically within a name. The collection is divided into four parts: Vital Records Prior to 1892, 80 towns; Delayed returns for births, deaths, and marriages, 1670-1891; Vital Records, 1892-1907; and Vital Records, 1908-1922. The first two parts are the same records, filmed once in 1953 and again, with some additional records, in 1975. A record that is missing or illegible in one part may be present or legible in the other.
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.
To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Maine marriages, click here.
What Can this Collection Tell Me?
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 Do I Search the Collection?
When searching the collection it is helpful to know:
- Identifying information such as the approximate date and place the event occurred
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.
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒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 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.
What Do I Do Next?
I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?
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.
- 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.
I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?
- 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.
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword Maine, Vital Records items in the FamilySearch Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki article Maine Archives and Libraries.|
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.
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.
- "Maine Vital Records,1670-1907." Database with Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2016. Citing Division of Vital Statistics. State Board of Health, Augusta.
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 Maine, Vital Records, 1670-1907.|
|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 Maine, Vital Records, 1670-1907.|
How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
| We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records. |
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.