Difference between revisions of "United States, How to Find Genealogy Records"

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*[[United States Church Records]]
*[[United States Church Records]]
*[[United States Church History]]
*[[United States Churches by Denominations]]
*[[United States, Church Records, 1600s-Present]]

Revision as of 16:20, 14 November 2012

United States  Gotoarrow.png How to Find Genealogy Records

This is a page is a series of links to Wiki articles on how to find various types of genealogically related records in the United States. The individual articles are arranged by subject heading. The subject headings may also include links to other related articles. You may also wish to search the Wiki for "How to Find" articles from various individual states. Please feel free to add new links or update existing links as it becomes necessary.

Family Records

Searching your own and family records is always the first place to start your genealogical research. Always ask relatives, both near and distant, if they have any records or photos of the family. Look for birthday cards, wedding announcements, birth notices, certificates and public documents such as driver's licenses. See also the following articles:

Birth Records

Birth records might seem like the first place to start your search, but experts recommend looking into death records first and marriage records second. Followed by Birth records, because birth records are usually the most difficult to find.

See also: United States, How to Use Birth Records

Death Records

Many death records are little known and quite obscure. Be sure to look for mortuary records, burial permits, transportation records, funeral programs, obituaries, memorials and grave purchases in addition to death certificates or other formal records.

See also United States, How to Use Death Records

Marriage Records

Be sure to search for wedding announcements in newspapers, anniversary announcements in newspapers, invitations to wedding receptions, announcement of banns, church notices, as well as marriage licenses and certificates.

See also: United States, How to Use Marriage Records

Census Records

There are both national and state censuses. The United States Federal Census starts in 1790 and the latest release is for 1940. The year 1890 is only available in very limited areas due to a fire. To find if a state has census records and for what years, go to The CensusFinder. There may also be local county and city censuses.

Note: There are several complete digitized copies of the U.S. Census online, most with complete images and indexes. Some of the websites require a subscription fee to view all of the Census records.

This list is likely incomplete, please search for similar articles and see the links in those articles. See also the categories at the bottom of this article.

Church Records

The United States is a country of religious diversity. Unlike many other countries, there has been no “state church,” except for a few periods in some of the early colonies. Church records in the United States began in the early 1600s. Unfortunately, the United States did not require a civil registration or recording of births, marriages, and deaths until well into the 20th Century although some of the states began the process in the mid-1800s. Sometimes church records are the only records containing birth, marriage and death about individuals. Therefore, they are a valuable substitute when vital records do not exist.


Cemetery Records

Funeral Home Records

Emigration and Immigration Records

Military Records


Probate Records

See also: United States, How to Use Probate Records

Land and Property Records

Colonial Records

Territorial Records

Court Records

Town and Local Records

See also: United States, How to Use County and Town Records (Those Including Vital Records)

General Articles