Some Vital Record Alternatives
You’re familiar with birth, marriage, and death records but what are some other record types that can help you discover information when the vital records can’t be found?
- Probate Records. If you know where a person died, check to see if there is a probate record. Do not just assume there is no record-check. Even if there is no will, there can still be a probate file. One part of the file that can be vital is the “Final Distribution.” This will tell you who the heirs and devisees are and where they were located at the time of the filing.
- Funeral Home Records. Family members fill out paperwork at funeral homes detailing the life of the deceased. In addition, the funeral home keeps a copy of the obituary published in the local newspaper.
- Church Records. Church records can contain information about birth, marriage, and death. Each church keeps different types of records so make sure to learn more about the church your ancestor attended and what records they possess.
There are many resources available in assisting you with your research that can found in our “United States: Vital Records” course.