The cdcs national center for health statistics web site tells how to obtain birth death marriage and divorce records from state and territorial agencies nara related resources information collected in census records may help you to find which jurisdiction you will want to look for vital records in for instance if you find your ancestors state of birth and approximate year of birth are reported in the census you can then contact that local jurisdiction regarding their birth records. One place to hunt for leads is your states vital records office which keeps certificates of birth death marriage and divorce how much these forms tell you depends on state law in massachusetts for example a death certificate can tell you a lot the place of death the cause of death the deceaseds address and name of his or her spouse who reported the death and where that person lives. The links below are provided for those users who want direct access to individual state and territory information to use this valuable tool you must first determine the state or area where the birth death marriage or divorce occurred then click on that state or area. Vital records birth certificates marriage certificates death certificates and divorce decrees are one of the best resources to help build a family tree once you determine the state where the birth death marriage or divorce occurred select the state from the list below to learn how to get a certified copy of the vital record or where to find free vital records online. Where to access vital records depending upon your state and the type of vital record you are seeking there are several ways to find the information state level for the particular state you are investigating start with the department of health and vital records most states charge anywhere from 12 to 20 to access these records
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