How Do I Obtain Copies of Original Vital Records?

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Many genealogists, when trying to link families together, are in a desperate search for vital information. That is to say, births, marriage, and death records. Some people contact for their own personal birth certificates or death certificates trying to gain access to these records through our genealogical database site.As grows, we are working on bringing our clients as many vital records as possible for the different geographical areas for which users have interest. We are in process of making agreements with various countries to help with digitization and indexing in order to make the records easily available online. In the meantime, however, there are other methods for obtaining vital certificates quickly.One way that the author has found to be an effective method for retrieving vital records quickly is to use an online service called During a recent research project, this site allowed for rapid access to death records of various family members in order to prove relationships through direct evidence. provides express vital records delivery from 400 government agencies including counties within all 50 United States states, and internationally: American Citizens Born Abroad, Panama Canal Zone, American Territories: American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, St. Croix, Virgin Islands, St. Thomas and St. John, Canada: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick , Newfoundland, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory, Mexico, United Kingdom: England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

The author of this article has had very good success with vital records orders from VitalChek, especially for death records from Pennsylvania. One item of note, however, is that vital records from this service are of a more-recent nature. Records earlier than those listed in the Handybook for Genealogists from each county clerk are probably not available from this company. For earlier records, write or email the County Clerk for the area in question. has the addresses and numbers for their international connections listed on their website.

Average cost varies depending upon the state, with New York possibly being on the more expensive end, towards $70 per certificate, and Pennsylvania being less expensive at $29 per certificate. This is not a free service, especially for receiving expedited vital records, but for those who need the record now, or are willing to pay the fees, it is an excellent service that delivers what it promises.

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