Birth and Death Record Tips for Genealogy

Do you have a birth record or death record for your ancestor? No - move right Do you know the approximate date and location of your ancestor's birth or death? No - move right Did your ancestor die before 1930? No - move right Search the Social Security Death Index. Go to Social Security Death Index Tips.
Yes - move down Yes - move down Yes - move down
If the record provides the names of the parents of your ancestor, use the parents' names to search the Federal Census. Go to Federal Census Tips. Try to obtain a birth record or death record for your ancestor. Click here to request a birth record or death record. Search the Federal Census to determine the likely date and location of death for obtaining a death record. Go to Federal Census Tips.
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Obtaining a Birth or Death Record

If you know the birth or death date within ten years and the location (state or county depending on the year), you can obtain a copy of your ancestor's birth or death record. The records generally include the person's name, birth date and birth county, as well as the names of the father and mother. In some cases, the mother's maiden name is given. And, if you are lucky, the birthplace of each parent is recorded as well.

birth records If the person you are searching for is a next of kin, that fastest way to obtain a birth or death record is through VitalChek. Request a record from VitalChek.
death records If the person is not a next of kin, then you need to contact the state or county directly. Click here to locate the appropriate contact information at for ordering birth and death records.
death records Also check this site for information on historical documents:
birth record Free guide on using birth records.
death record Free guide on using death records.

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Advanced Research

This site is designed to provide the basics in researching your genealogy. It emphasizes the use of the Federal Census, Social Security Death Index, online family trees, and birth/death records. There are, of course, more sources of information. If you are looking for advice on additional sources, go to Genealogy Search Advice. That site will provide you with customized research advice based on what you already know about your ancestors.