There are two places to find the Vital Records you are seeking. The first is at the County Clerk's office in the county you are researching. Call or write the Clerk and ask for the specific information they need to fill your request
Some clerks will look up the record while you are on the phone to see if they have it. Most will not. If they do not have the record on file, they will send a note saying so. They will probably NOT return your payment. You are paying for the search, not the record. PLEASE be patient and polite when working with the Clerks. We want them to continue to help us with our researching.
The second place is the State Archives Department. They will do a state-wide search if you are not sure in which county the event took place. The records cost a little more, but it is a much larger search.
Many early births were NOT reported at the time of the birth - therefore there is no "birth certificate". Births before 1900 were seldom reported until the child reached maturity and needed to prove his birth date or identity, then the individual would report his own birth. This is called a "delayed birth record". Many of them are not correct but they are all that exists. When the births WERE recorded, they are generally a single line in a book.
Early marriage records generally contain little genealogical information except the date the license was issued, the date the marriage took place and the maiden name of the woman.
Original death records come in two forms. The earlier records are generally a single line in a book containing the death date, cause of death, and the name of the individual reporting the death. Later records are "death certificates" and can contain the birth date and place, death date and place, parents' names and places of birth, and the name of the person reporting the death.
This page was last updated 26 December 2011
Copyright © 2005-2012
East Texas Genealogical Society
and the Individual Contributors
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