23 February 2010

Need a Vital Record--LOOK HERE FIRST?

Not all time periods are covered, but if you need a vital record try this site first:

It is from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention.

It will link you DIRECTLY to the state office of vital records in that state. Of course there are also county records that might have been recorded before state registration. In some states, towns or counties might also have the same information at a lower charge.

There are numerous "link farms" that will link you to other vital record "search services" that will charge you significantly more than necessary. Don't just perform a google search for "illinois death records" and click on the first link.

This page from the CDC will not link you to sites that charge you for OVERNIGHT and EXPRESS services, which are generally just a waste of money. Do you really need that death certificate this week? VitalChek wanted $22 for a Florida certificate I could order from the state directly for $5.

VitalChek wanted $23.50 to obtain a copy of my birth certificate (image shown in this post). In this case, I can get it myself from the county for $10.00. They also wanted to ship it UPS Air for an additional $19.50 for a grand total of $43.00

Final advice--before ordering a copy of a vital record, make certain you are on an actual site of the record agency (or perhaps a state archives). Chances are if you are ordering through a *.com domain name, you are PAYING TOO MUCH.

If all else fails, post to roots-l or to gen-newbie and ask for help. Check before you send that check or submit that credit card.