North Dakota Vital Records

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Introduction to Vital Records

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. United States Vital Records has additional research guidance on researching and using vital records. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the North Dakota Vital Records State Department of Health or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred.

Vital Records Collage.JPG

Birth Marriages Deaths
Statewide Registration 1907 1925 1907
General Compliance 1924 1924

North Dakota Birth, Marriage and Death Records Online[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of online resources useful for locating North Dakota Vital Records which consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths. Check North Dakota Vital Records Online for more information about the resources listed below. Most online resources for North Dakota Vital Records are indexes. After locating a person in an index always consult the original record to confirm the information in the index.

If you are aware of other online databases, please feel free to add them.

Birth Records[edit | edit source]

Early - 1893

1893 - Present

Births and Deaths[edit | edit source]

In North Dakota, statewide registration of births and deaths began in 1907 and was generally complied with by 1924. You can obtain copies by writing to:

Division of Vital Records
State Capitol
600 East Boulevard Avenue, Dept 301
Bismarck, ND 58505-0200
Phone: 701-328-2360
Fax: 701-328-1850

The Division of Vital Records also has some files dating from 1893 and delayed registrations of births from 1941.

A searchable Public Death Index is available online from the Department of Health. The search engine permits surname searches for ten year periods from 1881 through 2008.

The Family History Library has not copied any of the vital records from the state. An inventory and description of the history and availability of the records is Guide to Public Vital Statistics Records in North Dakota. [1]

Adoption Records[edit | edit source]

open / closed / state statues

Marriage Records[edit | edit source]

Statewide registration of marriages began in 1925. You can obtain copies of marriage records by writing to the division of vital records, or locate the contact information for individual counties.

The North Dakota State Archives has pre-1925 marriage records in an online index and on microfilm from the following counties: Adams, Barnes, Billings, Bottineau, Bowman, Burke, Burleigh, Cass, Dickey, Divide, Dunn, Eddy, Emmons, Griggs, Kidder, LaMoure, Logan, McHenry, McIntosh, McKenzie, McLean, Morton, Mountrail, Pembina, Ransom, Renville, Richland, Sargent, Sioux, Steele, Stutsman, Walsh, and Ward. Williams County marriage records are digital only. These microfilms may be available from the North Dakota State Archives by inter-library loan

The Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections, University of North Dakota, has a searchable database of marriages (November 1875 - June 1925) in Grand Forks County. Printed indexes and licenses for later marriages (July 1925 - October 1995) are available in Special Collections.

North Dakota State University has an index for Cass County for the period 1872-1944.

Before statewide registration, individual towns or counties issued marriage licenses and recorded marriages. Write to the office of the judge of the county court or the clerk of the district court for these records. In counties with less than 15,000 population, the judge of the county court serves as the clerk of the district court.

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Divorce Records[edit | edit source]

Divorce proceedings are usually kept by the district court for each county. Contact individual county recorders to order divorce records, or write to them for copies or information.

The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Collection includes some North Dakota marriage and death records for Barnes, Burleigh, and Towner counties. [2]

Death Records[edit | edit source]

Cause of Death[edit | edit source]

  • Causes of Death - use this resource when trying to interpret a disease or medical condition listed on a death record or certificate

Substitute Records[edit | edit source]

A searchable database of Grand Forks County Coroner Certificates (1882-1989) is available through the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections, University of North Dakota. State law requires that only relatives of the deceased may view the records. Coroner certificates were created when deaths occurred under suspicious circumstances.

North Dakota Church Records

North Dakota Cemetery Records

North Dakota Census

North Dakota Newspapers

North Dakota Obituaries

North Dakota Military Records

North Dakota History

Tips[edit | edit source]

  • Information listed on vital records is given by an informant.  Learn the relationship of the informant to the subject(s) of the record.  The closer the relationship of the informant to the subject(s) and whether or not the informant was present at the time of the event can help determine the accuracy of the information found on the record.
  • If you are unable to loceat vital records recorded by governments, search for church record of christening, marriage, death or burial.  A family Bible may have been used to record births, marriages and deaths.
  • Privacy laws may restrict your access to some vitral records.  Copies of some vital records recorded in the last 100 years may be unavailable to anyone except a direct relative.
  • Search for Vital Record in the FamilySearch Catalog by using a Place Search and then choosing Vital Records.  Search forNorth Dakota to locate records filed by the State and then serach the name of the county to locate records kept by the county.

Archives, Libraries and Societies[edit | edit source]

North Dakota Archives and Libraries

North Dakota Societies

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Guide to Public Vital Statistics Records in North Dakota, (Bismarck, North Dakota: Historical Records Survey, 1941; Family History Library [1]
  2. (Family History Library films 859737-40).