Oklahoma Vital Records
|Oklahoma Wiki Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
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 Oklahoma Vital Records State Department of Health or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred.
Online Oklahoma Birth, Marriage and Death Records
The following is a list of online resources useful for locating Oklahoma Vital Records which consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths. Most online resources for Oklahoma Vital Records are indexes. After locating a person in an index always consult the original record to confirm the information in the index.
- OK2Explore by Oklahoma State Department of Health Information on birth occurring more than 20 years ago and deaths occurring more then 5 years ago.
- Oklahoma Databases listed on Rootsweb.com - Free
- USGenWeb.org Oklahoma Site - Free
- Search for Oklahoma Collections on FamilySearch.org under Canada, USA, and Mexico - Free
- The Vital Records Search and Information Directory for Oklahoma - Free/$
- 1790 - 1998 United States Marriages – Oklahoma, 1790-1998 ($) index and images
- 1852 - 1948 - Oklahoma, Church Marriages, 1852-1948 at FamilySearch — index
- 1890 - 1995 Oklahoma, County Marriages, 1890-1995 at FamilySearch — index
- Wee Monster Links for Oklahoma Birth & Marriage and Death Records - Free/$
- Linkpendium Links for Oklahoma Genealogy and History, including individual Counties - Free/$
- Search the Oklahoma Birth, Marriage & Death Records at Ancestry.com - $
- Order Oklahoma Certificates online - $
If you are aware of other online databases, please feel free to add them.
Birth and Death Records
Some counties kept birth and death records as early as 1891, although most did not start until after statehood in 1907. The early records, which are quite incomplete, are at county courthouses. Contact details for county courts can be found on individual county pages. The Family History Library has copied some of the vital records of the Superintendent of Public Health in a few counties.
The statewide registration of births and deaths began in Oklahoma in 1908 and was generally complied with by 1930. You can write to:
Vital Records Service
Oklahoma State Department of Health
1000 Northeast 10th Street, Room 111
Oklahoma City, OK 73117
Internet: Oklahoma State Department of Health
The current fees for obtaining copies of the state's records are listed on the Internet site above. Copies of birth records are restricted to the individual, their next of kin, or a legal representative. See the above Internet site for requirements for requesting records. Death records are not restricted.
Delayed Birth Records
Delayed registrations of births (for persons born before registration began in 1908) are available from the Vital Records Service mentioned above.
open / closed / state statues
In many cases, children were raised by relatives or interested families without a formal adoption taking place and no official adoption records being created.
For more information, see Adoption Research for additional resources and strategies.
Marriage bonds, affidavits, licenses, and certificates were kept by each county beginning about 1890 or when the county was created. Many marriages in the territorial era were not recorded, and some were recorded in county courthouses in Arkansas, Kansas, and Texas. Write to the appropriate county clerk for information.
Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:
- Oklahoma County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Oklahoma Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)
The Family History Library has marriage records for some counties. Published transcripts of marriage documents include:
- Oklahoma Territory Weddings. Geary, Oklahoma: Pioneer Book Committee, 1983 This includes history, wedding albums, and marriage files from Blaine, Caddo, and Kingfisher counties.
- Oklahoma, Church Marriages, 1852-1948 — index
- Oklahoma, County Marriages, 1890-1995
- Oklahoma Marriage Records, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory This includes marriages of white settlers, 1890-1907, found in U.S. court files for the eleven southeastern counties.
- Oklahoma County Marriage Records 1889-1951
Divorces were granted after 1907 by the district courts or the circuit court in each county. Write to the county clerk of the court for information. The Family History Library has records from some counties.
In 1908, death records were mandated by the state with copies sent to the state capital. Compliance to this law reached 90% by 1928.
After 1928, death records usually give information about the deceased, such as name, age, birth date, state or country of birth, and names of parents and the informant. The date and place of death are given. Sometimes burial information, the cause of death, and the names of physician and morticians are provided.
These links will take you to wiki pages describing alternate sources for birth, marriage, and death records.
Oklahoma Church Records: Depending on the denomination, church records may contain information about birth, marriage and death.
Oklahoma Cemetery Records: Cemetery Records are a rich source of birth and death information. These records may also reveal family relationships.
Oklahoma Census: Census records are a valuable source for birth and marriage information. You may also determine approximate time of death when the individual disappear from the census. This is a good place to begin a search.
Social Security Death Index (SSDI): the SSDI indexes deaths for those who had social security numbers and the death was reported to the Social Security Administration.
Oklahoma Newspapers: Besides obituaries, local newspapers may contain birth and marriage announcements and death notices. Also check newspaper social columns for additional information.
Oklahoma Military Records: Military pension records can give birth, marriage and death information. In addition, soldiers' homes records may include this same information.
Oklahoma Periodicals: Local genealogical and historical societies often publish periodicals which may contian abstracted early birth, marriage and death information.
Probate Records: If no death records exists, probate records may be helpful in estimating when an individual has died. Probate records in the 20th Century often contain the exact death date.
History: Local histories, family histories and biographies can all be sources of birth, marriage and death information.
- 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 locate vital records recorded by governments, search for church records 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 vital records. Copies of some vital records recorded in the last 100 years may be unavailable to anyone except a direct relative.
- Search for Vital Records in the FamilySearch Catalog by using a Place Search and then choosing Vital Record. Search for Oklahoma to locate records filed by the state and then search the name of the county to locate records kept by the county.
Archives, Libraries and Societies
Inventory of Vital Records
You can learn more about the history and availability of birth, marriage, death, and divorce in Guide to Public Vital Statistics Records in Oklahoma. Oklahoma City: Historical Records Survey, 1941. This guide describes the records kept by the state, and each county.
- Bode, Frances M. Oklahoma Territory Weddings. Geary, Oklahoma: Pioneer Book Committee, 1983. (Family History Library book 976.6 V2bf; fiche 6104367.)
- Tiffee, Ellen. Oklahoma Marriage Records, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory. 10 vols. [Howe, Oklahoma]: E. Tiffee, N.d. (Family History Library book 976.6 V2t; film 1,321,223 items 11-16, vols. 1-6.)
- Guide to Public Vital Statistics Records in Oklahoma. Oklahoma City: Historical Records Survey, 1941(Family History Library book 976.6 A3hr; film 874,325 item 3.)
- http://www.okgenweb.org/~marriage/ - A GenWeb project that has some counties with inconsistent dates and information. What is listed is easy to access
A wiki article describing this collection is found at: