Difference between revisions of "District of Columbia Vital Records"

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''[[United States|United States]]  [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]  [[District of Columbia]]  [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]  [[District_of_Columbia_Vital_Records|Vital Records]]''  
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''[[United States|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[District of Columbia|District of Columbia]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[District_of_Columbia_Vital_Records|Vital Records]]''  
  
 
== District of Columbia Birth, Marriage and Death Records  ==
 
== District of Columbia Birth, Marriage and Death Records  ==
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| width="44%" | __TOC__  
 
| width="44%" | __TOC__  
| valign="middle" | <center>'''&nbsp; [[Image:Vital Records Collage.JPG|center|350px]]&nbsp;&nbsp; '''<br></center>  
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| valign="middle" | <center>'''&nbsp; [[Image:Vital Records Collage.JPG|center|350px|Vital Records Collage.JPG]]&nbsp;&nbsp; '''<br></center>  
 
=== Vital Records Reference Dates  ===
 
=== Vital Records Reference Dates  ===
  
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{| width="100%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="1"
 
{| width="100%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="1"
 
|-
 
|-
| width="16.6%" align="center" |
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| align="center" width="16.6%" |
| width="16.6%" bgcolor="#ffffcc" align="center" | [[District of Columbia Vital Records#Birth_and_Death_Records|Birth]]  
+
| align="center" width="16.6%" bgcolor="#ffffcc" | [[District of Columbia Vital Records#Birth_and_Death_Records|Birth]]  
| width="16.6%" bgcolor="#ffffcc" align="center" | [[District of Columbia Vital Records#Marriage_Records|Marriage]]  
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| align="center" width="16.6%" bgcolor="#ffffcc" | [[District of Columbia Vital Records#Marriage_Records|Marriage]]  
| width="16.6%" bgcolor="#ffffcc" align="center" | [[District of Columbia Vital Records#Birth_and_Death_Records|Death]]
+
| align="center" width="16.6%" bgcolor="#ffffcc" | [[District of Columbia Vital Records#Birth_and_Death_Records|Death]]
 
|-
 
|-
| width="16.6%" bgcolor="#ffffcc" align="center" | Earliest
+
| align="center" width="16.6%" bgcolor="#ffffcc" | Earliest
| width="16.6%" align="center" | 1872
+
| align="center" width="16.6%" | 1872
| width="16.6%" align="center" | 1811
+
| align="center" width="16.6%" | 1811
| width="16.6%" align="center" | 1855
+
| align="center" width="16.6%" | 1855
 
|-
 
|-
| width="16.6%" bgcolor="#ffffcc" align="center" | Statewide Registration
+
| align="center" width="16.6%" bgcolor="#ffffcc" | Statewide Registration
| width="16.6%" align="center" | 1874
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| align="center" width="16.6%" | 1874
| width="16.6%" align="center" | 1811
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| align="center" width="16.6%" | 1811
| width="16.6%" align="center" | 1855*
+
| align="center" width="16.6%" | 1855*
 
|}
 
|}
  
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The following is a list of online resources useful for locating District of Columbia Vital Records which consist of [[United States Birth Records|births]], adoptions, [[United States Marriage Records|marriages]], divorces, and [[United States Death Records|deaths]]. Most online resources for District of Columbia Vital Records are indexes. After locating a person in an index always consult the original record to [[Contradictions and discrepancies|confirm the information]] in the index.  
 
The following is a list of online resources useful for locating District of Columbia Vital Records which consist of [[United States Birth Records|births]], adoptions, [[United States Marriage Records|marriages]], divorces, and [[United States Death Records|deaths]]. Most online resources for District of Columbia Vital Records are indexes. After locating a person in an index always consult the original record to [[Contradictions and discrepancies|confirm the information]] in the index.  
  
*{{RecordSearch|1674779|District of Columbia Births and Christenings, 1830-1955}}&nbsp; -Free  
+
*{{RecordSearch|1674779|District of Columbia Births and Christenings, 1830-1955}} - Free, courtesy: FamilySearch. [[District of Columbia Births and Christenings (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Description]]
*{{RecordSearch|1674800|District of Columbia Deaths and Burials, 1840-1964}}&nbsp;&nbsp;-Free  
+
*{{RecordSearch|1674800|District of Columbia Deaths and Burials, 1840-1964}} - Free, courtesy: FamilySearch. [[District of Columbia Deaths and Burials (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Description]]
*[https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/District_of_Columbia_Deaths_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records) District of Columbia Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)]  
+
*{{RecordSearch|1803967|District of Columbia Deaths, 1874-1959}} - Free, courtesy: FamilySearch. [[District of Columbia Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Description]]
*{{RecordSearch|1674801|District of Columbia Marriages, 1830-1921}}&nbsp; -Free  
+
*{{RecordSearch|1803979|District of Columbia Marriages, 1811-1950}} - Free, courtesy: FamilySearch. [[District of Columbia Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Collections)|Description]]  
 +
*{{RecordSearch|1674801|District of Columbia Marriages, 1830-1921}} - Free, courtesy: FamilySearch. [[District of Columbia Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Description]]
 
*Search the [http://www.ancestry.com/search/locality/dbpage.aspx?tp=2&p=11 District of Columbia Birth, Marriage &amp; Death] Records at Ancestry.com ($)  
 
*Search the [http://www.ancestry.com/search/locality/dbpage.aspx?tp=2&p=11 District of Columbia Birth, Marriage &amp; Death] Records at Ancestry.com ($)  
 
*[http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/dc.htm Where to write] for District of Columbia Vital Records ($)
 
*[http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/dc.htm Where to write] for District of Columbia Vital Records ($)
  
[[District of Columbia Deaths and Burials (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
+
Courtesy of the Gallaudet University Library Deaf Collections and Archives: 19 indexes of birth, marriage, and death records derived from various Deaf publications:
  
[[District of Columbia Births and Christenings (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
+
*[http://www.gallaudet.edu/Library_Deaf_Collections_and_Archives/Genealogy_Resources/Alumni_Cards.html Alumni Cards: 1866-1961]
 +
*[http://www.gallaudet.edu/Library_Deaf_Collections_and_Archives/Genealogy_Resources/Columbia_Institution_Statistics_1857-1897.html Columbia Institution Statistics: 1857-1897]
 +
*[http://www.gallaudet.edu/Library_Deaf_Collections_and_Archives/Genealogy_Resources/Columbia_Institution_Statistics_1898-1950.html Columbia Institution Statistics: 1898-1950]
 +
*[http://www.gallaudet.edu/Library_Deaf_Collections_and_Archives/Genealogy_Resources/FacultyStaff_Cards.html Faculty/Staff Cards: 1910-1944]
 +
*[http://www.gallaudet.edu/Library_Deaf_Collections_and_Archives/Genealogy_Resources/Fay_Index.html Fay Marriage Index]
 +
*[http://www.gallaudet.edu/Library_Deaf_Collections_and_Archives/Genealogy_Resources/Pennsylvania_School_for_the_Deaf_Applications.html Pennsylvania School for the Deaf Applications: 1824-1938]
 +
*[http://www.gallaudet.edu/Library_Deaf_Collections_and_Archives/Genealogy_Resources/Vital_Records.html Vital Records]
  
[https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/District_of_Columbia_Marriages_%28FamilySearch_Historical_Collections%29 District of Columbia Marriages 1811-1950 (FamilySearch Historical Records)]<br>
+
== Birth and Death Records  ==
 
 
[[District of Columbia Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)|District of Columbia Marriages 1830-1921 (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
 
 
 
== Birth and Death Records&nbsp; ==
 
  
 
Registration of vital statistics began in 1874 for the [[District of Columbia|District of Columbia]] and was generally complied with by 1915 for births and 1880 for deaths. You can obtain copies of these records by writing to:  
 
Registration of vital statistics began in 1874 for the [[District of Columbia|District of Columbia]] and was generally complied with by 1915 for births and 1880 for deaths. You can obtain copies of these records by writing to:  
Line 69: Line 72:
 
:Washington, DC 20024<br>  
 
:Washington, DC 20024<br>  
 
:Telephone: 202-645-5962 <br>  
 
:Telephone: 202-645-5962 <br>  
:Internet: [http://www.dchealth.dc.gov/doh/cwp/view,a,1371,q,581955,dohNav_GID,1787,dohNav,%7C33120%7C.asp Department of Health]<br><br>
+
:Internet: [http://doh.dc.gov/service/vital-records Department of Health]<br><br>
  
 
Birth records more than 100 years old and death records more than 50 years old are considered public record and no approval is needed for requested records. The current fees for obtaining copies of the District's birth and death records are found at the [http://www.dchealth.dc.gov/doh/cwp/view,a,1371,q,581955,dohNav_GID,1787,dohNav,%7C33120%7C.asp DC Dept. of Health ]online.  
 
Birth records more than 100 years old and death records more than 50 years old are considered public record and no approval is needed for requested records. The current fees for obtaining copies of the District's birth and death records are found at the [http://www.dchealth.dc.gov/doh/cwp/view,a,1371,q,581955,dohNav_GID,1787,dohNav,%7C33120%7C.asp DC Dept. of Health ]online.  
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Some earlier records of deaths exist from 1855-1860, and 1865-1949. They can be obtained from the above address. The [[Family History Library]] has copies of some of the District's births, 1874-1897 starting on ({{FHL|748648|titleno}} Film 2020343). Deaths for 1855-1949 begin on ( {{FHL|748603|titleno}} Film 1994618).  
 
Some earlier records of deaths exist from 1855-1860, and 1865-1949. They can be obtained from the above address. The [[Family History Library]] has copies of some of the District's births, 1874-1897 starting on ({{FHL|748648|titleno}} Film 2020343). Deaths for 1855-1949 begin on ( {{FHL|748603|titleno}} Film 1994618).  
  
== [[Image:District of Columbia Marriage Records (10-0099) Example 3 DGS 4258975 534.jpg|thumb|right]]Marriage Records ==
+
'''Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:'''
 +
 
 +
*[[District of Columbia Births and Christenings (FamilySearch Historical Records)|District of Columbia Births and Chirstenings (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
 +
*[[District of Columbia, Birth Returns (FamilySearch Historical Records)|District of Columbia, Birth Returns (FamilySearch Histaorical Records)]]
 +
*[[District of Columbia Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)|District of Columbia Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records]]  
 +
*[[District of Columbia Deaths and Burials (FamilySearch Historical Records)|District of Columbia Deatha and Burials (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
 +
 
 +
<br>
  
Registration of marriages began in 1811. Some of the early marriages for the years 1811 to 1858 have been transcribed by the [[Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library|DAR]] and are on microfilm at the [[Family History Library]]({{FHL|235353|titleno}} Film 845766). Easier-to-use versions of these records include:
+
== Marriage Records  ==
  
*DC marriage records 1811-1950; indexes, 1811-1986 ({{FHL|682872|titleno}} Film 2079252).  
+
[[Image:District of Columbia Marriage Records (10-0099) Example 3 DGS 4258975 534.jpg|thumb|right|District of Columbia Marriage Records (10-0099) Example 3 DGS 4258975 534.jpg]] Registration of marriages began in 1811. Some of the early marriages for the years 1811 to 1858 have been transcribed by the [[Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library|DAR]] and are on microfilm at the [[Family History Library]], see: {{FHL|235353|item|disp=FHL Film 845766}}. Easier-to-use versions of these records include:
*Alexandria (DC) marriage certificates returned 1801-1850({{FHL|1129363|titleno}} Film 1902941 item 3).  
+
 
*DC marriage registers 1811-1870 ({{FHL|735000|titleno}} Book 975.3 V28p)&nbsp; Early registers only contain the name of the bride and groom and the date of marriage.  
+
*DC marriage records 1811-1950; indexes, 1811-1986 {{FHL|682872|item|disp=FHL Film 2079252}}.  
*DC marriage returns, 1874-1902, 1907-1923; consents, 1896-Dec. 1950 ({{FHL|677313|titleno}} Film 2070925) These records may provide the name of the bride and groom, and their age, residence, color, occupation, birthplace and number of marriages.  
+
*Alexandria (DC) marriage certificates returned 1801-1850 {{FHL|1129363|item|disp=FHL Film 1902941 item 3}}.  
*DC newspaper marriage notices 1800-1850 ({{FHL|93106|titleno}} Film 929472).
+
*DC marriage registers 1811-1870 {{FHL|735000|item|disp=FHL Book 975.3 V28p}}. Early registers only contain the name of the bride and groom and the date of marriage.  
 +
*DC marriage returns, 1874-1902, 1907-1923; consents, 1896-Dec. 1950 {{FHL|677313|item|disp=FHL Film 2070925}}. These records may provide the name of the bride and groom, and their age, residence, color, occupation, birthplace and number of marriages.  
 +
*DC newspaper marriage notices 1800-1850 {{FHL|93106|item|disp=FHL Film 929472}}.
 +
*[http://www.gallaudet.edu/Library_Deaf_Collections_and_Archives/Genealogy_Resources/Fay_Index.html Fay Marriage Index ](Marriages of the Deaf) courtesy of the Gallaudet University Library of Deaf Collections and Archives
  
 
You can obtain marriage records from 1811 to the present by writing to:  
 
You can obtain marriage records from 1811 to the present by writing to:  
  
:'''Superior Court of the District of Columbia'''<br>  
+
:'''[http://www.dccourts.gov/dccourts/superior/index.jsp Superior Court of the District of Columbia]'''<br>Marriage License Bureau<br>500 Indiana Avenue N.W.<br>Washington, DC 20001<br>Telephone: 202-879-4840
:Marriage License Bureau<br>  
 
:500 Indiana Avenue N.W.<br>  
 
:Washington, DC 20001<br>  
 
:Telephone: 202-879-4840 <br>
 
:Internet: [http://www.dccourts.gov/dccourts/superior/index.jsp District of Columbia Courts]
 
  
:Marriages more than 50 years old are considered public record and no approval is needed to apply for a record copy. <br><br>
+
:Marriages more than 50 years old are considered public record and no approval is needed to apply for a record copy.
 +
 
 +
'''Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:'''
 +
 
 +
*[https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/District_of_Columbia_Marriages_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records) District of Columbia Marriages 1830-1921 (FamilySearch Historical Records)]
 +
*[[District of Columbia Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)|District of Columbia Marriages 1811-1950 (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
  
 
== Divorce Records  ==
 
== Divorce Records  ==
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An index to divorce proceedings prior to September 1956 are available from:  
 
An index to divorce proceedings prior to September 1956 are available from:  
  
:'''Clerk of the U.S. District Court'''<br>  
+
:'''[http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/general.html Clerk of the U.S. District Court]'''<br>3rd and Constitution Avenue N.W.<br>Washington, DC 20001<br>Telephone: 202-273-0555
:3rd and Constitution Avenue N.W.<br>  
 
:Washington, DC 20001<br>  
 
:Telephone: 202-273-0555 <br>
 
:Internet: [http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/general.html United States District Court for the District of Columbia]
 
 
 
<br>
 
  
 
Old divorce records 1803-1863 are housed at the National Archived in Record Group 21 (Entries 16 and 23). Records after 1863 and previous to September 16, 1956 are maintained at the Washington National Records Center, Suitland, Maryland. Reseachers must know the divorce case number found in the index housed at the U.S. District Court as listed above. To access divorce cases, an appointment must be made with the Washington National Records Center at least 24 hours prior to the review appointment. Personal identification is required to enter the Washington National Records Center. [http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/suitland/public/index.html Please see Researching and Accessing Court Records at the Washington National Records Center.]  
 
Old divorce records 1803-1863 are housed at the National Archived in Record Group 21 (Entries 16 and 23). Records after 1863 and previous to September 16, 1956 are maintained at the Washington National Records Center, Suitland, Maryland. Reseachers must know the divorce case number found in the index housed at the U.S. District Court as listed above. To access divorce cases, an appointment must be made with the Washington National Records Center at least 24 hours prior to the review appointment. Personal identification is required to enter the Washington National Records Center. [http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/suitland/public/index.html Please see Researching and Accessing Court Records at the Washington National Records Center.]  
 
:<br><br>
 
  
 
Divorce documents filed since September 16, 1956 are at:  
 
Divorce documents filed since September 16, 1956 are at:  
  
:'''Clerk of the Superior Court'''<br>  
+
:'''[http://www.dccourts.gov/dccourts/superior/clerk.jsp Clerk of the Superior Court]'''<br>Family Division<br>500 Indiana Avenue, N.W.<br>Washington, DC 20001<br>Telephone: 202-879-1418<br>
:Family Division<br>  
 
:500 Indiana Avenue, N.W.<br>  
 
:Washington, DC 20001<br>  
 
:Telephone: 202-879-1418 <br>
 
:Internet: [http://www.dccourts.gov/dccourts/superior/clerk.jsp Clerk of the Superior Court] <br><br>
 
  
The Family History Library has no District of Columbia divorce records.  
+
The [[Family History Library]] has no District of Columbia divorce records.  
  
 
== Adoption Records  ==
 
== Adoption Records  ==
  
There are no provisions for receiving information, whether identifying or non-identifying from adoption files.&nbsp; All adoption records are sealed and cannot be opened without petitioning the court for "good cause." An adopted adult must petition the court in which the adoption was finalized.  
+
There are no provisions for receiving information, whether identifying or non-identifying from adoption files.&nbsp; All adoption records are sealed and cannot be opened without petitioning the court for "good cause." An adopted adult must petition the court in which the adoption was finalized.<ref>Adoption.com [http://laws.adoption.com/statutes/dc-laws.html District of Columbia Laws]</ref>
  
 
== Additional Helps  ==
 
== Additional Helps  ==
Line 139: Line 139:
 
[http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/suitland/public/index.html Washington National Records Center, Suitland, MD Services for the Public]  
 
[http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/suitland/public/index.html Washington National Records Center, Suitland, MD Services for the Public]  
  
Hall, H. Byron. ''Lest We Forget: A Guide to Genealogical Research in the Nation's Capital. ''Annondale, Virginia: 1992. ({{FHL|999611|titleno}} Book 975.3 D27b 1992).
+
=== [[Image:Fire.png|thumb|right|110px|Fire.png]]Lost and Missing Records  ===
 
 
Pippenenger, Wesley E. ''District of Columbia Ancestors: A Guide to Records of the District of Columbia.'' Westminster, Maryland: 1997. ({{FHL|666548|titleno}} Book 975.3 D23p).
 
 
 
=== [[Image:Fire.png|thumb|right|110px]]Lost and Missing Records  ===
 
  
 
Death records&nbsp;1861-1865, the Civil War years, are missing.  
 
Death records&nbsp;1861-1865, the Civil War years, are missing.  
Line 162: Line 158:
 
=== More District of Columbia&nbsp;Vital Records Online Links  ===
 
=== More District of Columbia&nbsp;Vital Records Online Links  ===
  
[http://userdb.rootsweb.ancestry.com/regional.html#DC District of Columbia Databases] listed on [http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ Rootsweb.org]&nbsp;_Free  
+
*[http://userdb.rootsweb.ancestry.com/regional.html#DC District of Columbia Databases] listed on [http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ Rootsweb.org]&nbsp;_Free
 
 
[http://theusgenweb.org/dcgenweb/ USGenweb.org ]site for Washington D.C. or District of Columbia - Free
 
 
 
[http://www.progenealogists.com/genealogysleuthb.htm Progenealogists] Links for the United States. Press Ctrl + F on the keyboard to search for District of Columbia or DC - Free/&nbsp;($)
 
 
 
[http://www.vitalrec.com/dc.html Vitalcheck.com] ($) Express ordering of vital record certificates
 
 
 
== <br>Family History Library District of Columbia Vital Records Collections  ==
 
 
 
<br>This is a collection of Family History Library records which are abstracted, indexed and titled the [[District of Columbia Vital Records Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)|District of Columbia Vital Records Index.]] For over 30 years, volunteer indexers extracted this information from microfilm copies of the original records. In 1998, a few of the entries were published on 7 CDs by the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the "North America Vital Records Index." This index is an index of the births, marriages, and deaths throughout Kentucky. The index is not necessarily complete for any particular place or region.
 
 
 
These records are availble online for free at [https://beta.familysearch.org/s/collection/list FamilySearch Historical Records Collection].
 
 
 
{{District of Columbia|District of Columbia}}
 
 
 
=== FamilySearch Historical Record Collections  ===
 
 
 
Online collections containing these records are located in [https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/list FamilySearch.org.]
 
  
Wiki articles describing these collections are found at<br>
+
*[http://theusgenweb.org/dcgenweb/ USGenweb.org ]site for Washington D.C. or District of Columbia - Free
  
[https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/District_of_Columbia_Births_and_Christenings_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records) District of Columbia Births and Christenings (FamilySearch Historical Records)]
+
*[http://www.progenealogists.com/genealogysleuthb.htm Progenealogists] Links for the United States. Press Ctrl + F on the keyboard to search for District of Columbia or DC - Free/&nbsp;($)
  
[https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/District_of_Columbia_Deaths_and_Burials_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records) District of Columbia Deaths and Burials (FamilySearch Historical Records)]
+
*[http://www.vitalrec.com/dc.html Vitalcheck.com] ($) Express ordering of vital record certificates
  
[https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/District_of_Columbia_Deaths_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records) District of Columbia Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)]
+
== References ==
  
[https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/District_of_Columbia_Marriages_(FamilySearch_Historical_Collections) District of Columbia Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)]
+
<references/>
  
[https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/District_of_Columbia_Marriages_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records) District of Columbia Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)]
+
{{District of Columbia|District of Columbia}} {{U.S. Vital Records}}
  
 
[[Category:District_of_Columbia|Vital Records]] [[Category:United_States_Vital_Records]]
 
[[Category:District_of_Columbia|Vital Records]] [[Category:United_States_Vital_Records]]

Revision as of 15:14, 1 July 2013

United States Gotoarrow.png District of Columbia Gotoarrow.png Vital Records

District of Columbia Birth, Marriage and Death Records

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.

 
Vital Records Collage.JPG
  

Vital Records Reference Dates

The District of Columbia's civil records start the following years:

Birth Marriage Death
Earliest 1872 1811 1855
Statewide Registration 1874 1811 1855*
  • Death records do not exist for the Civil War years 1861-1865.



District of Columbia Birth, Marriage and Death Records Online

The following is a list of online resources useful for locating District of Columbia Vital Records which consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths. Most online resources for District of Columbia Vital Records are indexes. After locating a person in an index always consult the original record to confirm the information in the index.

Courtesy of the Gallaudet University Library Deaf Collections and Archives: 19 indexes of birth, marriage, and death records derived from various Deaf publications:

Birth and Death Records

Registration of vital statistics began in 1874 for the District of Columbia and was generally complied with by 1915 for births and 1880 for deaths. You can obtain copies of these records by writing to:

Department of Human Services
Vital Records Division
800 9th Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20024
Telephone: 202-645-5962
Internet: Department of Health

Birth records more than 100 years old and death records more than 50 years old are considered public record and no approval is needed for requested records. The current fees for obtaining copies of the District's birth and death records are found at the DC Dept. of Health online.

Some earlier records of deaths exist from 1855-1860, and 1865-1949. They can be obtained from the above address. The Family History Library has copies of some of the District's births, 1874-1897 starting on (FHL Collection Film 2020343). Deaths for 1855-1949 begin on ( FHL Collection Film 1994618).

Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:


Marriage Records

District of Columbia Marriage Records (10-0099) Example 3 DGS 4258975 534.jpg
Registration of marriages began in 1811. Some of the early marriages for the years 1811 to 1858 have been transcribed by the DAR and are on microfilm at the Family History Library, see: FHL Film 845766. Easier-to-use versions of these records include:
  • DC marriage records 1811-1950; indexes, 1811-1986 FHL Film 2079252.
  • Alexandria (DC) marriage certificates returned 1801-1850 FHL Film 1902941 item 3.
  • DC marriage registers 1811-1870 FHL Book 975.3 V28p. Early registers only contain the name of the bride and groom and the date of marriage.
  • DC marriage returns, 1874-1902, 1907-1923; consents, 1896-Dec. 1950 FHL Film 2070925. These records may provide the name of the bride and groom, and their age, residence, color, occupation, birthplace and number of marriages.
  • DC newspaper marriage notices 1800-1850 FHL Film 929472.
  • Fay Marriage Index (Marriages of the Deaf) courtesy of the Gallaudet University Library of Deaf Collections and Archives

You can obtain marriage records from 1811 to the present by writing to:

Superior Court of the District of Columbia
Marriage License Bureau
500 Indiana Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
Telephone: 202-879-4840
Marriages more than 50 years old are considered public record and no approval is needed to apply for a record copy.

Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:

Divorce Records

An index to divorce proceedings prior to September 1956 are available from:

Clerk of the U.S. District Court
3rd and Constitution Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
Telephone: 202-273-0555

Old divorce records 1803-1863 are housed at the National Archived in Record Group 21 (Entries 16 and 23). Records after 1863 and previous to September 16, 1956 are maintained at the Washington National Records Center, Suitland, Maryland. Reseachers must know the divorce case number found in the index housed at the U.S. District Court as listed above. To access divorce cases, an appointment must be made with the Washington National Records Center at least 24 hours prior to the review appointment. Personal identification is required to enter the Washington National Records Center. Please see Researching and Accessing Court Records at the Washington National Records Center.

Divorce documents filed since September 16, 1956 are at:

Clerk of the Superior Court
Family Division
500 Indiana Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
Telephone: 202-879-1418

The Family History Library has no District of Columbia divorce records.

Adoption Records

There are no provisions for receiving information, whether identifying or non-identifying from adoption files.  All adoption records are sealed and cannot be opened without petitioning the court for "good cause." An adopted adult must petition the court in which the adoption was finalized.[1]

Additional Helps

Tips

  • 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.
  • Search for Vital Records in the Family History Library Catalog by using a Place Search and then choosing Vital Records.  Search for District of Columbia to locate records filed by the State and then search the name of the county to locate records kept by the county.

Research Guides

Washington National Records Center, Suitland, MD Services for the Public

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Lost and Missing Records

Death records 1861-1865, the Civil War years, are missing.

Substitute Records

These links will take you to wiki pages describing alternate sources for birth, marriage and death records.

  • Church Records: Depending on the denomination, church records may contain information about birth, marriage and death.
  • Cemetery Records: Cemetery records are a rich source of birth and death information.  These records may also reveal family relationships.
  • 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.
  • Newspapers: Besides obituaries, local newspapers may contain birth and marriage announcements and death notices.  Also check newspaper social columns for additional information. 
  • Periodicals: Local genealogical and historical societies often publish periodicals which may contain abstracted early birth, marriage and death information.
  • Military Records: Military pension records can give birth, marriage and death information,  In addtion, soldiers' homes records can included this same information.
  • Probate Records: If no death record 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. Often this information is found in county-level records or in surname searches of the Family History Library catalog.

More District of Columbia Vital Records Online Links

  • USGenweb.org site for Washington D.C. or District of Columbia - Free
  • Progenealogists Links for the United States. Press Ctrl + F on the keyboard to search for District of Columbia or DC - Free/ ($)

References

  1. Adoption.com District of Columbia Laws