Oklahoma Vital 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. 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.
Oklahoma Birth, Marriage and Death Records Online
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.
- Oklahoma Links from fhlfavorites.info - Free
- Oklahoma Databases listed on Rootsweb.com - Free
- USGenWeb.org Oklahoma Site - Free
- Search for Oklahoma Collections on FamilySearch Record Search under Canada, USA, and Mexico - Free
- The Vital Records Search and Information Directory for Oklahoma - Free/$
- Wee Monster Links for Oklahoma Birth & Marriage and Death Records - Free/$
- Linkpendium Links for Oklahoma Genealogy and History, including individual Counties - Free/$
- Progenealogists Links for the United States. Press Ctrl + F on the keyboard to search for Oklahoma or OK - 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 at Oklahoma at Genealogy.com 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. The Family History Library has not acquired copies of these records, as of 2005. 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 registrations of births (for persons born before registration began in 1908) are available from the Vital Records Service mentioned above.
open / closed / state statues
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.
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 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.
Divorces were granted after 1907 by the district courts or the circuit court in each county. You can write to the clerk of the court for information. The Family History Library has records from some counties.
- 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 relations;hip 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 Family History Library 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