Discover your Family Tree Today

Start Searching for your Ancestry Today and Discover your Family Roots


Sources Help to Verify your Family History

Find sources to back up your family stories and build a reliable family tree. Sources can help fill-in family ancestry information, for example: who were my relatives? What did they do for a living? How many children did they have? Where did they live? What religion were they? What kind of life did they have? When were they born? When did they die? Where are they buried? Who were their relatives and friends? Family stories can be found and recorded.

Set a Goal and Follow a Research Plan

What relative and event information are your looking for? The more refined you can be, the better your chances are in obtaining what you are searching for. Start with a task list and take into consideration what you already know. Keep track of your ancestry search results so you can analyze your efforts as well as keep you from doing the same research in the future.

Decide which Ancestry Record(s) to Look for

Now that you have a goal, decide which records will help you fill in missing family ancestry information and start your ancestry research. There are multiple records for each type of event. If you are trying to find the age of an ancestor, you might try looking at census, military, or vital records, as well as obituaries and cemeteries. Follow this link to find a table of record types you can use to discover your family heritage.

Do Records Exist for your Ancestor?

Some of your research will be easy, and some will be hard. What makes many searches difficult is the data you are seeking may not exist either due to natural disasters or the local government agency didn’t start to document the data for the year you are interested in. If the source does exist it is like going on a treasure hunt to locate it and find the information you are looking for within the source. As a guide we have put together popular ancestry information and when the data started to be collected. It does not take into account all counties or destroyed information, but it is a good starting point. We have created a separate table for Census Records.

Ancestry Search Records
State Birth Records Death Records Marriage Records Divorce Records Taxation Probate Wills
Alabama 1908 1908 1936 1950 1865 1850 1808
Alaska 1913 1913 1913 1950 1867
Arizona 1855 1844 1862 varies 1866 1866
Arkansas 1914 1914 1917 1923 1836 1808 1802
California 1905 1905 1905 1962 1849
Colorado 1910 1900 1900 1900 1862 1878 1886
Connecticut 1897 1897 1897 varies 1637 1829 1665
Delaware 1913 (archives)/ 1965 (state) 1935 1681 1683 1683
District of Columbia 1874 1855 1811 1956 1790 1776 1776
Florida 1917 1877 1927 1927 1839 1886 1886
Georgia 1919 1919 1952 varies 1868 1733 1733
Hawaii 1853 1853 1853 1951 1844 1844
Idaho 1911 1911 1947 1947 1865
IIIinois 1916 1916 varies varies 1818 1834 1838
Indiana 1907 1900 1958 varies 1851 1850 1850
Iowa 1880 1880 1880 varies 1862 1655 1655
Kansas 1911 1911 1913 1951 1862 1859 1859
Kentucky 1911 1911 1958 1958 1891 1808 1807
Louisiana 1914 1942 1914 varies 1845 1794 1794
Maine 1892 1892 1892 varies 1875 1917 1640
Maryland 1898 1898 1865 varies 1659 1655 1655
Massachusetts 1841 1841 1841 1952 1760 1655 1655
Michigan 1867 1867 1867 1867 1862
Minnesota 1900 1908 1958 1970 1857 1843 1843
Mississippi 1912 1912 1926 1869 1846 1846
Missouri 1889-1893, 1910 1889-1893, 1910 1837 1948 1820 1820 1871
Montana 1907 1907 1943 1943 1864
Nebraska 1904 1904 1909 1909 1875 1885 1885
Nevada 1911 1911 1968 1968 1864 1855 1855
New Hampshire 1640 1640 1640 1880 1727 1623 1623
New Jersey 1848 1848 1848 1900 1778 1705 1705
New Mexico 1920 1920 varies 1900 1862 1685 1685
New York 1881 1880 1880 1847 1760 1626 1626
North Carolina 1913 1913 1962 1958 1820 1690 1690
North Dakota 1881; 1894-1920 incomplete 1925 1949 1889 1898 1898
Ohio 1908 1908 1949 1949 1801 1655 1655
Oklahoma 1908 1908 1908 varies 1839 1883 1883
Oregon 1903 1903 1906 1906 1859 1887 1887
Pennsylvania 1906 1906 1885 varies 1773 1682 1682
Rhode Island 1853 1853 1853 1862 1638 1638
South Carolina 1915 1915 1911 1962 1864 1781 1781
South Dakota 1905 1905 1905 1905 1889 1894 1894
Tennessee 1908 1908 1861 1905 1834 1655 1655
Texas 1903 1903 1966 1905 1845 1639 1639
Utah 1905 1905 1887 1978 1867 1859 1859
Vermont 1857 1857 1857 varies 1861 1700 1700
Virginia 1853-1896; 1912 1853 1918 1787 1675 1675
Washington 1907 1907 1968 1968 1889 1887 1887
West Virginia 1917 1917 1921 1968 1787 1753 1753
Wisconsin       1907, some back to 1814 1836 1907 1848 1700 1700
Wyoming 1909 1909 1941 1941 1865 1870 1870