In a few of the vital records collections on Ancestry, you will find the indexes that link to images of actual records. In other cases, there are indexes that contain information that will help you request the record. If you find your ancestor in an index, be sure to click on the database title and look at the description to learn how to request the actual record. The full record will typically include details not found in the index. We also maintain a list of links to state vital records agencies in the Ancestry Library.
These records, collectively known as vital records, can provide details about important milestones in your ancestors’ lives. They include information like the event date and place, parents’ names, occupation and residence. The cause of death is also included in most death records.
Vital records are a cornerstone of family history research because they were typically created at or near the time of the event, making the record more likely to be accurate. This category includes indexes that can help you request copies from vital records keepers, and in some cases the images of actual records.