Georgia Vital Records

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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 Georgia State Department of Health or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred. See also Georgia Statewide Indexes at the Family History Library.

 
Vital Records.jpg
  

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Births[edit | edit source]

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Deaths[edit | edit source]

Georgia Birth, Marriage and Death Records Online[edit | edit source]

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


Birth Records[edit | edit source]

Statewide registration of births in Georgia began in 1919 and was generally complied with by 1928. Birth records are available only to the individual or his legal representative. FamilySearch has the following online database available:

Birth records can be obtained by writing to:

Georgia Department of Human Resources
Vital Records Unit
47 Trinity Avenue, S.W., Room 217-H
Atlanta, GA 30334-1201
Telephone: 404-679-4702
Internet: Georgia Vital Records

The current fees for obtaining copies of the state's records are listed at VitalRecords.com.

Atlanta birth records since 1887 are available from:

Fulton County Health Department
141 Prior Street
Atlanta, GA 30303
Telephone: 404-730-4000
Internet: Fulton County Health Department

Savannah birth records from 1890 to the present are available from:

Chatham County Health Department
2011 Eisenhower Drive
P.O. Box 14257
Savannah, GA 31406
Telephone: 912-356-2441
Internet: Chatham County Health Department

Macon birth records since 1891 are available from:

Bibb County Health Department
171 Emery Highway
Macon, GA 31217
Internet: Bibb County Health Department

A few counties started recording vital events in the post-Civil War era. The Family History Library has microfilmed some county birth and delayed birth registrations.


Marriage Records[edit | edit source]

Early - 1952

1952 - Present

Marriage records are kept by the individual counties. Records often date back to the time of county organization. By 1805 licenses were often granted by a court of ordinary in the county where the bride resided, or marriage banns were published at a nearby church. You can write to the clerk of the court of ordinary for copies.

Many county marriage records dated prior to 1900 are at the Georgia Department of Archives and History. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of marriage records for some counties up to the early 1900s.

Divorce Records[edit | edit source]

The county superior courts have had jurisdiction over divorce proceedings and records. Divorces in Georgia were allowed as early as 1793 but had to be approved by the state legislature until 1832. Information about these approvals can be found in the Name File Index at the Georgia Department of Archives and History.

Death Records[edit | edit source]

Statewide registration of  deaths in Georgia began in 1919 and was generally complied with by 1922. Death records can be obtained by writing to:

Georgia Department of Human Resources
Vital Records Unit
47 Trinity Avenue, S.W., Room 217-H
Atlanta, GA 30334-1201
Telephone: 404-679-4702
Internet: Georgia Vital Records

The current fees for obtaining copies of the state's records are listed at VitalRecords.com.


FamilySearch Record Search Collection

A name index and images of Georgia statewide deaths are available for free online at FamilySearch Record Search. A description of this collection is available at the Family Search Wiki article Georgia Death Records.


Atlanta death records since 1896 are available from:

Fulton County Health Department
141 Prior Street
Atlanta, GA 30303
Telephone: 404-730-4000
Internet: Fulton County Health Department

Savannah death records from 1803 to 1947 are available from:

Chatham County Health Department
2011 Eisenhower Drive
P.O. Box 14257
Savannah, GA 31406
Telephone: 912-356-2441
Internet: Chatham County Health Department

Macon death records since 1882 are available from:

Bibb County Health Department
770 Hemlock Street
Macon, GA 31201
Internet: Bibb County Health Department

A few counties started recording vital events in the post-Civil War era. The Family History Library has microfilmed some county birth, death, and delayed birth registrations.

Fetal Deaths
Only parents may request a copy of a "Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth." A copy of a "Fetal Death Certificate" is available only to the parents.[3]

Cause of Death[edit | edit source]

  • Causes of Death - use this resource when trying to interpret a disease or medical condition listed on a death record or certificate

Lost and Missing Records[edit | edit source]

When there is records loss there is usually an attempt to reconstruct some of the records; land records need to be reconstructed for a clear or legal title to be established and for tax purposes.

Counties with lost, missing or fragmented records:

Bryan, Burke (courthouse burned 1856), Camden (fire 1870), Charleton (Courthouse burned 1877), Clinch (all records burned 1856 & 1867), Cobb (fire 1864), Colquitt (fire 1881) Dade,De Kalb (courthous burned 1842 & 1916), Early,  Echols (1897), Effingham ( during C.W. & 1890), Glynn (1818), Gordon (1864) Gwinnett ( 1871), Hall (tornado 1936), Haralson, Heard (1894), Jefferson, Lee (1858), Liberty,Macon (1857),Marion (1845),McIntosh (C.W.), Miller (1873), Mitchell (1869), Oglethorpe (1941),Pierce (1874),Quitman,Walker (1883), Ware (1854), and Wilkinson (1852,1924) 

Substitute Records[edit | edit source]

Tips[edit | edit source]

  • 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.
  • Records for African Americans are often recorded in separate files with separate indexes.
  • 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.
  • If the survival of a baby was in question, the birth may not have been recorded.
  • Search for Vital Records in the FamilySearch Catalog by using a Place Search and then choosing Vital Records.  Search for Georgia to locate records filed by the State and then search the name of the county to locate records kept by the county.

Family History Library Georgia Vital Records Collections[edit | edit source]

From the court of ordinary of Chatham County, for example, the library has:

Many county marriage records dated prior to 1900 are at the Georgia Department of Archives and History. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of marriage records for some counties up to the early 1900s. From the court of ordinary of Chatham County, for example, the library has:

  • Marriage records, 1830 to 1902, and an index, 1806 to 1950 (22 microfilms)
  • License stubs, 1888 to 1901 (11 microfilms)
  • Marriage records and index, 1805 to 1866 (5 microfilms)
  • Licenses, 1805 to 1866 (5 microfilms)

Over 100,000 early Georgia marriages have also been published in:

Archives, Libraries and Societies[edit | edit source]

Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/0/09/Igigeorgiaad.pdf.
  2. Arlene H. Eakle, "Have you searched and searched for a marriage without finding it?" in Genealogy Blog at http://www.arleneeakle.com/wordpress/2007/02/19/have-you-searched-and-searched-for-the-marriage-without-finding-it/ (accessed 8 January 2011).
  3. “United States Fetal Death Records,” Lake Superior Roots, v 29, no 2. (Marquette, Michigan: Marquette County Genealogical Society, 2016), 11.
  4. Maddox, Joseph T., and Mary Carter. *37,000 Early Georgia Marriages. N.p., 1975. book 975.8 V2m; microfilm 928351 item 3; microfiche 6046751.
  5. Maddox, Joseph T., and Mary Carter. 40,000 Early Georgia Marriages. N.p., 1976. book 975.8 V2me; microfilm 982486 item 2; microfiche 6051217.
  6. Maddox, Joseph T. Early Georgia Marriage Roundup. Irwinton, Georgia: J. Maddox, 1980. (Family History Library FHL 6049619book 975.8 V2mj 1980; 1976 ed. on microfilm 1036679 item 3; microfiche 6049619.
  7. Maddox, Joseph T. Early Georgia Marriages. Irwinton, Georgia: J. Maddox, 1981. Family History Library FHL 975.8 V2eg Volume 4; microfilm 1033953 item 2.