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In 1926Prior to the 1920s, the responsibility of registering of births, marriages, and deaths primarily rested upon the Church. In 1920, registration offices were opened at city government levels as an alternative options to those who did not wish to marry in a church. On 1 July 1926, the registration of all vital events was passed over to the civil service. <ref name=":0">Asta Põldma, "Family Policies: Estonia,", accessed January 2021. <br /></ref> Clerics could also perform the registrar's duty if they observed the requirements of the state.<ref>Must, Aadu. "The Sources of Estonian Family History." In ''Eestlaste perekonnaloo allikad''. Estonia: Kleio, 2000.</ref> Before 1926, birth, marriage, and death information can be found in church records.See [[Estonia Church Records]] for more information. According to a 1922 Estonian law, the marriageable age was 18 for men and 16 for women. In the 1940s, following the Soviet occupation, a new law was instituted which made the marriageable age 18 for both men and women. In some cases the age was lowered by up to two years if proper permissions were obtained.  Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, divorces could be obtained through mutual consent and a three-month waiting period. In 1944, new laws were passed making it much more difficult to obtain a divorce. The granting of a divorce demanded large fees and prolonged legal proceedings. <ref name=":0" />
==Civil registers==
Civil registration records uniquely identify individuals and connect them to their parentsand/or spouses.
Birth, marriage, and death records have the exact date of the event, including time of day for births; names of principal the child and parents; occupation and religious preference of parents; name of informant for births and names of witnesses for marriages; place of residence for parents of newly born, of the groom and bride for marriages, and of the deceased for deaths; age at death, cause of death, and place of burial in death records.<ref name="profile">The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Estonia,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1994-2002.</ref>
====Accessing Records====
You may be able to locate indexes of civil records using the [ '''Estonian Cultural Index (EILI).''']
Civil Otherwise, civil registration records are usually located in the civil registration offices at the local governments of the counties (maakonnakeskuste omavalitsuste). Refer to the list below to locate contact information for the county government that your ancestor lived in:  *[ '''Haapsalu''']*[ '''Hiiumaa''']*[ '''Jõgeva''']*'''J[ õhvi]'''*[ '''Narva''']*[ '''Paide''']*[ '''Põlva''']*[ '''Pärnu''']*[ '''Rakvere''']*[ '''Rapla''']*[ '''Saaremaa''']*[ '''Tartu''']*[ '''Valga''']*[ '''Viljandi''']*[ '''Võru'''] In some cases, civil registration documents may be obtained from the '''[ Archives of the Department of Population Operations of the Ministry of the Interior.]'''
*For those born in the city of Tallin, civil registration records may also be available at the [ Haapsalu]*[https:eng// Hiiumaa]*[ Jõgeva]*J[ õhvi]*[ Narva]*[ Paide]*[ Põlva]*[ Pärnu]*[ Rakvere]*[https://rapla.kovtpDepartment '''Tallin Vital Statistics Office'''.ee/ Rapla]*[ Saaremaa]*[ Tartu]*[ Valga]*[ Viljandi]*[ Võru]
In some casesYou may also consider working with an Estonian Embassy in your country. To locate contact information for an embassy in your country, civil registration documents may be obtained from see the article [ '''Archives of the Department of Population Operations of the Ministry of the Interiorrepresentations Estonia: Embassies and Representations.'''] A state fee of 10 euros must be paid before the document is issued.
Civil Keep in mind that in order to retrieve data or copies of civil registration records may also be available at the [https://wwwdocuments, you will likely need to pay any associated research and copy '''Tallinn City Archives'''.]
For more information about civil registration records, refer to the [ Genealogical Research article at VAU.]
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