View Full Version : Searching USA records.

Jeanie with one n.
22-08-09, 12:53
I have had a hunt on the wiki but still have some questions.
Is there a free to view birth index?
If not, which is the cheapest?
When did the birth indexes start?
Regarding the SS death index, is it only people on benefit who appear on this and if so, is there another death index?
I am on ancestry but on the UK site.
Many thanks

Elaine ..Spain
22-08-09, 14:09
Can't really answer your questions but one site to keep an eye on is the Family Search Pilot site which is being frequently updated.

FamilySearch Record Search (http://search.labs.familysearch.org/recordsearch/start.html?datestamp=1201117976826#start)

Click on North America to see what is currently available.

Christine in Herts
22-08-09, 14:23
I think you'll find that each State has it's own "Vital Records" arrangements.

Indexes aren't generally available. VitalChek is a USA-wide organisation to which some of the States subscribe to allow distant ordering by credit card - for those who have exact date info and don't mind paying two arms and a leg, instead of just the one arm and a leg to order a cert by snailmail, with more flexibility.

There are some BMD indexes which are accessible online e.g.: Ancestry / World Vital Records / Family Tree Legends / (an LDS site I've forgotten the name of). This gives you access to eth SSDI, too:
So far as I know, the SSDI depends on the person having had a social security number. The fact that you have to apply for a SSN means that it's possible to obtain a photocopy of the document, which usually has quite a lot of genealogically useful material, including a signature.

Some of the local/regional FHS have databases, but they can be haphazard.


Jeanie with one n.
22-08-09, 16:06
Many thanks for the replies.
It makes you realise how lucky we are in the UK.