There are a number of ways to get vital records, like birth records and marriage certificates. Obtaining these are usually associated with a small fee, and not all records are obtainable. Many countries didn’t begin keeping civil records of birth until the early 20th century. In some countries if people know time and location of birth, they might be able to find church registers that note baptism, but this is not quite the same as civil or state produced birth records.
Plenty of websites offer people the convenience of not having to do much looking to get birth records. People should be aware these companies charge an extra fee for their services, usually about $5-$10 US Dollars (USD) for records of US citizens. It is possible to obtain the same records without this extra money. Through the cdc.gov website, people can assess a page that will lead them to additional pages for all states or territories in the US offering birth records. Each state page gives precise information on how to obtain birth, death, and marriage certificates, and the charge for each, which is usually between $10-20 USD.
If people want local birth records, the process is even easier. Most people will simply need to visit or call their County Clerk Office in order to obtain them. Sometimes these offices have online sites or telephone ordering.
International birth certificates may be a little harder to find. Again, it’s important to understand when a country actually began to keep record of its citizens in this manner. Any disruptions in the country could have destroyed some records, so it is not always possible to go that far back in history for vital records. Charges can be much steeper when using a service, too.
Yet records still may be fairly inexpensive if ordered through the country’s record agency, like the General Register Office of England. If possible, instead of going through a service, plan on finding the country’s record keeping agency instead, as this is the cheapest method for obtaining birth records. This might be a little harder if the country has a different language than the one a person speaks. In this case, people may want to consider a vital records service, or find a friend conversant in the language to search for them.
When people are looking for birth records for purposes of documenting genealogy, a good place to start may be checking with family members to see if anyone already possesses these records. Birth certificates and marriage certificates often get saved, and passed down in inherited furniture or family bibles or other religious texts. A record keeper in the family may have several generations of records, and could save people the trouble of ordering more.