TMG-L ArchivesArchiver > TMG > 2001-12 > 1009720168
From: Donald J Schulteis <>
Subject: [TMG] Some Advice - Copies of Vital Records
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2001 07:49:28 -0600
Copies of birth/marriage/death records, do I need them or don't I?
When was the last time you were required to present one? The requirement
to have one in your possession is dictated by the needs of someone else.
The compelling reason not to get them is their cost. At $8.00 or more
dollars a clip it can get expensive very quickly. Yes, I have gone to
the expense of acquiring some but this is very much restricted to my
immediate family, their children and my direct ancestors for as far back
as I can go. An example of why you may need more than just your own.
The state of Wisconsin will issue a Pioneer Family Certificate if your
direct family settled and purchased land in the Territory before it
became a state in 1848. To do this you need copies of birth and marriage
records back to that ancestor. For me this was a daunting task as my
grandfather does not have a civil or religious birth record. We were
fortunate for his younger brother filed an Original Birth
Certificate-Delayed and four affidavits one from my grandfather which
identified he to be his brother and born in 1878. So in this case I also
have an official delayed birth certificate of my granduncle confirming my
I have restricted my purchased to these. On the other hand, I or a paid
researcher have transcribed almost two thousand vital records and we
continue to do so. Yes, I know this may lead to errors but when this
happens, and it does, we go back and verify. Of the two thousand vital
records that were checked, about 100 changed information which had been
recorded from hearsay evidence (mothers and grandmothers). Generally
this miscommunication was just an error but in one instance it was
premeditated as the child was born a bit early and the mother was fudging
a bit on the marriage date - a year to the day early.
Sometimes this research can be of benefit to others. Several times it
was found that the birth record did not identify the name as used by the
individual as the middle name was different and the first name has a
different spelling. Two instances there was no name on the certificate,
once it was blank and the other identified a boy child. These
individuals were alerted so when necessary they could use their recorded
birth name or have the certificate changed.
So, do you need copies of vital records as supporting evidence in your
genealogical work, not to the best of my knowledge. On the other had,
would they be nice to have, certainly.
Are copies necessary, yes, but the times and the required documents are
dictated by others in support of something you require. At the time they
are necessary to verify that you are really you or that a relationship
For your pocket book's sake, don't confuse the two.
Living: Dallas, TX; Born: Germantown, Washington County, WI
Ancestors: Rheinbach, Rhineland; Vollmau, Bohemia; Godas, Bavaria
Surnames: Henseler, Odenbrett, Ott, Pies/Peas, Schulteis, Siegl, Wolf
|[TMG] Some Advice - Copies of Vital Records by Donald J Schulteis <>|