Texas Birth, Marriage, Divorce as well as Death records, also referred to as vital records, supply information about crucial events in your ancestors life. Vital records, usually retained by a civic authority, gives you a much more complete picture of one’s ancestor, make it easier to distinguish between two people utilizing the exact same name, and help you discover links to a new generation. They might comprise of information and facts like the occasion date and place, parents’ names, profession and residence. The cause of death is also included in most Texas death records.
Texas vital records are a basis of Texas ancestors and family history research simply because they were typically documented at or close to the time of the event, helping to make the record more likely to be correct. This page contains links, information and facts that can help you request copies from Texas state and county vital records keepers. Vital records (births, deaths, marriages, and divorces) mark the milestones of our lives and are the foundation of family history research.
Texas Vital Records Office, issues, documents, and stores certified copies of vital records including birth, marriage, divorce death certificates for occurrences that took place in Texas. To verify current fees and information the telephone number is (512) 776-7111.
- Ordering Texas Birth and Death Certificates: The State Vital Records Office has birth and death records from 1903 to present. The fee for all certified copy are $22 (birth) and $20 (death), additional copies of the same record requested at the same time are $20 (birth) and $3 (death) each.
- Ordering Texas Marriage Certificates: The State Vital Records Office does not have certified copies of marriage records. They do have verification records since January 1966. The fee for verification of essential facts of marriage is $20. Copies of the marriage records are available from the County Clerk in the county where the license was issued.
- Ordering Texas Divorce Certificates: The State Vital Records Office does not have certified copies of divorce records. They do have verification records since January 1968. The fee for verification of essential facts of divorce is $20. Divorces are also available from the Clerk of District Court in the county where the divorce was granted. The fee for the copy varies.
How to Order Texas Vital Records
- Physical Address: Texas Department of State Health Services, 1100 W. 49th Street, Austin, TX 78756; (888) 963-7111 or (512) 458-7111. All mail orders should include a Personal check or money order made payable to Texas Vital Records. Do not send cash.
- Mailing Address: Texas Vital Records MC 2096, Department of State Health Services, 1100 West 49th Street, Austin, TX 78756. All mail orders should include a Personal check or money order made payable to Texas Vital Records. Do not send cash.
- Website Address: www.dshs.state.tx.us/vs/
- Ordering Vital Records Online – get the certificates within 2-5 days with a credit or debit card from USAVital.com or VitalChek.com or use the Texas.gov Vital Records Application which is processed within 10-15 business days.
- Ordering Vital Records by Mail: You can download an application online for Texas Birth and Death Certificate, Marriage or Divorce Verification Applications. Please allow up to 4-6 weeks for processing of all type of certificates ordered through the mail. An Expedited Application for Birth and Death Record and Marriage and Divorce Verification can also be completed and sent by an overnight service or by USPS Express Mail, with a check or money order, to the address on the application.
Background of Texas Vital Records
From 1873 to 1876, county district courts recorded some birth records. County clerks were required to record deaths and births beginning in 1903, but the law wasn’t fully complied with right away. Some births were recorded by justices of the peace. Also, many large cities had their own vital records offices to record vital statistics.
The Texas Department of Vital Records has copies of birth and death records that occurred after mandatory recording began, which was in 1903. The Texas State Library has also created statewide vital record indexes on microfilm. Many genealogical libraries across the state have copies of those records on file. Births from 1903 to 1976 are included in that index. They are arranged in alphabetical order and according to year. The death index is also arranged in alphabetical order, but in sections of time spanning multiple years. Those sections are:
- 1903 to 1940
- 1940 to 1945
- 1946 to 1955
Records from 1956 to 1973 are alphabetized according to each individual year. The Texas State Library can search records for a specific name. However, the researcher will have to pay a fee, and may have to request records in writing. County or municipal offices may hold records that cannot be found within state files. Researchers can also make use of online indexes of Texas death records at www.ancestry.com, which cover the years of 1964 through 1998.
In some cases, the county court may have received records of delayed birth registrations. Those records were eventually passed on to the State Bureau of Vital Statistics. Indexes for delayed birth records have since been created on microfilm. They include some records for those who wanted to register for Social Security in Texas, but were actually born elsewhere. In 1959, delayed birth registrations with the State Bureau of Vital Statistics were stopped.
Marriage records were not always recorded prior to 1836. However, the Roman Catholic Church may hold some earlier records. Each church generally has marriage records dating back to when the church was organized. Those records were then given to the county clerk in the appropriate county. Marriages were not required to be recorded at the state level in Texas until 1966. Certified copies of records from 1966 onward can not be obtained at the state office. Researchers should note that African American marriage records may be separate.
Many Texas marriage records have been compiled by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). The Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City, Utah and the DAR Library in Washington D.C. each have copies of those records available on microfilm. County Pages can indicate which vital records can be found in county and municipal offices.
The Bureau of Vital Statistics has recorded divorce records ever since January of 1968. However, they do not offer certified copies of those records. Each clerk of the district court holds divorce records for that district. It took special acts of Congress to grant divorces when Texas was a republic. However, district courts generally granted divorces beginning in 1841. There were certain exceptions, but only until the area gained its statehood, at which point district courts obtained full jurisdiction over divorce cases.
Searchable Texas Databases and other Helpful Links
- Social Security Death Index (search.ancestry.com)
- USGenweb Archives Texas Marriage Project (usgwarchives.net)
- Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-10 and 1926-29 (fold3.com) Official birth certificates from the Texas State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, for the years 1903-10 and 1926-29. Browse by county, then year, then surname, beginning with the first letters of the last name of the person you seek.
- Texas Birth Records 1927-2010 (archives.com) Texas Department of State Health Services
- Texas, Birth Certificates, 1903-1935 (familysearch.org)
- Texas, Birth Index, 1903-1997 (familysearch.org)
- Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997 (search.ancestry.com)
- Texas, Births and Christenings, 1840-1981 (familysearch.org)
- Texas, County Marriage Index, 1837-1977 (familysearch.org)
- Texas Marriage Records 1966 to 2008 (archives.com) Texas Department of State Health Services
- Texas Marriage Collection, 1814-1909 and 1966-2002 (search.ancestry.com)
- Texas, Marriages, 1837-1973 (familysearch.org)
- Texas, Marriages, 1966-2010 (familysearch.org)
- Texas Divorce Index, 1968-2002 (search.ancestry.com)
- Texas Divorce Records 1968 to 2008 (archives.com) Texas Department of State Health Services
- Texas, Divorce Index, 1968-2010 (familysearch.org)
- Texas Death Certificates, 1890-1976 (fold3.com) Official birth certificates from the Texas State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, for the years 1903-10 and 1926-29. These records are searchable by first and last name of the deceased, year, county, and city.
- Texas Death Records 1964-2010 (archives.com) Texas Department of State Health Services
- Texas Death Index, 1903-2000 (search.ancestry.com)
- Texas, Death Index, 1903-2000 (familysearch.org)
- Texas, Death Index, 1964-1998 (familysearch.org)
- Texas, Deaths (Updated Browse), 1890-1976 (familysearch.org)
- Texas, Deaths and Burials, 1903-1973 (familysearch.org)
- Texas, Deaths, 1890-1976 (familysearch.org)
- Texas, Deaths, 1977-1986 (familysearch.org)