Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Finding Records Online – Arizona

I decided to start a series of discussions on finding free online vital records for each state. I started a list of the websites for each state a little over a year ago and decided that I should share this information for those of us looking for our families. I will try to keep it in some semblance of alphabetical order but since some states have not yet adopted the internet as a place to store records I will have to skip them for now. I may also decide to periodically interupt the state list with some other topic that I feel like writing about.

The topic for today is the birth, death and marriage records of Arizona. The state of Arizona is currently hosting birth and death records on their website at http://genealogy.az.gov.  For privacy reasons the records found on this site are restricted to birth records at least 75 years old (1855-1932) and death records at least 50 years old (1844-1957). The site will be updated yearly by adding the next year to the searchable records and older records will be added as they are indexed. The information found within these records was extracted from photo reproductions of the original certificates by volunteers from the Mesa Regional Family History Center.

The search screen for this site is easy to navigate. You can search by name for both birth and death records or you can select either the birth or death records. Birth records are shown in blue font while the death records are shown in red font to make them easy to distinguish. The search results link directly to the images of the records in pdf format. That makes it easy to download and print copies of the documents. This site was first posted in February, 2004 and has had almost 6 million records requests since then.

Marriage records for Arizona and other western states can be found on the BYU Idaho Western States Marriage Record Index web site at http://abish.byui.edu/specialCollections/westernStates/search.cfm. The site provides an index of extracted records but does not currently host the digital copies of the records. Arizona marriage records start with pre-1900 records and continue through the 1930’s. Some states have records going back to the 1700’s. There are currently close to 700,000 records from all the western states housed in this database and more records are being added daily. They are currently beta testing a new enhanced records search feature.

Each entry on this site may contain names of bride and groom, marriage date and place, county where the marriage is recorded, residency of the bride and groom and other miscellaneous comments. Anyone interested in adding names to the index can contact the Idaho Falls Regional Family History Center.

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