18 June 2015

Virginia Vital Records NOW Online -- Partnership between VDH & Ancestry

Screen Capture for Ancestry.com Virginia Page -- note the NEW symbols next to vital records databases!

Vital records + Access = happy dance for genealogists!

I read a couple of weeks ago about VA vital records becoming available.  To be honest, I didn’t pay much attention as I’m usually researching 18th century VA families, long before vital records existed.

I then received on Monday a blog post feed from the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) talking about these same records.  Again, I blithely acknowledged the information and again went on my happy way.

Well, just yesterday, I saw another post about these records where FGS cross-posted the RPAC blog post link on FB and this time (remember, 3rd time is the charm), bells went off in my head on two fronts – 1. that Upfront with NGS readers would probably like to know about these records and 2. I had just talked with a client about her parents divorce in ... drum roll please ... Virginia and our hopes that the paperwork would give us where/when they married (not in VA) so we could pursue that paperwork.

In just a couple of minutes I found the divorce paperwork which confirmed the details on the parents and included the place and date of the marriage.  A couple of more minutes and I had placed an order with a SC probate court for the marriage record.

With that done, I’m now sharing with you part of the RPAC announcement and the links to how you can access these records via Ancestry.com.

Virginia Vital Records Online

Posted on June 14, 2015 by FredMoss

With thanks to Peter E. Broadbent, Jr. 

More than 16 million Virginia vital records have been digitized and indexed as a result of collaboration between Ancestry and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).  These records were officially released to the public on June 2, 2015.

For vital records which are now “open”, the image of the original vital record can be viewed online through Ancestry; for records which are still “closed’, an index with key information is available online through VDH.  Virginia death, marriage and divorce records are “closed” for 25 years; Virginia births are “closed” for 100 years ...

Read the full post and learn all the details here.

For those with an Ancestry.com subscription or who can access Ancestry.com through a library or similar facility, here are the direct links for each collection!

Virginia, Birth Records, 1864-2014
Virginia, Marriage Records, 1936-2014
Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014
Virginia, Divorce Records, 1918-2014

The availability of vital records is always a benefit to our research.  And, when such access is limited or scheduled to be further curtailed, our community must champion records access.  The Virginia Genealogical Society (VGS) was instrumental in making this all happen!  Thanks and hats off to VGS!

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