History of Vital Records Presented by Deborah Little-Bowser March 5, 2008
What are Vital Records? • Birth • Death • Fetal Deaths • Abortions • Marriage • Divorce
History of Vital Records The registration of births, marriages, and deaths has a long history in the United States, beginning with a registration law enacted by Virginia in 1632 and a modification of this law enacted by Massachusetts in 1639.
History of Vital Records (con’t) • 1902- U.S. Census Bureau permanent agency of the federal government-authorized to obtain death data. • Jan 1, 1900- registration areas began • 1915-national birth-registration areas were established • 1933- all states were registering live births and deaths • 1946- responsibility to the US Public Health Service • 1960- NCHS • 1987-NCHS became part of CDC • Vital Record offices are governed by state laws not federal laws. There are 57 jurisdictions/registration areas.
Model Act & Regulations • The Model Act and Regulations-provide detailed guidance to state registrars of vital statistics and legislators considering revision to their own state laws. • www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/misc/mvsact92b.pdf • 1907-First Model Act • 1955-revision • 1973-revision • 1977-revision • 1992-revision
Some California Facts • Vital events were recorded beginning in 1777-1855, by the Mission Santa Clara de Asis. These records are baptismal records. • As early as 1851, statues required that the recorder keep a record of marriages and contracts. • The Act of April 26, 1858,attempt to record other vital records.
1851-recorder to keep a record of marriage & contracts. Act of April 26,1858, attempt to keep records of other vital statistics. The Act provided for the registration of marriages,births,divorces,& deaths. Office of the State Registrar was created. Recorder to enter every record for events per the state registrar. Political Code in 1872-marriages to be recorded in 30 days, births & deaths at the end of each quarter. Cost to file births & deaths .25¢ per name, paid by the parent or next of kin. No fee paid-still reported. Fee paid by the supervisor of the county. Failure to report-$50 fine 3/18/1905-Marriage- 3 days after the event & State Bureau of VS, supervision of death records. California 1851-1919County & State Level
1905,forward records in excellent shape in nearly all of the state. 1889 provision in the Political Code requiring burial permits to be filed with the recorder. 1913-Superintendents of cemeteries, boards of health,& health officers to report weekly to the recorder the names of all persons interred the preceding week. California’s first legislature, meeting in 1849-50, charged the Secretary of State to receive “…all public records, registered maps, books, papers, rolls, documents and other writings…which appertain to or are in any way connected with the political history and past administration of the government of California…” California History-(con’t)
A bit more of history The Early California Population Project (ECPP) provides public access to all the information contained in California's historic mission registers, records that are of unique and vital importance to the study of California, the American Southwest, and colonial America. Within the baptism, marriage, and burial records of each of the California missions sits an extraordinary wealth of unique information on the Indians, soldiers, and settlers of Alta California from 1769 - 1850. http://www.huntington.org/Information/ECPPmain.htm
Issuance & Entitlement Vital Records across America Issued by 57 Jurisdictions 13 states are open record states
District of ColumbiaRestricted State • http://app.doh.dc.gov/services/vital_records/index.shtm • You may order copies of D.C. birth certificates for yourself, your child, your mother or father, your current spouse, or an adult sibling. Legal guardians and legal representatives must submit proof of entitlement. Must include copy of photo identification. • Persons entitled to purchase a vital record include: • The registrant • An immediate nuclear family member • A legal guardian • A legal representative • Birth and death records become public after 100 years have elapsed from the date of birth and 50 years have elapsed from the date of death. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, and other relatives not part of the immediate family cannot obtain a birth or death certificate from Vital Records prior to the record becoming open to the public.
http://health.state.tn.us/vr/ One item from the following list: Current drivers license, including the issue and expiration date. Current passport Military I.D. card Alien, temporary or permanent resident card Employment authorization card U.S. Certificate of Naturalization Certificate of Citizenship or Citizenship I.D. card OR Two items from the following list: Current pay stub or W2 Vehicle registration with name and current address Voter Registration card Military Discharge (DD214) Utility Bill, Bank Statement or deposit slip with name and current address Health care coverage card Medical record Application page of an insurance policy Signed Social Security Card For those person who have had their I.D. stolen, a copy a police report or other official documents which support the theft TennesseeOpen Record State
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