Vital Records in the United States

In the U.S., most states did not track vital records until the early 1900s. Vital records usually contain the full name of the individual involved in the event, the date of the event, and the county, state, or town where the event took place. Many vital records contain much more information including the parent's full names, the name of the baby, the date of the birth, and county where the birth took place, marriage records often record the names and birthplaces of each individual's parents. Divorce records usually list the names of the couple's children. Death certificates often mention where the individual will be buried, and also give the name of the individual who reported the death, and death certificate number.
 
The chart below lists by state, the year births and deaths were first recorded.
 
STATE*
YEAR STATE FIRST RECORDED
BIRTHS
YEAR STATE FIRST RECORDED
DEATHS
     
Alabama 1908 1908
Alaska 1913 1913
Arizona 1909 1909
Arkansas 1914 1914
California 1905 1905
Colorado 1910 1900
Connecticut 1897 1897
Delaware 1930 1962
District of Columbia 1871    1855 #
Florida 1915 1915
Georgia 1919 1919
Hawaii 1896 1896
Idaho 1911 1911
Illinois 1916 1916
Indiana 1882 1882
Iowa 1880 1880
Kansas 1911 1911
Kentucky 1911 1911
Louisiana 1914 1914
Maine 1892 1892
Maryland 1898 1898
Massachusetts 1841 1841
Michigan 1867 1867
Minnesota 1900 1908
Mississippi 1912 1912
Missouri 1910 1910
Montana 1907 1907
Nebraska 1904 1904
Nevada 1911 1911
New Hampshire 1905 1905
New Jersey 1878 1878
New Mexico 1920 1920
New York 1880 1880
New York City 1910 1949
North Carolina 1913 1946
North Dakota 1908 1908
Ohio 1908 1944
Oklahoma 1908 1908
Oregon 1903 1903
Pennsylvania 1906 1906
Puerto Rico 1931 1931
Rhode Island 1852 1852
South Carolina 1915 1915
South Dakota 1905 1905
Tennessee 1914 1914
Texas 1903 1903
Utah 1905 1905
Vermont 1857 1857
Virginia 1912 1912
Washington 1907 1907
West Virginia 1917 1917
Wisconsin 1907 1907
Wyoming 1919 1919
 
*Always check with town or county because they may also have the records of birth, marriages and deaths before the state began recording them.
 
#No death records kept during Civil War years.