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What types of documents are considered vital records?
Evaluate the Record
Know the difference between Primary and Secondary information.
Information recorded at the time of an event by a knowledgeable participant or witness.
Information recorded by an informant that did not actually participate or witness the event.
Vital records can contain both types of information. For example, any information about an individual's birth that is recorded on a death certificate is considered secondary information. The only primary information on a document is the information directly related to the specific event that occurred at the time the record was created.
Learn more about using vital records in your genealogy research by watching our how-to videos. Find other videos from our Building and Researching Your Family Tree, a twelve part beginners' series by clicking here.