Church - baptism, marriage, funeral
Newspaper - announcements, obituaries
Court - wills, probate, divorce
Government - census, social security
Military - draft registration, service records
Mortality Schedules - census
Click here to browse our collection of Central Texas vital record and supplemental record indexes. These resources include information about McLennan and surrounding counties (Hill, Limestone, Falls, Bell, and Coryell).
Click here to browse our collection of cemetery indexes for McLennan and surrounding counties (Hill, Limestone, Falls, Bell, and Coryell).
Click here to search our catalog for resources in other counties and states. Our collection includes resources for a wide range of states focused heavily in the Southeastern United States. Search Tip: use the name of the county as your keyword. (Ex.: Chattahoochee County, Georgia)
|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.
Marriage Records are the oldest and most widely kept vital record. This makes them one of the most likely records to be found for your ancestors.
Types of marriage records:
Laws governing vital records are set on a state by state basis. Different records began in different locations at different times. When looking for state sources online, look for government webpages (ending in .gov). There are a few books that can help you determine what records are available in the places your ancestors lived.
Texas birth certificate become public record after 75 years, and death certificates become public record after 25 years.
Texas officially began recording birth and death records in 1903. Records from the early years of recording can sometimes be difficult to find.
If you have early Texas ancestors, there may be an exception to the rule. Stop by the Genealogy Center to look at the book, Early Texas Birth Records, 1838-1878. McLennan County Birth Records exist for 1873, 1874 and 1875, and are available at the McLennan County Archive.