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* Age of individual

If you are looking for the age of your ancestor at the time of a specific event, the documents listed below will help you. If you have the minimum information required to find one of these documents, select the name of that document. The items in the list are ordered from most to least important. If you do not have the minimum information required, read the paragraph below this list.

Vital records

Vital records will show ages at lifetime events such as marriage, divorce, or death. To find a vital record, you must at least know the full name of the deceased for a death certificate, the full married name of one of the spouses for a divorce certificate, and the full name of the groom and/or the full maiden name of the bride for a marriage certificate. You must also know the approximate year of the event, and the state or county where the event took place.

Church records

Church records will show ages at lifetime events such as marriage. To get a copy of a church marriage record, you must at least know the individual's name, and either the name of the church where the ceremony was performed or the name of the clergyman that appears on the certificate.

Newspapers

Newspapers will show ages at lifetime events such as marriage and death. To get a copy of a wedding announcement or obituary, you must at least know the approximate date of the event, the full name of groom and/or the maiden name of the bride for wedding announcements or the full name of the deceased for obituaries, and the state and city or town where the event took place (or where the announcement or obituary was likely to have been published).

Military records

Military records will show age at time of entry into the military. To find a military record, you must at least know the veteran's name, the branch of service, such as Army, Navy, or Marine Corps, the state from which the veteran entered the service, and the war in which the veteran served. If the period of service was after 1916, you must also know entry and release dates, military ID number, Social Security number, whether an officer or enlisted, and date of birth.

Census records

Beginning in 1850, the census recorded each individual's age on their last birthday or their birth date. To find an individual's age in census records, you must at least know the individual's name, the state, and the county in which the individual lived when the census was taken. If you are using census records for 1870 or earlier, you can probably use an index that only requires the state and surname.

Cemeteries and cemetery records

Cemeteries and cemetery records will show an individual's age at time of death. To find an age in a cemetery or cemetery records, you must at least know the individual's name at time of death and possible areas where the individual may have been buried.

Probate records

Probate records may indicate the individual's age at the time of death. To find an age in probate records, you must at least know the individual's full name at time of death, the approximate date of death, and the county or town in which the individual lived at the time of their death.

Social Security Death Index

To find an individual's age at time of death on the Social Security Death Index, you only need to know the individual's name.

Apprenticeship records

To find an individual's age from apprenticeship papers, you must at least know the individual's full name at the time of their apprenticeship, and the area in which they lived when they became an apprentice.

For a description of any of the records listed above, see the topic Genealogy dictionary.

To get help finding the minimum information required to locate any of the records listed above, select one of the following items:

Finding the minimum information for vital records

Finding the minimum information for church records

Finding the minimum information for newspapers

Finding the minimum information for military records

Finding the minimum information for census records

Finding the minimum information for cemeteries and cemetery records

Finding the minimum information for probate records

Finding the minimum information for the Social Security Death Index

Finding the minimum information for apprenticeship records

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