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What are Possible Substitutes for Missing Vital Records?

Vital record substitutes are records which can be used when a birth, marriage, death, or divorce record cannot be found. Examples include:

  • Federal or state census records
  • Newspaper announcements
  • Biographical indexes and databases
  • Military service records and pension applications
  • Alumni and school records
  • Employment records

These records may provide just the date and place you are seeking. In this lesson, we'll look at each of these substitutes and discuss how they can help you.

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