Vital Records, Revisited

1 May 2014

When citing unpublished vital records, we have four key issues to consider: :

  1. Is our resource a register or a certificate?
  2. If it is a certificate: was it created at the time the event occurred or is it a modern extraction of data from an earlier record?
  3. If it is a certificate: does it represent a full extraction from an earlier record ("long-form") or is it a "short-form" certificate" (EE 9.40)
  4. Was this record created by a local, state/provincial, or national agency? (The data can differ from one governmental level to another.)

All of these questions affect the structure and content of our citation.

EE's pp. 454-84 discuss many more essentials for using and understanding vital records.