The state of Alaska only started collecting vital records around 1913, so the state will only have material going back that far which gives it a much narrower window for genealogy studies. Individual courthouses or even churches may have documentation that is older.
Restrictions on Alaska Vital Records
The privacy restrictions are fairly tight, with a 100 year old limit on both birth and death records. That means only Alaska vital records that are more than 100 years old are considered to be open to the public. And since they only started collecting in 1913, that doesn’t really work too well in a genealogists favour. Within 100 years, you can only get Alaska birth records if it is for yourself, or for your own child. Death records are a little more freely given, and will be released to spouses, parents, children or siblings of the decedent on the record. You will need to provide proof of your ID when you apply to get records.
How to Order Alaska Vital Records
There are 3 different offices for vital records in Alaska, and you can visit any of them in Fairbanks, Juneau or Anchorage to get your requested papers in person. They usually offer while-you-wait service at the counter. The forms are there for pick-up, or you can download them at home from the Vital Statistics website (birth or death).
If you can’t go in person, you can mail in your application forms to the main office in Juneau:
Bureau of Vital Statistics
PO Box 110675
Juneau, AK 99801-0675 USA
You’ll need to give them all the pertinent info on the record you want (names, dates, locations etc) as well as your own contact info. Most mailed-in requests will take about 3 weeks to get back to you.
Along with your forms, you need to send in your payment as well. These records are not free, and you do not get a refund if they can’t locate what you want. At the moment Alaska vital records will cost you $25 each.
Since only very direct ancestors can be researched through Alaska vital records, you may want to go another route. Don’t forget to check newspaper records for birth or death announcements as another place to do a little more family tree research. The Alaska State Historical Library also has microfilm records from newspapers and more that can lead to more information for you.