Georgia Vital Records

Considering the state’s role in the Confederacy of the Civil War, there is a lot of very interesting history in Georgia and researching Georgia genealogy can lead you in many directions. Your first stop will likely be after the relevant vital records.

Georgia Vital Records

These are the birth, death and marriage records that make up the backbone of any genealogical research. You can request copies of any of these records, but there are some restrictions you need to work around.

For birth records, you must be an immediate relative of the person on record. Unlike most other states, this restriction does not expire over time. So even 100 year old records are considered classified. You will have to submit ID to prove this relationship when you apply.

Death records have no such restrictions, and they are considered public domain regardless of the age of the record. The same goes for marriage records. But marriage records are not held by the state. To make a request for one, you will have to put your forms in to the probate court office for the county where the marriage was held.

Otherwise, you can apply to get copies of birth or death records from the Vital Records office in Atlanta. They have counter service if you want a quicker response in person, or you can mail your forms in. You can print the forms out from the Georgia Department of Public Health website, which lists all the addresses you need and the current fees. At the moment, it will cost $25 for each vital record you request (whether they find it or not).

The Vital Records office will have material from 1919, so you will have to go to other sources for any documents earlier than that. County clerk’s offices may have further birth and death records, but you have to contact them individually. The State Archives is another source for older Georgia genealogy material.

Georgia State Archives

They are located in Morrow, and hold a number of document collections that will be of interest to any Georgia genealogy study. There are court documents, deeds, wills, WWI military records, census files, tax records and more. Most of their collection is oriented towards paperwork issued by the government, as it is a state archive rather than a general history one. Many of their collections can be searched online, though only the indexes are visible. You can visit them in person during business hours, Monday through Saturday.

Genealogy Societies

Joining a Georgia genealogy group is a good way to access additional material that you can’t find anywhere else. The largest one in the state is the Georgia Genealogical Society. They have a quarterly magazine and a newsletter, and members have access to several of their online databases to do surname searches.

When you join a group like this, you can connect with other like-minded researches who may be of great assistance to you. You never know what unique pieces of documentation they can help you uncover.