Through the years I have tried to do genealogy research in several different ways and from many different sources. Two of my favorite places are the state Vital Records offices or State Archives. They are usually most helpful and go out of their way to help you find the records you need.
For instance, my mothers line in from Chariton County, Missouri. About 15 years ago I began writing to the Missouri State Archives. The office sent me a form to fill out with instructions to send the form back with payment for the look-up (the fee at that time was 50 cents a look-up). Also there was information stating that only one look-up would be permitted at one time.
I sent the request off and waited. To my surprise a few weeks later I received an envelope with a copy of the record (marriage record) I needed, along with another blank form. Again I filled out the form and this time asked for death record info. A few weeks later that record arrived. As time went, on I continued this path of requests and mailings. From time to time there would be a note stating there was nothing found, but on the whole it was a very valuable tool. When the Missouri State Archives could not find what I needed, they would send suggestions with the “unable to fill” notice. I found this very helpful.
Each office will have its own rules and regulations, as well as charges and fees. Hint: if your research does not require a notarized copy, request a photocopy. Photocopies are much cheaper. Be prepared to pay, but you can also request a scanned copy sent to your e-mail. Not all offices have this available, but there are a few. Think outside the box. Ask questions. See what all they offer.
Most states have a State Archive and all have a Vital Records Office. These offices are there for our use. Give them a try.
To locate the state archive offices try:
To locate the vital records offices try:
Good Luck with your research!