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Vital records, as their name suggests, are connected with central life events: birth, marriage, and death. Maintained by civil authorities, they are prime sources of genealogical information; but, unfortunately, official vital records are available only for relatively recent periods. These records, despite their recent creation in the United States, are critically important in genealogical research, often supplying details on family members well back into the nineteenth century. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, by Loretto Szucs and Sandra Luebking.
Oregon State Archives
800 Summer Street N. E.
Salem, OR 97310
Ancestry.com Oregon Death Index
Originally a haven for fur traders, Oregon became the thirty-third state in 1859. This database is a collection of individuals who died in the state during the years 1903 through 1998. Researchers will find information including the deceased’s name, the place and date of death, the certificate number, the age at death, and possibly information concerning a spouse. This information was taken from a microfilm index compiled by the Oregon State Health Department. (Requires Ancestry.com Membership) Get 14 Days Free Access!!!
Oregon Vital Records
PO Box 14050
Portland, OR 97293
Recording: (503) 731-4095
Fax: (503) 234-8417
Street Address: 800 N.E. Oregon St./Suite #205
Make money order payable to Oregon Health Division.
Some earlier records for the City of Portland and the individual counties are available from:
Birth $15.00 Since Jan 1903
All birth records (including indexes) have a 100 year access restriction
SEND THE FOLLOWING BIRTH RECORD INFORMATION:
- Full name on birth record
- Date of birth
- Place of birth – city and/or county
- Father’s full name
- Mother’s full maiden name
- Your name, address and telephone number
- Your relationship to the person named on the record
- Copies of legal documents, if needed, to prove legal guardianship, authority from power of attorney. If you are not an immediate family member, send a permission note with a notarized signature of an immediate family member.
Death $15.00 Since Jan 1903
Marriage $15.00 Since Jan 1906
If the records are not available at the State office, they should be available from the County Clerk in the county where the license was issued. County Clerks also have some records before 1906. Fees vary.
Divorce $15.00 Since 1925
If the records are not available at the State office, they should be available from the County Circuit Court Clerk in the county where the divorce was granted. County Clerks also have some records before 1925. Fees vary.
SEND THE FOLLOWING DEATH, MARRIAGE OR DIVORCE RECORD INFORMATION:
- Full name of person on the record
- Spouse’s Name (if applicable)
- Date of death, marriage or divorce (or the time period to search)
- Place of death, county which issued marriage license, or county granting divorce
- Your name and relationship to the person on the record, or
- Your reason for needing the record
Noncertified copies of death records older than 50 years are available from the Oregon State Archives, 800 Summer Street NE, Salem, Oregon 97310 ( 503/373-0701 ) for a small fee. You may review the records at the library.