Icon Vital Records

Vital Records

The Maryland State Archives maintains many records that are invaluable for biographical and genealogical research. These include birth records, adoption records, marriage records, divorce records, and death records, and some indices to these records.  It is important to note that access to some of these records is restricted by law to protect the rights of the individuals named in the documents.   See also Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene's Vital Records.

For information about ordering birth and death records, see How to Order Death and Birth Records, including the Vital Records Indexing Project accessible at http://mdvitalrec.net.

Adoption Records

All adoptions occurring after May 31, 1947 are sealed and can be opened only with a court order. Most adoptions prior to June 1, 1947 are open and available to anyone. Many of these files are available at the Archives.

Birth Records

The State Archives cannot provide any copies of birth certificates after the year 1924

Birth certificates from 1925 to the present are only available from the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. The State Archives can provide certified copies of restricted birth certificates (where available) before the year 1925 for legal purposes only with proper identification or legal authority. There are no restrictions on ordering birth records over 100 years old.

Death Records

The Archives is custodian of death records for Maryland's 23 counties from 1898-1998, and for Baltimore City from 1875-1998.

Divorce Records

Divorce proceedings are one form of equity case. The most commonly needed documents from a divorce case are the decree of divorce and any associated separation agreement.

Marriage Records

The Archives has marriage records from most local jurisdictions prior to 1914. After that date there are both statewide and local records many of which can be found at the Archives.

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This information resource of the Maryland State Archives is presented here for fair use in the public domain. When this material is used, in whole or in part, proper citation and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives. PLEASE NOTE: Rights assessment for associated source material is the responsibility of the user.

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