Talk:United States Vital Records

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Current age at majority for all of the states[edit source]

This is great information and should have a page of it's own. To keep the main page simple and streamlined, I would suggest that a page be made for this information and a link placed on the left side of the page under either the topics heading or the other types of vital records heading. If you need help doing that, I would be glad to make the change.
FamilyJournals 22:15, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Vital Record Team Notes - Want to join the Team? You are welcome![edit source]

25 Aug 2009 - Beth, Joan & Kara[edit source]

work focus:

  1. Joan has current age at majority for all of the states and will put them up as well as input tips for at least Alaska, Arkansas and Arizona.
  2. Beth finished Alabama but lost a chunk of work - she will try to have Alabama and Alaska done by Thurs
  3. Kara has been working on Alaska and Arkansas.  She also asked for feed back from about 10 patrons, missionaries and professionals of varying ages and experience. The younger ones liked all the links but made a couple of suggestions for improvement in links.  Generally, very positive results have come in with no major suggestions.  They were asked to indicate what they liked least and/or didn't like about the site. The professionals have yet to report (Gordon & Jim)
  4. Heather has finished editing/proofreading Alabama and Alaska.
  5. Wally has been busy but plans to engage this week.

20 Aug 2009 brief VR meeting - Beth & Kara[edit source]

work focus:

  1. Joan is in Irish training all week. 
  2. Beth will finish Alabama and start editing Alaska.
  3. Kara will find reviewers for Alabama with various levels of experience. Alabama senior archivist, Nancy Dupree, contacted the team and expressed her excitement for the thoroughness and accuracy of the site.  She plans to tell other reference consultants at the archives and to use it frequently in helping patrons.  She will forward sample Alabama VR's to us to use on the site.

14 Aug 2009 VR Team meeting

Work focus:

  1. Joan has completed the following task for 50 states: insert foremat (template),first edit, lost and missing records (southern states), substitute records and links, Archives, Libraries and Societies and links and is working on tips.
  2. Beth thinks Alabama editing and polishing will be finished in the next week.
  3. Kara has most of Alaska content finished.
  4. Wally will have time to contribute this next week Mike's assignment of links and page names.
  5. Maurene is working on Mississippi.
  6. Debbie has finished the initial References and footnotes for all states.
  7. Heather is editing new and existing content.

Issues and Recommendations:

Joan is concerned about finishing 4 topics (US Census and Vital Records being 2 of them) before the end of the year.  What is the expectation?

We want to open a discussion on bread crumbs for the pages. Input from the community may be helpful.

1. United States > United States Vital Records > Alabama > Alabama Birth, Marriage and Death Records

2. United States VItal Records > Alabama Birth, Marriage and Death Records

2. United States > United States Vital Records > Alabama Birth, Marriage and Death Records

3. United States > Alabama > Alabama Birth, Marriage and Death Records

4. Use a navigation box as they do on wikipedia for Alabama and on Tracing Latter-day Saint Ancestors

Please comment here.

7 Aug 2009 VR Team meeting[edit source]

Michael will be gone for 2 weeks but invites calls if needed.[edit source]

Work focus:

  1. Mike explained all internal links need to be linked without external urls.
  2. Joan has finished importing the template into 50 States!
  3. Kara is working on Alaska research/links
  4. Beth is working on polishing Alabama charts, images and overall look.
  5. Heather is editing & proof reading current content in all 50 states
  6. Wally is researching Alaska content
  7. Maurene is becoming familiar with the wiki

Issues & Recommendations:

  1. Heather suggested the Intro be placed to the right of the table of contents - above the chart. She said it flows better with what we want people to do. She also suggested we move minorities below the BMD headings - above or below Substitute Records.
  2. Debbie is working on references and hiding links. Debbie recommends putting general tips in the US VR Page.
You may come across a sentence like "The Tennessee Library and Archives Internet site listed in the Archives and Libraries section of this outline" this is from the old research outline and needs substituted with the word page. i.e. "The Tennessee Library and Archives Internet site listed in the Archives and Libraries page. FamilyJournals 23:12, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
All of the References are now set up and footnotes are done in every state. All of the links are now hidden. FamilyJournals 04:03, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
  1. Joan was concerned that some FHL Catalog links may be missing - they were found in marriage and death statewide indexes. The text needs to be clearer regarding the FHL.
  2. Beth reminded us that world cat needs to be linked BEFORE links FHL catalogue.
  3. Heather will not be able to attend meetings until possibly next Thurs.

For Next Tuesday 10 a.m. meeting

  1. Team members need to calculate hours available for this sprint.
  2. Put stickies with current tasks on board under our names.

6 Aug 2009 VR Team Meeting 9:30 - 10:30 Begin NEW SPRINT[edit source]

Team Members On Site: Joan, Heather, Beth, Kara, Offsite: Wally, Maurene, FamilyJournals 

The team started a new "sprint" today. We are working in an assembly line fashion.

TEAM GOAL - Finish Alabama and complete Alaska, Arkansas & one other state by Aug 31.


  1. Enters the outlined categories and structure for all 50 states - 13 remain.
  2. Sorts existing information into categories in each state - 1st edit. 13 remain as of today.
  3. Adds initial Lost and Missing record information for Southern States
  4. Adds general tips applicable to all states

Wally & Kara

  1. Add research to each of the categories in one state at a time
  2. Customize Online Quick Links & Explanation of Quick Links for the state
  3. Add rough charts as needed
  4. Add many internal and external links
  5. Add sources

Beth & Heather

  1. Edit content
  2. Add images
  3. Create and/or polish charts
  4. Add additional internal/external links if found

ATTENTION: When linking to a book in the FHL, first link to world cat, then the FHL.

If additional tasks arise, put them on the board on the discussion page of the state.

Tomorrow: Discuss

  • Hours available on this sprint
  • Claim task to work on until Tues.

Next meeting 10 a.m. tomorrow, Friday, 7 Aug 2009

Vital Record State Pages
I did the main United States Vital Record page and also Iowa's and Ohio's pages. Is anyone working on the style of the State pages while the content is being added? If you would like I could work on the style of each of the individual state pages. This makes them easy to read and navigate while the content remains the same. Just let me know
FamilyJournals 19:07, 6 August 2009 (UTC) 

FamilyJournals - We would love to include you in our team!

For this sprint three teams have developed and are working together - you can see from the notes at the meeting. Would you like to join one of these groups in their efforts? I would love to have you on the research and content group. Also, if you would like, we could add Iowa or Ohio as the third state that we finish this sprint. Each team does their part, then we have some patrons in the library try it out and give some feed back. When we are finished, we will leave a list of tasks on the page for those contributors that follow us.

Naming of state vital records pages  - 'state' birth, marriage and death records[edit source]

All state vital records pages are not titled the same way. Do the state vital records pages need to be titled consistency? If the pages are named the same way, will that increase the ability to search for and find the pages? Please add your comments about the four different ways state pages are titled and your opinion about the need to rename the pages for consistency:

  1. (State) Vital Records - Civil Registration
  2. (State) Vital Records- Civil Registration
  3. (State) Vital Records-Civil Registration
  4. (State) Vital Records

Thank you! Franjensen

United States doesn't have Civil Registration, we believe it would cause confustion. The term is incorrect for the United States. We vote for Number 4 and we will proceed to that end. The record offices are still called Vital Records.

Marilyn Markham, Joan Healey, and Pat Hardesty

You are right about the term being incorrect for the United States. Why do you suppose that it was used in the first place on those pages? Are you three going to rename the pages? If you need any help, just let me know and I'd be glad to help with that.
Familyjournals 15:27, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Marilyn, Joan, Pay, and Familyjournals. The 4th option would be the best choice. Knowing why the term, "Civil Registration" was added to the title is something we will probably never know for sure. What we do know is that the use of the Discussion page is the procedure we need to use to resolve issues like this with the community of active FamilySearch Wiki users. So, thank you to those who have voiced their concerns and opinions on this Discussion page! Steps to accomplish the name change for states with the "Civil Registration" in the title for Vital Records includes:
  • "Move" the page, or
  • Create a new page with the desired title name, followed by
  • Change all pages that link to the old page so that they link to the new page
  • Request the old page be deleted by adding {{delete}} at the top of the old page.
Franjensen 14:58, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Unaware that postings were on this page,  when Jeff, Joan, Marilyn, Kara and Michael voted on a standardized title for the vital records pages for each state.  The choices were: Alabama Vital Records Alabama Birth, Marriage, and Death Records Finding Alabama Vital Records Finding Alabama Birth, Marriage, and Death Records Find Alabama Vital Records Find Alabama Birth, Marriage, and Death Records The vote was one shy of unanimous for 1st choice: Alabama Birth, Marriage, and Death Records and 2nd choice was Alabama Vital Records. We appreciate input from the community and would listen to any other comments and/or votes for naming the State pages. (this comment was by CK Whipple on July 7 2009)

I cannot find this "vote" or discussion on this talk page. Was the decision made outside of the Wiki discussion pages? Franjensen 16:07, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

CK Whipple has brought up a great point. Using the discussion page allows us all to be at the same meeting at the same time no matter where we are physically. This way we can discuss a topic, make a decision, and implement it while in cyberspace. It shows the need that one has to always check the discussion page before beginning the edit of a page.

I was unaware that there was any other discussion about the naming of Vital record pages besides what was previously written here. In June I asked if anyone was going to change the name of the state pages and didn't get a reply. I went ahead and got it done, that is all but Alabama. If the afore mentioned vote had a link to it from here, I would have known that it was being discussed elsewhere. So as it stands, I followed Fran's suggestion and changed the names of all states that included the phrase "civil registration".

FamilyJournals 16:02, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

There is one article title that does not comply with the style you have outlined, Alabama Birth, Marriage, and Death Records. I have started a discussion about a proposed move. This format is also something that could be added to the FamilySearch Wiki:Manual of Style. --Steve 16:11, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Tips[edit source]

There are pages made for each topic, birth, deaths and marriage that are connected with the United States Vital Record Page. Do you think that the tips (in the middle of the page) could be moved to those pages? Let me know what you think and I'll be glad to move over the information.
FamilyJournals 01:01, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

There hasn't been a reply to the forgoing message. So I moved the tips section of this page to the page on births and the page on marriages. Please let me know if you think it should still remain on the main page.
FamilyJournals 02:49, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Jhealy has been adding the tips to each state - I would recommend contacting her via her user page.

Links for individual states[edit source]

This link should probably go on a page about the individual states divorces rather than the main page for vital records. I didn't want to lose it, so I put it here for safe keeping until that page could be made.

Broken link taken from Main Page[edit source]

  • Roach, Anne. Courthouse Records Overview (35 minute online video) FamilySearch Research Classes Online,2010.  Watch this online class video to better understand courthouse records which may include guardianship, probate, divorce and adoption records.  Each of these records may give you vital records information.