Delaware Vital Records

Delaware Vital Records

The Office of Vital Records is responsible for maintaining all state-level vital records created, administered and maintained by the state of Delaware regarding a person’s most important life events. These records include such documents as birth certificates, marriage licenses, and death certificates and are compiled and stored in a permanent central registry state entities uses to develop statistical analysis of its population.

Birth Records

A birth certificate is a vital record that documents the birth of a child. The term "birth certificate" can refer to either the original document certifying the birth or to a certified copy or representation of the original document. The state of Delaware organizes birth records catalog into two categories due to the fact that a statewide registration law was enacted two times in 1861 and in 1881, which creates the two categories: 1861-1863 and 1881-present. The statewide registration was resumed in 1881 and was generally complied with by 1921. The birth records are collected and kept by the Delaware Bureau of Vital Statistics.

Death Records

A death record is most likely a copy of the information contained in a person’s death certificate. Although some deaths were recorded as early as 1855, state registration of deaths officially began in 1881 and was generally complied with by 1890. The Delaware Bureau of Vital Statistics has death records for the most recent 40 years. For deaths recorded over forty years ago, contact the Delaware Public Archives.

Marriage/Divorce Records

A marriage/divorce record is issued by a government official only after civil registration of the marriage/divorce occurs.  The state registration of marriage records began in 1847 and was generally complied with by 1913. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of the marriage bonds for 1744-1836 and 1855-1861, and licenses for 1889-1894. To obtain marriage records for the most recent 40 years one shall write o the Bureau of Vital Statistics. For marriages recorded more than 40 years ago, the requester needs to contact the Delaware Public Archives. Delaware counties began keeping marriage records as early as 1832. These records have been transferred from the counties to the Delaware Public Archives. These early county marriage records are not available at the Family History Library; however, the library has records of some pre-1847 marriage bonds.

Why Vital Records are Available to the Public?

In late 1977, the Delaware State Legislature passed a law named the Delaware Freedom of Information Act. This law was enabled with the last changes in 2009 and aims to ensure disclosure of court records and other public records to the public: Delaware FOIA Laws. Every person throughout the state can request access to access all public records through the assigned specialized offices within its determined terms.

What Does Vital Records Access mean to You?

The law is similar to the Delaware Open Meetings Law which monitors the methods by which public meetings are conducted as The Delaware Freedom of Information Act guarantees that the public has access to the public records of governmental bodies in Delaware

Delaware State Archives

State Archives

Results Include

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Delaware Old New Castle Courthouse 1936

Delaware Old New Castle Courthouse 1936

  • State Archives hold over 95,000 cubic feet of records.
  • The Superior Court has 19 judicial officials working in the Superior Courts. 
  • There are 3 Superior Courts in Delaware for each county.
  • There are 2 levels of Courts: superior and chancery.
  • The highest Court in Delaware is Delaware Supreme Court.
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