record of life events kept under governmental authority, including birth certificates, marriage licenses, and death certificates
Vital records are records of life events. They include birth certificates, marriage licenses, and death certificates. In some jurisdictions, vital records may also include records of civil unions or domestic partnerships. In modern times these would be state-held records, though prior to civil registration these were often church-held records.
- Where to Write for Vital Records in the US - National Center for Health Statistics