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Investigative Journalism

Civil Registry Overview

Civil registry is the system by which a government records the vital events of its citizens and residents. Civil registry (sometimes referred to as 'civil registration' or 'vital records') generally covers:

  • Birth
  • Marriage/Divorce
  • Death

In the United States, civil registry records such as birth certificates, death certificates, and frequently marriage certificates are maintained by the Office of Vital Statistics or Office of Vital Records in each individual state. Other documents such as deeds, mortgage documents, name change documents, and divorce records, as well as marriage certificates for those states not centralizing these records, are maintained by the Clerk of Court of each individual county.

Civil Registry Resources

Marriage License Public Lookup: Search for publicly accessible information about marriage licenses issued in Indiana. This database contains many—but not all—marriage records from 1993 to the present. Because not every Indiana County uses the INcite e-file system, some records must be manually entered much later than the marriage took place. A website founded in 1998 that represents the world's largest commercial provider of online memorials. The Web site hosts obituaries and memorials for more than 70 percent of all U.S. deaths. Historic documents such as civil registration records; church records; and probate, census, land, tax, and military records. Also contains compiled sources such as family histories, clan and lineage genealogies, oral pedigrees, and local histories. Registration is required, but free. Provides a free online white pages directory where you can find people by their name, address or you can do a reverse lookup by phone number.

Monroe County Death Records Index: A complete list of deaths occurring in Monroe County from 1882 until 2014 compiled by the Monroe County History Center. 

Monroe County Birth Records Index: A complete list of births occurring in Monroe County from 1882 until 2015 compiled by the Monroe County History Center. 

Indiana Digital Archives People Search: Browse through the indexes to many of the most popular State Archives collections. The Friends of the Indiana State Archives volunteers have been hard at work for more than twenty years creating indexes to many of the state’s records. 

ProQuest Indianapolis Star (May 21, 1991 - Present) The indexing covers not only complete bibliographic information but also companies, people, products, etc. Click here for an index of Indianapolis newspaper holdings from 1848 - 1991.

Indiana State Department of Health: Certified copies of birth and death certificates are available from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), but require payment and require identification and proof of relationship to the person whose record is being requested.