Whether you knew your grandparents when you were a child and never knew their real names or never met them at all, many people don’t know their grandparent’s names. Luckily, it is highly likely that you can acquire your grandparent’s legal names by simply checking Vital Records Online and ordering records such as a copy of the death certificate. While you will need proof of your own identity and often of your relationship with the deceased, you can easily acquire the vital records needed to order birth certificates and death certificates online, so that you can move on with your search and learn more about your family history.
What Documents Do I Need to Get Started?
Ordering birth records or death records will normally mean establishing your identity and relationship with the deceased. You can achieve this by first establishing your relationship with your parents and then establishing theirs with their parents. The easiest way to do this is with a birth certificate.
If you are over the age of 21, you can order your parent’s birth certificate online at Vital Records Online. You will have to provide your photo ID and sometimes proof of relationship, such as your own birth certificate. You can also choose to visit the Health Records office in your parent’s state of birth to request these records.
Your parent’s birth certificates will contain the full names of each your paternal grandmother and grandfather on the side of that parent.
Learning More About Your Family
Once you have your parent’s birth certificates, you can use your grandparent’s full names to learn more about them. For example, you can attempt to request their birth certificates and death certificates. In some cases, this means knowing where they were born and when.
You can search for this data in the U.S. Census Records but knowing their approximate birth date and location will help a great deal.
Death Certificates – Ordering death certificates online will give you an easy way to determine when, where, and how your grandparents died. If you are uncertain if they are living, a death certificate will also clear up many questions. You can complete a death record search by name at Vital Records Online. If you’re wondering how to obtain a death certificate online, you can typically simply order it, prove your identity, and receive it in the mail. Some states require that you establish your relationship with the deceased or have proof of legal representation. Many others maintain death records as public domain content and as part of the public death indexes used to maintain records of public health and longevity. However, public domain records will not specific the in-depth cause of death.
Marriage Records – Marriage records can help you to find spouses, proof that your grandparents were together, and non-paternal grandparents. For example, if your paternal grandparents divorced after your birth and one remarried, a grandparent you knew and loved might not be on your parents’ birth certificate. Finding marriage records will help you to fill in the blanks.
Immigration Data – Many people do not have birth certificates in the United States simply because they emigrated to the United States. You can search for this data through census records or contact the local courthouse where they previously lived.
In most cases, you can easily learn your grandparent’s names through your parent’s birth and death certificates. You can order these online at Vital Records Online. Once you have their full names, you can follow up by ordering birth records and a certified death certificate to complete the story.