You will need to collect vital records from the relevant US states for your ancestor (marriage and death certificates if applicable) and every subsequent person in your line of succession down to yourself. Depending on your consulate, you may need to collect documents related to the non-line spouses of people in your line as well.
Important Reminders for US Documents:
- You must request the long-form / “book copy” of each type of certificate from the relevant Vital Statistics office in your state (this could also be the Department of Health). This format contains more information than normal copies of the original certificate, including place of birth, parents names, time of birth, etc.
- You need to request all new copies of each document that you are going to order! The consulate will keep all the original documents that you present to them (with the exception of a naturalization certificate, a copy will suffice) and they will not be returned. Additionally, newer documents are all guaranteed to be able to obtain an Apostille. Older documents have signatures from officials that are no longer on file and cannot receive proper verification to obtain an apostille.
What documents might you need from US offices?
- Birth certificates for everyone in your line
- Marriage certificates/license applications for everyone in your line and their spouses who are the parents of the next generation
- Death certificates for at least some of the people in your line (i.e. those that are dead)
- Naturalization papers for your LIRA and possibly your LIRA’s parent (usually, father) or documents showing that your LIRA (or the LIRA’s parent) didn’t naturalize. Click here for more details on naturalization.
- Birth certificates for the non-line parents of the people in your line
- Death certificates for the non-line parents of the people in your line
- Marriage certificate/license application for your own marriage, if you are married
- Birth certificates for any children you may have.
- Your spouse’s birth certificate
- Divorce records for any divorces by you or someone else in your line.
- A certificate of no-appeal (CONA) from the Court issuing the final judgment in a divorce.
- This document may not formally exist at your Court and the clerks might be confused. You simply need a certified letter stating the relevant judgment of divorce has had no appeal filed against the case
- Marriage certificates/license applications for previous/other marriages for you or anyone else in your line
- In rare cases, birth or death records for a spouse of someone in your line, when that spouse was not the parent of the next person in your line
- Court records for any legal name change down by anyone in your line, including you.