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Mississippi: Local History & Genealogy Resource Guide

Vital Records

Based on the date of the vital event (birth, death, marriage, divorce), determine whether you are seeking a state or county level record. If the record you are seeking has been digitized, you can access it online, through the projects described below. If it has not been digitized or if you need a certified copy, contact the appropriate state or county office to view the record.

Timeline of Vital Records

Birth Records
Death Records

Note: Some counties recorded births and deaths as early as 1879; contact the specific county for information.

Also Note: Before 1879 no births or deaths were recorded in Mississippi; substitute records must be searched.

Marriage Records

Note: Mississippi Department of Archives and History maintains microfilmed copies from county courthouses.

Divorce Records

Note: Records held as part of an unpublished guide, Index of Mississippi session acts, 1817.

Online Resources for Vital Records

The subscription resources marked with a padlock are available to researchers on-site at the Library of Congress. If you are unable to visit the Library, you may be able to access these resources through your local public or academic library.

Using Ancestry Library Edition for Mississippi

Begin your search through Ancestry's vast collections, by viewing the list designated as Mississippi records External.

Using FamilySearch for Mississippi

FamilySearch provides useful state and county wikis that make excellent starting points for research. The Mississippi Wiki External includes links to each of its counties.

FamilySearch has digitized many of its microfilms containing county courthouse records including birth, death, and marriage. Not all records have been indexed yet, so search engine results may NOT show you the full range of FamilySearch data. You must browse the FamilySearch catalog External listings for each county to view the full set of records available. The vast amount of accessible original records is well worth your time to explore.

There is no fee to use FamilySearch, but you must create a free, personal account to access the databases and digital records.

Obtaining Copies of Vital Records

Contact the Mississippi Department of Health, Division of Vital Records to learn more about accessing state-level records and explore additional options for obtaining copies.

Published Vital Records

Below are selected print publications for statewide vital records. The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.

To locate additional published materials, go to the Print Resources section of this guide for search tips on locating published county courthouse records, abstracts, and indexes that may aide you in locating original records at the county level.