How to Obtain Copies of Genealogical Records

Getting Copies of Genealogical Records

Genealogical Records (family history research) are:

  • Birth, death and marriage records for people who are deceased  
    AND where
  • the birth occurred more than 80 years ago until 1921
  • the marriage occurred more than 50 years ago until 1931
  • the death occurred more than 40 years ago until 1931

Your request cannot be processed as a genealogical request if the person named on the record is still living or the event was more recent than listed above. 
 The City of Elizabeth Office of Vital Statistics holds records from May 1848 to the present. 

However, it is recommended for records older than 100 years the applicants please visit the Department of State, New Jersey State Archives web page or call (609) 292-6260.


The following must be sent with your application:

  • all required copies of ID for proof of identity
  • the correct fees
  • copies of documents proving your relationship to the person named on the record, only if you are ordering a certified copy

 Your application will be returned if you do not send in all required documentation.

  1. Step 1
  2. Step 2
  3. Step 3
  4. Step 4
  5. Step 5

Step 1: Identify the genealogical record

You must identify the record by providing the following required information, if you provide the optional information it may assist us in locating the record.
 Required Information:

  • Full name on the record
  • City or county where the event occurred
  • Year the event occurred

Optional Information:

  • Exact date of event
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Father’s name
  • Social security number (deaths only)

Proof of Relationship

ONLY required if ordering a certified copy of a vital record.

If you are requesting a certification (an informational copy of a vital record not valid for legal purposes), you do not need to provide proof of relationship.

If you are requesting a certified copy of

  • your parent’s or sibling’s vital record
     you must provide a copy of your birth certificate to show you are the child or sibling of the person whose record you are requesting.
  • your grandparent’s vital record
     you must establish that you are the person’s grandchild by providing proof that links the name on your ID to the name of the grandparent.   
     For example, if you changed your last name after marriage/civil union and want a grandparent’s vital record, you must:
    1. Provide your marriage/civil union certificate to show your name at birth,
    2. Provide your birth certificate to identify your parent, and
    3. Provide the parent’s birth certificate to identify the grandparent.

If you are not a person qualified to get a certified copy of a record

  • but you are helping a person eligible to receive a vital record obtain a copy of a record they are eligible to receive
     you must show your valid ID and a notarized, written release authorizing you to get the record on that person’s behalf including their proof of relationship to the subject of the record.


To Obtain a Certification (non-legal copy of record for informational purposes only):

Fill out the application for genealogical records.

Include a photocopy of your valid ID and proof of your current mailing address.

Fee is $8.00 payable to “City of Elizabeth”