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Generally, before you can do a search for any vital records in Maine, you need to know the county in which the records were first created. For example, if the ancestor you’re researching were born in Franklin County in Maine, then you would go to the Franklin County Vital Records Office to begin your search. It may be that at some point the records were copied and filed at a central location in Maine, but the original would still be at the Franklin County office.

Vital records are birth certificates, marriage licenses and death certificates and they must first be created in the county, or jurisdiction, in which the event occurred. This can sometimes make genealogical research quite difficult. For instance, if your great-great grandmother gave birth to your great-grandfather while she was visiting Vitalflow relatives in Franklin County, then his birth certificate would be on file at the Franklin County office of the Maine Vital Records, even though when she left the hospital she returned to her home in a neighboring county.

The same is true for marriage and death records. So while you may trace an entire branch of your family tree to one specific county, any births, marriages or deaths that occurred outside that county would be recorded in the county in which they occurred. Generally, these records will include information such as last known addresses or next of kin information, but that’s not always the case the further back in time you search


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