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Waterbury Vital Records

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Bureau of Vital Statistics
235 Grand Street
Waterbury CT  06702

Phone (203) 574-6800

 QUICK REFERENCE TABLE  Birth Marriage Death Burial
 Date of Earliest Record 1686/1871 1686/1851 1686/1864  
 Requesting Records by Mail details details details details
 Vital Record Request Form (PDF) download download download  
 Cost to obtain Short Form Copy $5.00 n/a n/a n/a
 Cost to obtain Long Form Copy $10.00 n/a n/a $3.00

Overview of Waterbury Vital Records
The Birth, Marriage, Death, and Burial records for the city of Waterbury are maintained by the Bureau of Vital Statistics.  The vital records archive contains records spanning parts of five centuries with some original records dating to the late-1600's.  Although it is difficult to state precisely the number of individual records contained within city archives, our research estimates at least 520,000 and as many as 600,000 in total.  For anyone researching Waterbury-area ancestors, these records represent a tremendous learning opportunity.

As of this writing, the Waterbury collection includes 188 separate ledgers (containing records, index to records, or both) and 1,464 bound certificate books.  Given the size of this collection, it is to your benefit to become familiar with the contents before you begin searching.  If you will be requesting records by mail, it is critical that you provide as much information as possible since staffing is limited and there is a constant flow of traffic through this office requesting records in person for non-genealogical purposes.

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Where is the Office Located and When is it Open?
The office of Vital Statistics and record archives are housed in Waterbury City Hall, located at 235 Grand Street in downtown Waterbury.  The building is one block from the Waterbury Post Office and immediately adjacent to the Silas Bronson Library.  A limited number of metered parking spaces are available to the right rear of City Hall and along Grand Street.  There is a public parking garage two blocks West of City Hall, next to the Post Office.  If using metered parking, be sure to bring an ample supply of quarters!

When entering City Hall from the main front entrance, the office of Vital Records is on the main floor to your left, along the right hand side of the hallway.  Hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. excluding federal holidays.  Genealogists approved for conducting research on-site are asked to conclude their activities by 4:15 p.m.  If you are travelling from outside the region, it is recommended you call first to verify office hours. (Phone 203.574.6800)

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How Do I Request Waterbury Vital Records By Mail?
You can request Birth, Marriage, Death, and Burial records by mail, but need to become familiar with the requirements for requesting different types of vital records within the state of Connecticut.  The Vital Statistics office staff is required by Connecticut General Statutes to carefully control access to these public records and must therefore verify the legitimacy of your request.

The office can accept any clearly written letter of request, but the letter must include sufficient detail regarding the event, the person(s) named on the certificate, and your relation to that person or persons.  The letter must also be accompanied by proper payment for the certificates being requested (Cash or Money Order Only, No Personal Checks).  To help expidite your request for vital records, it is recommended you use one of the appropriate downloadable forms (Adobe Acrobat .PDF format).

Forms: Request Birth Record    Request Marriage Record    Request Death Record   

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What Type of Information Can Be Obtained From These Records?
Depending upon the age and type of record being requested, you may be able to obtain some valuable data to help further your family history research.  As a general rule, older records contain less detail than more modern counterparts, but you are thorough about your search you are likely to find something of value.

Birth Records: In most cases, a birth record will contain:
— Name of child
— Date of birth (and date that return of birth of filed)
— Address of occurrence of birth
— Name, age, and place of birth of parents (including Maiden name of mother)
— Occupation of father
— Number of previous children born of this mother (and number still living)
— Name of Doctor, midwife, or person filing return

More recent records may include additional detail.  Birth records prior to January 1886 are recorded in ledger books only.  Beginning in January 1886, both Ledger entries and individual Certificates record information for each birth.  It is recommended that you check both sources since one may include a small data element not found on the other.  If an error was found to have been made at the time an original record was made, a correction may be on file.  These can provide valuable additional clues for a genealogist since the correction is often accompanied by other documents (e.g. - Baptism Certificate, etc.).

Marriage Records: In most cases, a marriage record will contain the following for BOTH Bride and Groom:
— Surname and Given (including maiden name of Bride)
— Date of Marriage (as well as date that application was being made)
— Age
— Place of Birth
— Marital Condition (e.g. - First Marriage, Widowed, Divorced, etc.)
— Joined by (Name of priest or other official performing service)
— Names and Places of Birth of Parents
— Signatures of Applicants
— If either applicant is a minor child, signature of their parent or legal guardian

Marriage records prior to 1885 are recorded as Ledger entries only.  Beginning in January 1885, both Ledger entries and Certificate copies are on file to document each marriage.  Records for marriage are almost always indexed by both the Groom and Bride's surname.  If you are attempting to conduct marriage research, but do not know the date, consider estimating a date range based on the age of the parents and using information obtained from a birth certificate. (e.g. - A birth record for a child may show the mothers age to be 24 years old and may also report this as the 2nd birth.  Use the date of birth for this second child to estimate a window of likely years during which a marriage may have occurred).

Death: In most cases, a death record will contain the following for BOTH Bride and Groom:
— Given name and Surname of deceased (often including maiden name if a married female)
— Place of death
— Age at death (often in year, month, and day)
— Sex, Color, Race
— Marital Condition
— Place of birth
— Residence at time of death
— Occupation
— Primary cause of death (and sometimes secondary cause)
— Name of parents (sometimes including mothers maiden name)
— Birthplace of parents
— Place and date of burial
— Name of Doctor or person attending at time of death

Death records prior to January 1886 are Ledger entries only.  Beginning in January 1886, both Ledger entries and Certificate copies are on record for each death.  More recent certificates include the name of the "informant" (person providing the information to the authorities about the deceased), as well as the informants relation to the deceased.  It is also common to find the name of the undertaker and/or embalmer and other information pertaining to the final disposition of the deceased person.

Burial Records: While there are burial records retained within the office of Vital Records, they contain only a fraction of the data found in death records.  Most often, the only information that can be obtained is name and date of death for the deceased person, as well as the place of burial.

Special Note for All Vital Records: Most early vital records were recorded in hand-written ledgers, many of which were indexed and then bound into the volumes that exist today.  The use of type written records varies, but becomes frequent in the late 1930's and early 1940's.  By the mid-1940's, nearly all vital records were being recorded as type written journal entries with supporting certificates that were also type written.  Since the creation of an index is an activity that occurs after the original ledger entries, researchers are advised to double check a volume if it appears that a record is "missing".  It is very possible that a simple error during the indexing process may lead you to an incorrect assumption.  Always look to the original entries where possible.

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How Far Back Do The Records Go?
Purchase the Waterbury Barbour Collection from GPC The records for Vital Events in Waterbury date back to the very beginning of the settlement in the late 1600's.  Early family records were kept as free-form text entries along side property and land transactions and minutes of meetings for other early town activities.  Records for the period 1686 - 1853 have been re-recorded and are part of the Barbour Collection of Connecticut Vital Records.

Research for vital events occurring during the last 150 years will be assisted by:
   · Uniform Ledgers for Birth records begin with 1871
   · Uniform Ledgers for Marriage records begin with 1851
   · Uniform Ledgers for Death records begin with 1864

The older ledgers (especially those that were used to created the Barbour index) are stored in the Waterbury archive, but are in frail condition.  It is strongly recommended that you conduct research using secondary sources and only call upon the originals if you have a discrepancy you are trying to resolve.

You can purchase The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records (Waterbury 1686-1853) online from one of our partner sites (Genealogical Publishing Company).  Also available from GPC are the Original Proprietors Records of Waterbury. Buying either of these books or other products from GPC by clicking on the links above provides a small commission back to our site that will allow us to expand future content offerings for  Thanks in advance!

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Can I Conduct My Own Research of the Vital Records?
According to the Connecticut General Statutes, access to vital records is restricted to certain eligible parties.  If you are an attorney or member of a recognized genealogical society authorized by the Secretary of the State, you may be able to conduct research of the records.  This information is being shared by as a general guide, but should in no way be considered approval to gain access for personal research.

Please Note: The Town Clerk and office staff have a duty to protect the privacy of all public records.  You should be courteous in all dealings with office personnel and respect their decisions regarding a request to gain access to these records.

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Can Office Staff Assist Me With My Genealogical Research?
While every attempt is made to respond to specific requests for copies of vital records, the office of vital statistics is not staffed to conduct research on your behalf. When requesting information, in person or by mail, you should be prepared to provide as many specifics as possible to help expedite your request.

Office staff will search two years prior and two year after the date specified, so it is to your benefit to be as precise as possible. If you're not certain about the date of occurrence, you can submit your request, but specify "About March 15, 1862" or "March 15, between 1861-1863". This will help alert staff that you are not certain about the date of occurrence.

If a name may have been spelled more than one way, you should provide that detail along with your request, including the variant spellings that may yield a successful search.  (e.g. - The name O'Rourke may appear as Rourke; D'Angelo may appear as Angelo)

For those requiring professional research assistance, members of the team are very familiar with vital records and other area sources. We also have close working relationships with office staff and offer an extension to the services they provide each day.
Click for more details.

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What If I Don't Have the Exact Name or Date for a Vital Event of a Waterbury-Area Ancestor?
If you are conducting research for a family line that crosses through Waterbury, but are not certain of the dates and names that represent your ancestors — you should consider hiring a professional to help.  The Town Clerk's office is not staffed to respond to open-ended family history queries.

U.S. Federal Census, Waterbury City Directories, and other sources may help you obtain sufficient detail for submitting a future query.

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Are Records for Surrounding Towns Maintained in Waterbury?
In general, records for vital events are recorded in the city or town in which the event occurred. You should make every effort to determine the town of occurrence before requesting a record of the event.  If you are researching a vital record in a surrounding town, it is possible that a copy or the original may be housed in the Waterbury Vital Records collection.

This is especially true for Death records.  In most cases, if a Waterbury resident died outside the city limits (or outside the state), the death is recorded where it occurred, but a courtesy copy of the certificate was also sent to the Waterbury vital records office for filing.  The requirements relating to this notification have changed over time, but you should inquire about the specifics if you think the record you're searching for may be impacted by an occurrence outside Waterbury.

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Can I Research Adoption Records Through This Office?
Adoption records are closed and not available for genealogical or other research.

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