Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Finding Birth, Divorce and Death Records

In the research I’m doing while writing the biography of a 94-year-old man who was an infantryman in World War II, captured by the Germans, confined in Stalag IV-B and repatriated by the Russians, I’ve been trying to track down dates of birth, marriage and divorce in his life. He doesn’t remember the exact dates, so I’ve been contacting people in our country to find the records.

Locating marriage certificates turned out to be relatively easy. After two phone calls I found the right office and for a mere charge of $1.28 on my credit card, they sent me an email with the images attached.

Tracking down a divorce record has proven more difficult. The county clerk indicated that records were not retained from the 1950s and directed me to the Colorado State Archive Office. In speaking to a clerk there, he indicated they had the records from that period but would need a case number to find them. He directed me back to the county clerk. I called the country again and the clerk there is trying to find a case number.

Birth records are most difficult since they are not publicly available. A birth certificate can be ordered in person or online for $17.50 plus a service charge. I tried using the online ordering, but they wanted a birth date, which is exactly what I’m trying to track down. Catch 22.

Ah, well. I’ll keep working on this.

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