Did you know that a Godfrey membership can help with accessing Connecticut vital records?
Under the Connecticut State Statutes, a member of an approved genealogical society is permitted to take notes on and purchase a certified copy of all vital records.
The statute reads as follows:
Sec. 7-51a. Copies of vital records. Access to vital records by members of genealogical societies. Marriage and civil union licenses. Death certificates. Issuance of certified copies of electronically filed certificates. (a) Any person eighteen years of age or older may purchase certified copies of marriage and death records, and certified copies of records of births or fetal deaths which are at least one hundred years old, in the custody of any registrar of vital statistics. The department may issue uncertified copies of death certificates for deaths occurring less than one hundred years ago, and uncertified copies of birth, marriage, death and fetal death certificates for births, marriages, deaths and fetal deaths that occurred at least one hundred years ago, to researchers approved by the department pursuant to section 19a-25, and to state and federal agencies approved by the department. During all normal business hours, members of genealogical societies incorporated or authorized by the Secretary of the State to do business or conduct affairs in this state shall (1) have full access to all vital records in the custody of any registrar of vital statistics, including certificates, ledgers, record books, card files, indexes and database printouts, except for those records containing Social Security numbers protected pursuant to 42 USC 405 (c)(2)(C), and confidential files on adoptions, gender change, gestational agreements and paternity, (2) be permitted to make notes from such records, (3) be permitted to purchase certified copies of such records, and (4) be permitted to incorporate statistics derived from such records in the publications of such genealogical societies. For all vital records containing Social Security numbers that are protected from disclosure pursuant to federal law, the Social Security numbers contained on such records shall be redacted from any certified copy of such records issued to a genealogist by a registrar of vital statistics.
What does this mean?
If you know where your ancestor was born and are planing to visit a Connecticut town hall to review a birth, death, or marriage record, you can request to view your ancestors' records before purchasing copies. Plan to present the Town Clerk or Health Department with a copy of your Godfrey membership card, and your driver's license, if requested. Most clerks will request that you follow office policies about when and where records can be accessed and provide your own notepaper and pencils to take notes.
If you do not know where your ancestor was born, married or died, and the event occured after 1 July 1897, you can contact the Connecticut State Vital Records office at http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3132&q=388130 to schedule an appointment to visit. Mention that you are a member of an approved genealogical society and plan to bring your card with you, as well as a photo identification.