One of the commonly overlooked gems of genealogy research is free and easily accessible on the internet – state archives and historical societies. These state agencies are tasked with storing almost any sort of government record you can imagine.
What’s in various state archives, along with what’s available online, will vary by state. Many of them function as a repository of all documents from state, county and municipal governments.
When an agency no longer needs a document, it might be sent to the state archives or state records office for permanent safekeeping. Agencies may keep certain records for a set period of time, such as 7 years, before turning them over to the state archives office.
Examples of documents that may be kept by state archives offices include:
- County records from probate court case files, wills, naturalizations, deeds, and homesteads.
- State and federal census data.
- Birth and death certificates.
- Prison records.
- Certain military records.
- State mental hospital records.
- Professional and vocational licensing records.
- State court records.
Following is a list of state archives and/or historical societies for all 50 states.
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- Alabama Department of Archives and History
- Alaska State Archives
- Arizona State Archives
- Arkansas State Archives
- California State Archives
- Colorado State Archives
- Connecticut State Archives
- Delaware Public Archives
- State Archives of Florida
- Georgia Archives
- Hawaii State Archives
- Idaho State Archives
- Illinois State Archives
- Indiana Archives and Records Administration
- Iowa State Archives
- Kansas Historical Society
- Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives
- Louisiana State Archives
- Maine State Archives
- Maryland State Archives
- Massachusetts Archives Division
- Michigan History Center
- Minnesota Historical Society State Archives
- Mississippi Department of Archives and History
- Missouri State Archives
- Montana Historical Society
- Library / Archives of the Nebraska State Historical Society
- Nevada State Library, Archives and Public Records
- New Hampshire Archives and Records Management
- New Jersey State Archives
- New Mexico State Records Center and Archives
- New York State Archives
- State Archives of North Carolina
- State Historical Society of North Dakota
- Ohio History Connection
- Oklahoma Archives and Records
- Oregon State Archives
- Pennsylvania State Archives
- Rhode Island State Archives
- South Carolina Department of Archives and History
- South Dakota Archives
- Tennessee State Library and Archives
- Texas State Library and Archives Commission
- Utah Division of Archives and Records Service
- Vermont State Archives and Records Administration
- Library of Virginia
- Washington State Archives
- West Virginia Archives and History
- Wisconsin Historical Society
- Wyoming State Archives
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