Public Repositories


Public records created by an office of the city, town, county, state, or federal government are usually kept in repositories. These repositories have birth, death, marriage, divorce, land records, court records, military, immigration, naturalization, passport, business licenses, etc.

Not all public records are kept forever. For example, most states keep the most recent years of driver license applications but dispose of the earlier records. Some records have been destroyed by wars and natural disasters.

Some public records have been microfilmed and can be borrowed from the Family History Library or from a public library through Interlibrary Loan.

Help Me!  Where can I find my father’s discharge papers from WWII?

Help Me!  My father was in the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp) when he was a teenager, where would these records be located?

Help Me!  I heard that my uncle was a sheriff or marshal in the frontier town of Bisbee, Arizona (or some other place). Can you help me locate proof of this?

Help Me!  My mother was a nurse (or doctor), can you help me find records of this?

Help Me!  My great-grandmother died in a state asylum. Are there records available?

To ask these or similar questions, click on Help Me!, fill out the form that comes up, and submit your questions.

See also the section on court records , immigration and naturalization, church records, military records, cemetery, mortuary, and funeral home records, business and institutional, and hospital records.