Vital records are the legal documents that certify the major
events of a person's life: birth, marriage, and death. Vital records usually contain the
full name of the involved individual(s), the date of the event, and the county, state, or
town where the event took place.
Many vital records contain much more information. For
example, death certificates often include where the person was buried, cause of death,
occupation, and the name of the individual who reported the death.
Vital records are considered primary sources because they
were recorded at the time of the event they document. They also serve as a good secondary
source of other information. For instance, a death certificate is the primary source for
the date and location of death but a secondary source for the date and location of birth.
As with most genealogical research, you should start with
the earliest event and work back - so, in general, you would want to obtain an
individual's death record, then his marriage record, and finally his birth record.
For Tazewell County, whether the vital records are stored at
the state, regional, or county level (or more than one place) depends on the type and date
of the desired record. The cost of obtaining the vital record can vary widely depending on