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Vital Records of Baltimore City

Vital records for Baltimore City are housed at the Maryland State Archives in Annapolis (see the Maryland State Archives site for more information). The systematic recording of birth records and death records in Maryland begins in 1875 for Baltimore City and in 1898 for the other Maryland counties.  An index to Maryland’s death certificates (post-1875/1898) is available online at Also available on the guide are marriage records. The Guide also contains a detailed page on Probate records, which includes wills, inventories, accounts, indentures, renunciations, and petitions.

For Baltimore births and deaths prior to 1875, you will need to examine church records. The Maryland State Archives has a significant collection of church records on microfilm and they are cataloged in the Archives’ Guide to Religious Records. The Maryland Historical Society and the Enoch Pratt Free Library also have church records on microfilm. If you are unable to locate the records you need at these institutions, then you’ll need to contact the church directly for access.

If you do not know which church to check, you can do a couple of things — you can check the Baltimore City Directories to find an address for your ancestor and then take a look at city maps to see what churches are in the vicinity of that address. As an alternative, you could check Baltimore City marriages at the State Archives for the marriage of your ancestors, note the name of the minister who performed the marriage, and then look for the minister’s name in Edna Kanely’s book Directory of Maryland Ministers (a copy is available at the State Archives). This directory will tell you the church affiliation of the minister so you’ll have an idea of which church to start with.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Judy Merritt permalink
    January 4, 2014 12:25 am

    A wonderful site, found the information I needed to get a death certificate for my sister who passed away in 1955. Thank you

  2. Gregory Lantay permalink
    February 10, 2014 6:14 pm

    Seek a copy of the Marriage License Circa 1910-1927 for Ethel H. E. Lang b. 1901 Baltimore with GROOM having the surname LAPE – Can staff assist? Please convey cost and we’ll mail a m/o & SASE. Thank you – dated 2/10/2014 918-8936443

    • Amy James permalink*
      February 10, 2014 6:39 pm

      Greg, as indicated on this page, you will need to contact the Maryland State Archives for marriage licenses.

  3. babygirl1965 permalink
    February 19, 2014 5:42 pm

    searching for more information on my birth mother… baby girl… born June10 1965..adopted through Catholic Charities… birth took place at St. Joseph’s in Towson, Maryland

    • Amy James permalink*
      February 20, 2014 12:40 pm

      You will need to contact the Maryland State Archives.

  4. babygirl1965 permalink
    February 20, 2014 4:32 pm

    how do I do that….??? where do I look…. thank you so much, for even answering this…..message I left yesterday….

    • Amy James permalink*
      February 20, 2014 4:40 pm

      You can contact them via e-mail at msa.helpdesk[at] or by phone at 410-260-6400 or toll free 1-800-235-4045

  5. babygirl1965 permalink
    February 20, 2014 5:18 pm

    thank you so much Amy…..have a great day…. looks like we are going to get a little sun today…. finally

  6. George Weibe permalink
    February 24, 2014 3:52 pm

    Trying to research if my brother had a will. He passed away Oct 2012.Irvin geroge weibe jr.

    • Amy James permalink*
      February 25, 2014 4:14 pm

      George, those would not be here. The Maryland State Archives would not have it, but they might be able to tell you where it would be. You can contact them via e-mail at or by phone at 410-260-6400 or toll free 1-800-235-4045.

  7. George Weibe permalink
    February 26, 2014 1:24 am

    Thank you for your timely reply.

  8. Sheila doherty permalink
    March 11, 2014 4:01 pm

    Looking for a Edna Iglehart. All children born to her. Her mother was Bessie beach, but her father unknown

    • Amy James permalink*
      March 19, 2014 3:15 pm

      Sheila, you can check our name index (, but I think your best bet would be to go to the Maryland State Archives, as they hold all birth records as well as marriage records.

    • Elmer permalink
      April 12, 2014 12:01 am

      Shiela.. you gave no indication as to wen Edna Inglehart was born… or where. Dates and places should always be included with a persons name being looked for. Very hard to find someone without dates or places.

  9. tammy schultz permalink
    March 12, 2014 6:32 pm

    Found a ring with 2 names inside the date is Sept 2nd 1913 no last name

    • Amy James permalink*
      March 19, 2014 3:14 pm

      Tammy, if you suspect the date is for a marriage, you can contact the Maryland State Archives and see if they can help- they hold marriage licenses.

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