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Oklahoma Genealogy

Oklahoma became a state in 1907 and they were one of the last one's to do so. The state's collection of birth and death records began in 1908 but it took nearly 2 decades before it became consistent. Most official records for Oklahoma genealogy will go back at least that far, and some will go farther into the 1800s depending on the area.

Oklahoma Vital Records

There are privacy restrictions on acquiring copies of Oklahoma records but they are not too difficult to work around for most genealogy purposes.

Birth records can only be ordered by immediate relatives if the person on the record is still living. You can get the birth certificate for a deceased person regardless of what your relationship to them is. When you send in your application forms, you will have to provide proof that they are deceased. There are no such requirements to get a death record. They are accessible by anyone.

You can get copies of either one through the Vital Statistics office, which is part of the state Department of Health. Their website has the proper forms for you to fill out and submit. You can mail your application package to the Oklahoma City office, or drop it off in person in Oklahoma City, Tulsa or McAlester. These offices do not issue copies of marriage records though. You will have to contact the Clerk of Court in the county where the marriage is registered to make a request for a copy of the certificate.

When you send your request, you need the completed forms, copies of your own ID, and the search fee. Vital records in Oklahoma cost $15 each and it is not refunded should the records not be found. If you pay by check or money order, it should be made out to "Vital Records Service". You will also need to include a self-addressed stamped envelope to get your documents back. That is not necessary if you are getting counter service though. Mailed applications will take about a month to get back to you.

Oklahoma State Archives

The full name of the facility is the State Archives and Records Management Division, and they have thousands of other Oklahoma genealogy records at their disposal. They are located in Oklahoma City and are open somewhat limited hours, usually about 3 days per week. Monday is the only day open for regular business hours, so visit their website to get the full schedule.

Their record holdings include Civil War documents, homestead registers, judicial documents, historical maps, land and surveyor's records, and more. Unlike most other states, a number of other common records of genealogical importance are not kept at the State Archive. They are housed with the Oklahoma Historical Society, so you will likely want to contact them as well.

Oklahoma Historical Society

Here is where you will find other papers for Oklahoma genealogy, such as census records, Dawes rolls (Native American registrations), obituary indexes, archived newspapers, school records, land documents and many other types of county-level government documents.

They are also located in Oklahoma City, and their research facilities are open 6 days a week during standard business hours.

State Resources Sites 

  • A Guide to Oklahoma Genealogy  Look ups, societies, publications available from societies and individuals, lost female ancestors queries, and related links for genealogy research in Oklahoma.
  • Federal Tract Books  The books include people who applied for homesteads or Indian allotments in Oklahoma Territory (not Indian Territory, except for a small portion in vol. 63).



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