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Which states do you think have the best/worst availability of online records - original images or otherwise?

I love starting out research in a state and finding that their birth or death certificates for a large range of years are available online! Or next to that, finding that they have those vital records indexed, and searchable, even if the actual document will require a fee. Arizona tops my list with searchable birth and deaths ranging from 1844 to 1958, and the results including a PDF of the actual certificates. Other states however are quite "stingy" with their information it seems. What states do you like or dislike?

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In addition to vital records, I am always interested in what kind of web presence things such as state archives have. My favorite states for this are Texas and South Carolina (both have lots of legal-type records online), which is lucky because they are my main states of research. Illinois and Alabama are pretty good, too. I haven't had much luck with Vermont, however, and it has been a while since I have checked Kentucky resources, but a couple of years ago there didn't seem to be much.
I appreciate all the resources available on the Missouri State Archives Web site. I use the death certificates most often, but they also have databases for court records, land patents, military records (War of 1812 to WWI), coroner's inquests, maps and much more.
Angela - you're talking about the Missouri Digital Heritage site of the State Archives, right? The web address I have for that is -- let me know if yours is anything different!
Kentucky has a small vital records index hosted by the Univ of KY, but its really only a death index for 1911-1992, and marriages & divorces from 1973-1993 - - Luckily my local library has a good Kentucky section of books!
Maryland has started putting death certificate information online.

What you get are the indexes, either in book form or card form. It's slow going because not all sections are indexed, but you care able to then order a copy of the certificate, either plain or certified from from the same screen you find your record in. Baltimore city records go back to 1875 online.

The Maryland State Government also has a great deal of old archives on line as well

Again, slow going as it is not indexed well for searching, but you can get a lot of interesting information here that helps add personality to the names and dates. Court records, bastardity procedings, pension requestions, petitions for assistance going back to the the very first days of Maryland's existence can be found.
I think Missouri has to be considered the current champ. I'll tell you, in addition to having great sources online, their state archives are super. They've got strong microfilm holdings, cheap copy fees, and a very helpful and easygoing staff.

Some of the county clerks and local societies I've dealt with in Missouri on the other hand... not such rave reviews from me there. ;D
I too have used Missouri records. I found the marriage registration for my great great grandmother's second and third marriage as well as my great grandmother's marriage registration.
I was really surprised to find that Minnesota has lots of genealogical records online thru the historical society. While they aren't the images of the original documents, they have searchable indexes, and easy links for ordering the originals.

A separate website has all of the marriage records indexed. Great stuff, thats for sure.
Minor correction here. While I agree that Minnesota has great records online and I've used the MNHS extensively, not all marriage records are indexed. Go to the MOMs site and then check your specific county carefully. My 2 top counties have not yet indexed their oldest records and its been a long time since any were added. In this case, one just has to contact that county the "old way". Still a great state to research!
Another good site with state records on it is the one for West Virginia. It has all of there vital records scanned for you to search and to download for free.

Plus they have other things are online too.

I am a beginner and really appreciate all these tips.....A lot of my husband's ancestors are from Memphis, Shelby County, TN. I found a great site with a lot of my death certificates, marriage and divorce information. It is..... ...... They have death records for 1848-1958.....I printed actual copies.

Everyone has been pretty complimentary, so I'll be the first to say that I think Pennsylvania is pretty horrible. With the exception of Schuylkill County having an so-so Marriage Index online, PA is pretty much a bust, in my experience.





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