Delaware may Increase the Embargo Periods for Birth, Marriage, and Death Records

The following article was written by Jan Meisels Allen, Chairperson of the IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee:

As previously reported in the IAJGS Records Access Alert, a bill before the Delaware House will increase the embargo periods for birth marriage and death records. On May 7, it was amended and passed by House. The embargo periods were further extended. The bill now would extend embargo periods to:

  • Birth from 72 years to 100 years
  • Marriage from 40 to 70 years an
  • Death records from 40 to 50 years

The original bill maybe accessed at:

The amended bill may be read at:

To read the previous posts about the Delaware legislation go to the IAJGS Records Access Alert archives. To access the archives go to: You must be registered to access the archives. To register for the IAJGS Records Access Alert go to: You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized. It is required to include your genealogical affiliation (genealogy organization, etc.)


100 for birth, 70 for marriage and 50 for death is pretty standard for most states already.


These terms would make it impossible for most people to even find their own parent’s records, and are not standard most places. Census records are not that long. I no longer live in Delaware, but almost all of my research involves ancestors born, and died, in Delaware.


What is their rational to extending these time frames? If I can’t find records I will probably give up genealogy….. where is the fun?


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