Vital records ( birth, marriage, and death records) are key to genealogical research. The collection of these records is usually the responsibility of cities and towns in the United States. In other words, they are best located locally. Copies are sent to the state on a time table determined by each state. In Newton, the City Clerk’s Office holds these records.
Remember, when you want a copy of a vital record, it is usually less expensive to apply directly to the city or town responsible for the record you are seeking, rather than going through the state. The first fee might not seem like very much, but it can get very expensive over time. Also, if the town is small enough, the people working with vital records may actually know of the family you are researching.This is much less likely to be the case at the state level.
To learn more about vital records in the state you are researching, look at Red Book: American State, County and Town Resources. To learn more about using vital records in your research, check pages 203 to 232 in Val Greenwood’s The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy or pages 603 to 649 in Ancestry’s The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy. If you cannot find a specific vital record, The Source will also give you some ideas for alternative places to find the same information.