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Birth records are the single most important document that a genealogist can aquire. These are some of the items which can often be found in the birth document (USA). See links at bottom for Overseas Info.


  • Full name at birth

  • Date of Birth

  • Place of Birth

  • Name of Father

  • Name of Mother (Sometimes with Maiden Name)

  • Name of Hospital

  • Name of Delivery Doctor


  • The last two (hospital and Doctor)are usually not found until after 1920 (depending on wether the person was born in Urban or Rural Area). Birth certificates are a primary source for the obvious reasons but also because they are usually acurate. Most states required a filing of a birth certificate after 1911. But most vital statistic offices did not exist until later and birth certificates were kept at county courthouses. Fires, floods and the Civil War may have destroyed the courthouse at one time. I know that my grandmother's birth certificate was destroyed by fire and when she was applying to Social Security she had to get a school census record to prove her age. The School Census had her age off by one year.



    LOOKING FOR RECORDS PRIOR TO 1911


    When looking for birth records before 1911 you most likely will have to write the State Archives of the State the person was born in.

    You will have to at least their birth year and county/city to be searched. Sometimes they ask for the name of parents if it is known. Most archives require you to fill out a form to perform the research and will mail and tell you if the person is listed or not listed on the microfilm archive. If the person is listed they will provide you with the info to get a copy of the record. If the person is not listed it could very well mean that a record was never made of the birth or the person was not born in the state. If this is the case there are many other documents that can give you a record of birthdate/birthplace. Census records for 1900 listed Month and Year of birth. See our section Census Records for more detail.


    BIRTH RECORD LINKS IN THE UNITED STATES



    Address and Vital Reccords Info by State
    VITALCHEK Network (purchases Vital Records Online)

    BIRTH RECORDS IN CANADA



    Ontario Vital Records
    Birth, Death and Marriage indexes in Ontario

    BIRTH RECORD LINKS IN UK/WALES



    Public Records Office Home
    Births, Deaths, Marriages Exchange
    Ordering Birth Certificates Abroad for UK/Wales
    Birth Certificates in UK/Wales
    English and Welsh Civil Registration Offices

    BIRTH RECORD LINKS IN IRELAND/N. IRELAND



    Irish Ancestors Vital Records
    IRELAND GENWEB PROJECT

    BIRTH RECORDS IN AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND



    Australian Vital Records Info
    New South Wales Vital Info