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You are more likely to be successful with your research if you do your vital records search in the reverse order of events  (death, marriage, birth)

Searching for Birth Records
[edit | edit source]

In order to be successful in your search for a birth record, it is best to have the following

  • full name
  • date of birth  (if not exact, then a year span)
  • place of birth

The availability of birth records varies from state to state, as well as the information included on them. 

Birth records were usually begun in the late 1800s or early 1900s.

Unlike other vital records, you are more likely to experience restrictions with birth records. This is to protect the privacy of living individuals. 

Information That May be Found on a Birth Certificate[edit | edit source]

  • An address that would lead to the discovery of the family in a census or city directory
  • Ages of parents
  • Child’s birth order
  • Child's gender
  • Church records for the birth
  • Date of birth
  • Family’s home address
  • Full name of child
  • Hospital or name a medical attendant
  • Maiden name for the mother
  • Names of both parents
  • Names of the previous generation
  • Newspaper birth announcement
  • Occupation of parents
  • Parents' approximate years of birth
  • Parents' birthplaces
  • Place of birth
  • Race of child
  • Religious affiliation
  • Which children belong to which mother in the case of multiple marriages

Places to Look for Birth Information[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible, start at the county level, except in New England where you will want to start at the town level.

Websites to Begin Your Search[edit | edit source]

Where to Write for Vital Records[edit | edit source]

CDC listing  (Information by state for all vital records)