Delaware, State Birth Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Record Description

The collection "Delaware, State Birth Records, 1861-1922" consists of an index and images of birth records. Some images have one record, and others have two records. It is arranged in alphabetical order.

The collection "Delaware Baptisms, 1697-1886" consists of an index to selected church records from Delaware, mostly from the city of Wilmington.

Record Content

Delaware birth records may include:
  • Child’s full name
  • Date and place of child's birth
  • Child's gender and race
  • Whether living or stillborn
  • Father's name, age, occupation and place of birth
  • Mother's maiden name, age and place of birth
  • Child's place of order in family
  • Parents' place of residence

How to Use the Records

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • Name
  • Date and place of birth

Search the Collection

To search the collection fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s birth record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. For example:

  • Use the birth date along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • The father’s occupation can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • The parents' birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile birth entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the birth records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born in the same county or nearby.
  • The information in birth records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from record to record.
  • The city of Wilmington also has a register of vital statistics.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

General Information About These Records

Birth returns were turned into the State by county clerks from 1861 until statewide registration began to be enforced. Returns and birth certificates were recorded on pre-printed forms.

Statewide birth records were collected by the State sporadically from 1861, with the majority of the State collection beginning after 1920.

Statewide registration of births began in 1861, was discontinued in 1863 and was resumed in 1881 when physicians and midwives were required to register births with the county Recorder of Deeds. By 1901 returns and certificates began to be reported to the State Board of Health, but that process was not generally complied with until 1921.

In 1913 the Bureau of Vital Statistics was created as an agency of the State Board of Health. It houses some birth records but others have been transferred to the State Archives. Records housed at the Delaware Bureau of Vital Statistics are restricted to those with an interest or a need to prove ownership rights.

Birth and deaths were recorded to better serve public health needs. 

Birth records are considered to be primary source records. Information in these records is usually reliable.

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Don't overlook FHL Place Delaware items or FHL Keyword United States, Delaware items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see Delaware Archives and Libraries.

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Contributing to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

“Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the “Show Citation” box: Delaware State Birth Records, 1861-1922

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.


Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"Delaware, State Birth Records, 1861-1922" Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Bureau of Archives and Records Management. Hall of Records, Dover.
"Delaware Baptisms, 1697-1886" Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Bureau of Archives and Records Management. Hall of Records, Dover.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 17 June 2014, at 21:17.
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