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.
Access the records: Delaware Baptisms, 1861-1922 .

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 by name fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person.

If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection by image.
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "Film Number" which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

With either search 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.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article [FamilySearch Tips and Tricks].

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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Contributing to This Article

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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 25 September 2014, at 11:50.
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