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How to Find United States Births Gotoarrow.png Maryland Births

  • Some births were recorded in colonial Maryland but not many survived or were ever recorded.
  • Birth registration started in 1865.
  • 1875 Baltimore City began recording births.
  • 1898 All counties in Maryland began recording births, although full compliance did not happen until about 1910.
  • Births are restricted for 100 years to immediate family members.

Next Step: When did the birth occur?

Birth Records
Choose a time period:

Learn more about U.S. Birth Records

Births 1654 thru 1694

Births were to be recorded by the clerk of the county court. Very few records exist.

  • Charles County Court 1654-1706
  • Somerset County Court 1649-1720
  • Talbot County Court 1657-1691
Maryland Birth Index Only Very incomplete
Try:
Michigan, County Marriages, 1820-1867

Free; name index with images online at FamilySearch.

Does not include the following counties: Alger, Alpena, Barry, Eaton, Gladwin, Kalkaska, Kent, Lenawee, Missaukee, Monroe, Montmorency, Oceana, Oscoda, Schoolcraft, and Shiawassee.


Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes


Copies of Birth Records
Copies Birth records may be available from the Maryland State Archives. The archives will search for one name in one index, and provide one document for their fee. Maryland State Archives

Some records may also be available at your local FamilySearch Center. Use the Family History Library Catalog (FHLC) to see what is available.

  • Search the FHLC by county or city.
  • Select the topic Vital Records.
  • For a small fee, order the microfilm to view at a local Family Search Center.


In 1694 the Clerks of the Protestant Episcopal Church were required to keep record of all births, regardless of the family's membership. In addition, other denominations keep their own records of births.


substitute records to locate your ancestor’s birth date and place. 
  Records that give birth information:
Death Records
Cemetery Records
Newspapers
Church Records
Census
Military Records
Return to top: Choose another birth year


Births from 1853 thru 1912

  • 1853 - Virginia law required counties to record births
  • Maryland was created from the state of Virginia in 1863
  • From 1853-1879, 15% of the births were recorded
  • From 1880-1920, 65% of the births were recorded
  • 1917 - Maryland Statewide birth registration began


If you cannot locate your ancestor in the databases below, try searching for birth information in other records.

For births that exist during the time period, try the following databases.

Maryland Births Databases - Includes Index and Digital Images
Try 1st:
1853-1930 - At Maryland Division of Culture and History Free; most counties go to 1930: list of database county coverage (right side of the screen) on WV website; collection also contains delayed birth records
Try 2nd:
Template:RecordSearch& Free; not all counties are complete to 1930: list of database county coverage (right side of the screen) on WV website; collection also contains delayed birth records; click on "view partner website" to see a copy of the image
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No birth record for your ancestor? Other records with birth information
Return to top: Choose another birth year


Births from 1913 thru 1930

STEP ONE: Find Birth Information

Limited births maybe found in the following databases. Try each link. If you do not find your ancestor's birth or if you want order a copy of the certificate, then contact the Maryland Department of Health office.

Maryland Births Databases - Includes Index and Digital Images
Try 1st:
1853-1930 - At Maryland Division of Culture and History Free; most counties go to 1930: list of database county coverage (right side of the screen) on WV website; collection also contains delayed birth records
Try 2nd:
Template:RecordSearch& Free; not all counties are complete to 1930: list of database county coverage (right side of the screen) on WV website; collection also contains delayed birth records; click on "view partner website" to see a copy of the image
Next try:
Ancestry database: Includes Index Only

Choose one of the following:

1853-1969 - use Ancestry Institution at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center

1853-1969 - use your own Ancestry subscription $, To obtain a subscription to Ancestry; Ancestry is often available for free through your local public library
Can't access Ancestry? Go to Step Two: Part B listed below. You may be able to order the birth record for your ancestor from the Maryland Department of Health State Office.
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No birth record for your ancestor? Other records with birth information

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

PART A: You know the exact date of birth

With an exact date (from your records or the index above), you can order a copy of the birth record for a fee from the following locations:

To Order Birth Certificates
From County of Birth From WV Dept. of Health State office
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state County websites can be more difficult to use Offers a search of the state index for an additional fee May be more expensive than ordering from the county

See list of restrictions for ordering birth records

If you do not want to order the birth record, you can search other records with birth information.

PART B: You don't know the exact date of birth

If you do not know the exact date or place of birth:
For a fee, the Maryland Department of Health office will do a 3 year search.

See list of restrictions for ordering birth records

If you do not want to order the birth record, you can search other records with birth information.

Return to top: Choose another birth year


Births from 1931 thru 1969

Limited births maybe found in the following databases. Try each link. If you do not find your ancestor's birth or if you want order a copy of the certificate, then contact the Maryland Vital Registration office.

STEP ONE: Find Birth Information

Ancestry Database: Includes Index Only

Choose one of the following:

1853-1969 - use Ancestry Institution at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center

1853-1969 - use your Ancestry subscription $, To obtain a subscription to Ancestry; Ancestry is often available for free through your local public library
Can't access Ancestry? Go to Step Two: Part B listed below. You may be able to order the birth record for your ancestor from the Maryland Department of Health State Office.
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No birth record for your ancestor? Other records with birth information


STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

PART A: You know the exact date of birth

With an exact date (from your records or the index above), you can order a copy of the birth record for a fee from the following locations:

To Order Birth Certificates
From County of Birth From WV Dept. of Health State office
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state County websites can be more difficult to use Offers a search of the state index for an additional fee May be more expensive than ordering from the county

See list of restrictions for ordering birth records

If you do not want to order the birth record, you can search other records with birth information.

PART B: You don't know the exact date of birth

If you do not know the exact date or place of birth:
For a fee, the Maryland Department of Health office will do a 3 year search.

See list of restrictions for ordering birth records

If you do not want to order the birth record, you can search other records with birth information.

Return to top: Choose another birth year


Births after 1969

PART A: You know the exact date of birth

With an exact date (from your records or the index above), you can order a copy of the birth record for a fee from the following locations:

To Order Birth Certificates
From County of Birth From WV Dept. of Health State office
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state County websites can be more difficult to use Offers a search of the state index for an additional fee May be more expensive than ordering from the county

See list of restrictions for ordering birth records

If you do not want to order the birth record, you can search other records with birth information.

PART B: You don't know the exact date of birth

If you do not know the exact date or place of birth:
For a fee, the Maryland Department of Health office will do a 3 year search.

See list of restrictions for ordering birth records

If you do not want to order the birth record, you can search other records with birth information.

Return to top: Choose another birth year


Restrictions for Obtaining Birth Records

Restrictions for persons born within the last 100 years:
To obtain a copy of the birth certificate for those born within the last 100 years from the government agency, you must be:

  • The person on the certificate
  • The parents and grandparents of person on the certificate
  • The wife or husband of the person on the certificate
  • The children and grandchildren of the person on the certificate
  • The brothers or sisters of the person on the certificate
  • Anyone who has legal interest in the certificate
NOTE: A copy of the birth record cannot be obtained by anyone except those listed above until 100 years have passed from the date of the birth.

If you do not want to order the birth record, you can search other records with birth information.

Return to top: Choose another birth year


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