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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.
  • Birth records 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 1693

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

STEP ONE: Find Birth Information  

Maryland Birth Index Only
Try: 1st
Maryland, Births and Christenings, 1650-1995 online at FamilySearch

Free; name index,incomplete

Try 2nd:
Ancestry Database - Choose one of the following:

1622-1911 - use Ancestry Institution at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center

1622-1911 - 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 State Archives.
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No birth record for your ancestor? Other records with death information

STEP TWO: Obtain the Record


Copies Birth records may be available from the Maryland State Archives.

To Order Birth Records
You know the birth date from the index You do not know the birth date
Maryland State Archives Maryland State Archives
Request a copy The archives will search for one name in one index, and provide one document for their fee

.

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, then vital records
  • Select the topic Vital Records.
  • For a small fee, order the microfilm to view at a local Family Search Center.
Return to top: Choose another birth year


Births 1694 thru 1864

  • No government records were kept.
  • In 1694 the Clerks of the Protestant Episcopal Church were required to keep record of all births, regardless of the family's membership.
  • Other denominations kept their own records of births.

Copies of Church birth records may be available from the Maryland State Archives or in the Family History Library Catalog.

Church Birth Records
Maryland State Archives Family History Library Catalog
The archives will search for one name in one index, and provide one document for their fee Search for the town where the church was located


Use 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 1865 thru 1897

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

STEP ONE: Find Birth Information  

Maryland Birth Index Only
Try: 1st
Maryland, Births and Christenings, 1650-1995 online at FamilySearch

Free; name index,incomplete

Try 2nd:
Ancestry Database - Choose one of the following:

1622-1911 - use Ancestry Institution at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center

1622-1911 - 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 State Archives.
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No birth record for your ancestor? Other records with death information

STEP TWO: Obtain the Record


Copies Birth records may be available from the Maryland State Archives.

To Order Birth Records
You know the birth date from the index You do not know the birth date
Maryland State Archives Maryland State Archives
Request a copy The archives will search for one name in one index, and provide one document for their fee

.

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 Maryland and the county name.
  • Select the topic Vital Records.
  • For a small fee, order the microfilm to view at a local Family Search Center.
Return to top: Choose another birth year


Births from 1875 thru 1972, Baltimore City

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 1898 thru 1972

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 from 1973 thru 1978

On July 1, 1972, all births, including Baltimore City, began registration with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Division of Vital Records.

  • These records are under the 100-year restriction with access to immediate family only.
  • The index for these birth records is accessible only through the Division of Vital Records.

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 1979 thru present

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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