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United States  Gotoarrow.png  Maryland  Gotoarrow.png  Vital Records Gotoarrow.png Birth

Contents

Maryland Birth Records

Quick Reference

Maryland Birth Records (for Baltimore City after 1874 see next table)

Years Where Can I Get it? Restrictions Indexes/Documents online? Notes
Colonial (1654 to 1776)

Maryland State Archives; 

Family History Library 

None

Transcriptions: Kent, Talbot, & Somerset Counties, various years 

Transcriptions: Kent County, 1694-1707
Transcriptions: Kent County, 1676-1698

Not all births were recorded.
1800-1864 NO BIRTH RECORDS KEPT BY THE COUNTY COURTS      Try Searching church records
1865-1884 Maryland State Archives  None No Not all births were recorded.
1898-1972, County Records Maryland State Archives  Birth records are restricted for 100 years. NO Registration of births can be incomplete until 1914
1973 to Present Division of Vital Records   Birth records are restricted for 100 years. Can only provide individual’s certificate for parent, guardian, or legal representative. No  


Baltimore City, Maryland Birth Records


Years Where can I go to get it? Restrictions Indexes/documents online? Notes
Before 1875 Check County Records Above     Try Searching church records
1875 to 1972 Maryland State Archives   None for births occurring over 100 years ago. No Registration of births can be incomplete until 1914
After 1973 Division of Vital Records   Birth records are restricted for 100 years. Can only provide individual’s certificate for parent, guardian, or legal representative. No  

Content

Colonial Period (Up to 1800)

Beginning in 1654, the Maryland General Assembly required the recording all births by the clerk of the county court. Later, the responsibility was assigned to the Clerks of the Protestant Episcopal Vestry.  The Protestant Episcopal Church was required to register all births that occurred – regardless of the parents' religion – until 1776. Other churches also recorded births of their congregation members, thus creating a second recording of some individual's birth.

The information requested normally included:
  • Birth date of child
  • Child’s name
  • Names of parents (sometimes the mother's name was not recorded).

Maryland Births, 1800-1864

During 1800 to 1864, Maryland did not require the recording of any birth information.  Only local churches were recording births occurring during this time period.

County Circuit Court, 1865-1884

Registration of births was reestablished in 1865 and assigned to the county circuit courts by the Maryland General Assembly. Most people did not comply with the new law, which resulted in a small number of births actually being recorded. Church records continue to be a primary source of birth information.

Information on births registers normally included:
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Name of child
  • Names of parents
  • Occupation of father
  • Residence of parents
  • Date of record
  • Usually sex and race of child

Baltimore City, 1875 to 1972

Baltimore City had different laws regarding the recording of births compared to the rest of Maryland. In 1874, the Mayor and City Council required registration of all births that occurred in Baltimore City. This registration requirement lasted until 1972, when the state Division of Vital Records became responsible for all 23 counties and the city of Baltimore. The Maryland State Archives has an 1875 - 1941 index for the Baltimore City births. The index is public even though the birth records are restricted for 100 years.

Information on Baltimore City birth records included:
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Number of child (birth order)
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Names of parents
  • Birthplaces of parents
  • Occupation for father
  • Name and address of medical attendant
  • After 1903, name of child (not commonly reported until 1911)
  • After 1910, residence, race, age and occupation of both parents

Maryland County Birth Records, 1898-1972

A new law by the General Assembly in 1898 required birth registration in Maryland’s 23 counties. Baltimore City was excused from the new law because it had required registration since 1875. The citizens and counties were slow to comply with the registration requirement. A high compliance rate did not occur until approximately 1914.

Information on birth records from 1898 to 1972 include:
  • Name of child
  • Birth date
  • Birth place
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Number of the child (birth order)
  • Living or still born
  • Names of parents
  • Race of parents
  • Occupation of parents
  • Birth place of parents
  • Residence of parents
  • Medical attendant’s name and address

Maryland Births, 1973 to Present 

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Division of Vital Records became the only agency to register births for all 23 counties and Baltimore City beginning in July 1972.

Birth certificates from 1973 to the present include:
  • Name of child
  • Sex
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Parents’ names
  • Parents’ birthplace
  • Parents’ race
  • Parents’ age
  • Parents’ residence
  • Parents’ occupation
  • Number of children previously born to mother
  • Medical attendant name and address


Locating Records

Maryland State Archives

Birth records and indexes located at the Maryland State Archives can be viewed onsite or a research request can be made.  To view fees and how to request information, go to the Maryland State Archives website, Placing Research & Copy Orders.

Below is a list of the necessary information to view or request copies of microfilm and original records that are available at the Maryland State Archives. The list includes birth indexes and birth records available seperated by time period.

Colonial Births (up to 1800)

INDEXES to births
  • Bible and Tombstone Records, Index: Maryland Indexes various dates MSA S1406, Index 32
  • Church Indexes, Birth & Baptism Index: Maryland Indexes 1663-1967, various dates for 13 churches MSA S1401, Index 28 
  • Birth Records, Index: Maryland Indexes, 1649-1720, 1804-1877, 1898-1923, incomplete MSA S1403 Index 30
Birth Records

Births in Circuit Court records from 1865-1884:

  • Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, 1804-1877 MSA C39
  • Baltimore County Circuit Court, 1865-1883 MSA C283
  • Caroline County Circuit Court, 1865-1884 MSA C474
  • Cecil County Circuit Court, 1865-1891 MSA C593
  • Charles County Circuit Court, 1865-1877 MSA T2144
  • Frederick Courty Circuit Court, 1865-1873 MSA C759
  • Kent County Circuit Court, 1865-1873 MSA C1027
  • Montgomery County Circuit Court, 1865-1899 MSA C1116
  • Prince George's County Circuit Court, 1865-1867 MSA C1167
  • Queen Anne's County Circuit Court, 1865-1881 MSA C1358
  • Somerset County Circuit Court, 1865-1870 MSA C1738
  • St. Mary's County Circuit Court, 1865-1867 MSA C1534
  • Washington County Circuit Court, 1865-1867 MSA C1935
  • Worcester County Circuit Court, 1865-1889 MSA C1998

The Maryland State Archives is always receiving additional records. Check the list of “transferred records” to see newly acquisitioned birth records.

County Birth Records from 1898 to 1972

INDEXES to Birth Records:
1898-1909, Board of Health MSA S1035 microfilm
1898-1919, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Division of Vital Records MSA T1332
1910-1919, Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics MSA S1045
1910-1950, Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics MSA SM27;MSA SM35 microfilm 
INDEX to Delayed Birth Records:
1860-1921, Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics MSA SM29 microfilm

There are no indexes from 1951-1972 at the Maryland State Archives

Birth Records (Restricted for births occurring in the last 100 years):
1898-1951, Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics MSA SM35 microfilm
1898-1924, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Division of Vital Records MSA T1886
1951-1969, Department of Health, Division of Vital Records and Statistics MSA SM32 microfilm
1969-1972, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Division of Vital Records MSA SM36 microfilm

Baltimore City Birth Records

INDEXES to Balitmore City Birth Records
1875-1941, Baltimore City Health Department, Bureau of Vital Statistics MSA C2 originalMSA CM1134 microfilm
1918-1941, Baltimore City Health Department, Bureau of Vital Statistics MSA C8

There are no indexes from 1941-1972 at the Maryland State Archives

Baltimore City Birth Records:
1875-1972, Baltimore City Health Department, Bureau of Vital Statistics MSA CM1135 microfilm 
1890-1911, Baltimore City Health Department, Bureau of Vital Statistics MSA C6
1875-1896, 1911-1924, [Baltimore City] Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Division of Vital Records MSA T310
Delayed Balitmore City Birth Records:
1876-1925, Baltimore City Health Department, Bureau of Vital Statistics MSA C2145 

Birth indexes and records are available from 1875 to 1941 for Baltimore City, although actual birth records have restrictions within the last 100 years.

Family History Library

There are some Maryland Colonial birth records available at the Family History Library. The following are links to topics in the Family History Library Catalog that list sources that can be viewed at the Family History Library.  Each source has either a book call number or microfilm number assigned to it. Microfilm records and books can be viewed at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Microfilms and microfiche can be loaned and viewed at local Family History Centers.  Although books from the Family History Library do not circulate, you may be able to find the same title at your local public library, or order it through interlibrary loan (ILL).  Below are links that contain birth record sources for different counties in Maryland:


Department of Health & Mental Hygiene - Division of Vital Records

Birth certificates from 1898 or beginning in 1875 for Baltimore City to the present can be ordered from the Division of Vital Records. However, they are unable to issue certificates for genealogical purposes. If you are not immediately related to the individual, you must order the birth certificate from the Maryland State Archives.

Records are restricted for 100 years after the date of birth unless you are:

  • Requesting your own birth certificate
  • Parent or guardian of indivdiual named on certificate
  • Representative of the individual named on certificate, parent, or guardian


Click here, to download a birth certificate application

To mail in a request:
Division of Vital Records
P.O. box 68760
Baltimore, MD 21215-0036
To call for more information: (410) 764-3038 or (800) 832-3277
To order for same day service with an additional fee, go to Vitalchek.com.

References

Information provided here was taken from the following sources:

Eichholz, Alice. Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry Publishing, c2004).

The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America. (Logan, Utah : Everton Publishers, c2006).

Maryland: Research Outline. (Salt Lake City, Utah : Corp. of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of L.D.S., c1988).

Maryland State Archives

Division of Vital Statistics Department of Health & Mental Hygiene


 

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