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How to Find United States Births Gotoarrow.png Delaware Births

Early 1861-63

Statewide registration of births began in 1861 but was discontinued in 1863.

1881 - Present

Statewide registration was resumed in 1881 and was generally complied with by 1921. The following indexes may be helpful:

Delaware. Bureau of Vital Statistics, Index to Delaware marriages, baptisms, births, and deaths ca. 1680-ca. 1934. Added author:Thomas Holcomb (Manuscript on microfilm.) (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1949). FHL films 6416-6433

Marriage index: District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, Hiawatha, Iowa : The Learning Company. (CD ROM no. 9 pt 339. "...contains informarion on approximately 250,000 individuals who were married between 1740 and 1920 in select Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia." Includes individual's name, name of spouse, marriage date, and city/county wheremarriage took place.

The Delaware Bureau of Vital Statistics has birth records from the past 72 years. You can obtain copies by writing:

Next Step: When did the birth occur?

Birth Records
Choose a time period:

Learn more about U.S. Birth Records

Births before 1861

West Virginia did not exist at this time and was known as the state of Virginia. Before 1853, no births were recorded by the county or state. You must search 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
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Births from 1861 - 1863

  • 1853 - Virginia law required counties to record births
  • West Virginia 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 - West Virginia 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.

Delaware Births Databases - Includes Index and Digital Images
Try 1st:
1853-1930 - At West Virginia 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:
1853-1930 - At FamilySearch.org 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 1864 - 1880

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 West Virginia Department of Health office.

West Virginia Births Databases - Includes Index and Digital Images
Try 1st:
1853-1930 - At West Virginia 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:
1853-1930 - At FamilySearch.org 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 West Virginia 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 West Virginia 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 West Virginia 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 West Virginia 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 West Virginia 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 West Virginia 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 in West Virginia the following restrictions may apply. State law restricts who may obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate. A certified copy may be issued to:

  • The person named on the record
  • The current spouse of the person named on the record
  • The current domestic partner of the person named on the record
  • A parent of the person named on the record
  • A sibling of the person named on the record
  • A child of the person named on the record
  • A grandparent of the person named on the record
  • A person authorized in writing by one of the above. The written authorization must accompany the request and the relationship of the authorizing party to the subject of the record must be clearly explained.
  • A person who can demonstrate that the record is required to protect a personal or property right.
  • If you do not meet one of the above criteria, you cannot receive a certified copy of a birth certificate.
  • An uncertified copy of a birth certificate is available to anyone who applies. An uncertified copy will contain the same information as a certified copy but will not be acceptable for legal purposes, such as obtaining identification.

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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