Texas Birth Certificates (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1935 .
This Collection will include records from 1903 to 1935.
Each birth was recorded on a one-page, preprinted form. Delayed birth records are birth records created many years after the birth and after acceptable documents and affidavits have been presented to the probate court.
As early as 1873 some cities and towns in Texas had authorized the registration of births and deaths. For a brief period from 1873 to 1876, the county recorders also recorded births.
In 1901, Congress passed a resolution asking states to gather information about the births and deaths that occur within their borders. Many states responded, but because Congress did not fund the request, it took several years until all the states were keeping these records consistently.
Statewide registration of births began in 1903 with the formation of the Texas Department of Public Health. By the late 1920s, over 80 percent of the births occurring Texas were recorded.
Birth records were usually filled out by a witness, midwife, or a medical professional. The certificate was then sent to the county, and the county sent a copy to the state. The records are intact and are being preserved under good conditions although some records may have been damaged or destroyed during their transfer to state officials.
The state required counties to begin recording births to document the occurrence of a birth and to track public health issues. Delayed registration of births allowed persons whose birth was not recorded to obtain a birth certificate, usually in order to receive government benefits.
The birth date and place, residence, and other facts that were current at the time the birth occurred are quite reliable, though there is still a chance of misinformation. Other data such as the parents' age or birth place have a greater chance of error because they are based on the memory of the informant.
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.
- Texas Department of Health. Bureau of Vital Statistics. Birth certificates. Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics, Austin.
Key genealogical facts found in the birth entries usually include the following information:
- Name of child
- Date and place of birth
- Full name of father
- Full maiden name of mother
- Place of birth for the father and mother
- Residence or address of parents
- Occupation of father and mother
- Number of children born to this mother, including present birth
Key genealogical facts found in the delayed birth records usually include the following information:
- Child’s name
- Birth date
- Sex of Child
How to Use the Record
To begin your search it is helpful to know the name and other identifying information such as birthdate or place.
Search the Collection
Fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.
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.
- If you are unable to find your ancestor check for variant spellings of the names
Known Issues with This Collection
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
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Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1935," database and digital images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 3 April 2012), Alandreo Peterson (1919).