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Finding West Virginia Birth Records

West Virginia was created in 1863 from Virginia. Statewide registration of births began in 1917 in West Virginia and was generally complied with by 1925. The counties have copies of these records.

Next Step: When did the birth occur?

Births After 1969

If you know the exact date of birth, you can order a copy of the certificate if you are:

  • 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 are one of those listed above, order a copy of the birth certificate from the Vital Registration office.

If you do not know the exact date of death:
For a fee, the Vital Registration office will do a 3 year search.

Choose another birth year


Births Between 1931 to 1969

Between 1931 and 1969, It is a two-step process to get the birth certificate.

STEP ONE: Find the birth in the Index

Index Only

  • 1853-1969 West Virginia, Births Index, 1853–1969 at Ancestry.com
-Ancestry Subscription version - $
-Ancestry Library edition - free at FamilySearch Centers and Library

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

Persons born within the last 100 years:
To obtain a copy of the birth certificate for those born within the last 100 years, 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 are one of those listed above, order a copy of the birth certificate from the Vital Registration office.

If you do not know the exact date of death:
For a fee, the Vital Registration office will do a 3 year search.

Choose another birth year


Births Between 1853 to 1930

In 1863, West Virginia was created a state from Virginia. Earlier in 1853, Virginia passed a law requiring counties to record births although not all counties complied or continued to record them on a consistent basis. Statewide registration of births began in 1917.

For birth records that exist, use the following:

Index and Records

Choose another birth year


Births Before 1853

Before 1853, no births were recorded by the county or state. Search other records to locate your ancestor’s birth date and place. Substitutes for birth record information:

  Search first  Then search
Death Records
Cemetery Records
Newspapers
Church Records
Census
Military Records
Choose another birth year


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