District of Columbia Birth Returns (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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District of Columbia, Birth Returns, 1874-1897 .
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
District of Columbia, United States
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Location of District of Columbia
Record Description
Record Type Birth Returns
Collection years 1874-1897
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of images of birth returns and birth index registers from the Health Department in Washington, D.C. for the years 1874 to 1897. The birth returns name the parents but do not name the child.

For a list of records by dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for District of Columbia, Birth Returns, 1874-1897.

Collection Content

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, ultimate rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. The District of Columbia collections are available only to members of the supporting organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints using the FamilySearch website but can be viewed by all users at a FamilySearch Center near you.

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The records usually include the following information:

  • Birth date of child
  • Birth place of child
  • Number of child of Mother
  • Race or Color
  • Gender
  • Mother's Maiden Name
  • Mother's Birthplace
  • Mother's Residence
  • Full name of Father
  • Father's Occupation
  • Father's Birthplace

How Do I Search the Collection

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • Name of the child
  • Identifying information such as the parents names, the birth place and approximate birth date

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search this collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "Record Type, Number, and Year Range" which takes you to the images

There are indexes available in these collections. The indexes are located in individual folders titled Birth Index. The Index will be used to find the parents of the birth child. Find your ancestors name and look for the number located by their name. This will help you find the record you are looking for in the collection.

Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.

What Do I Do Next?

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.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • 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.
  • The father’s occupation can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
  • The parent’s 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.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities

Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"District of Columbia Birth Returns, 1874-1897" Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Health Department. Records Office, Washington D.C.

Image Citation

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for District of Columbia, Birth Returns, 1874-1897.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.