How to Find New Jersey Birth Records

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United States Gotoarrow.png US Vital Records Gotoarrow.png How to Find United States Births Gotoarrow.png New Jersey Gotoarrow.png Vital Records Gotoarrow.png New Jersey Births


The first laws requiring town clerks to register vital records were made in 1675 and 1682, but few clerks complied. In 1848 New Jersey became the second state (after Massachusetts) to require statewide registration, but the early registration was not complete. At least 100,000 births in the period before 1920 were not recorded.

Next Step: When did the birth occur?

Birth Records
Choose a time period:

Learn more about U.S. Birth Records

Births before 1848

Town clerks were required to keep records of births in the town from the time of formation. New Jersey towns are like western townships, so several populated places are in each town. Official records were recorded by town name rather than populated place. Early town clerks put birth records in town records but compliance was low.

If you do not find the birth information in the town records where your ancestor was born, you may need to look at substitute records to locate your ancestor’s birth date and place.

  Records that give birth information:
Birth Records
Cemetery Records
Newspapers
Church Records
Census
Military Records
Return to top: Choose another birth year


Births from 1848 up to 100 years from present year

STEP ONE: Find Birth Information

The New Jersey Department of State houses birth records from May 1848 up to 100 years from present year. For births during this time period try the following databases. Try each link.

New Jersey Births Databases - Includes Index Only
Try 1st:
1660-1980, New Jersey, Births and Christenings Free; Name index to birth, baptism and christening records from the State of New Jersey on FamilySearch Historical Record Collection
Try 2nd:
1848 to 1867 New Jersey statewide indexes to births and deaths Free; Births from 1848 through 1867 are indexed in the International Genealogical Index (IGI) online at FamilySearch Historical Record Collection
Next try:
Ancestry database: Includes Index Only
Choose one of the following:

1660-1931 New Jersey, Births and Christenings Index- use Ancestry Institution at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center

1660-1931 New Jersey Births and Christenings Index - use your own Ancestry subscription $, To obtain a subscription to Ancestry; Ancestry is often available for free through your local public library
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 New Jersey Department of State
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

There are NO restrictions for obtaining birth records for a person born more than 100 years ago.

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 New Jersey Department of State will do one 2 year search.

There are NO restrictions for obtaining birth records for a person born more than 100 years ago.

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 within last 100 years

STEP ONE: Find Birth Information

The New Jersey Department of Health houses birth records from 100 years ago to the present year. For births during this time period try the following databases. Try each link.

New Jersey Births Databases - Includes Index Only
Try 1st:
1660-1980, New Jersey, Births and Christenings Free; Name index to birth, baptism and christening records from the State of New Jersey on FamilySearch Historical Record Collection
Try 2nd:
1848 to 1867 New Jersey statewide indexes to births and deaths Free; Births from 1848 through 1867 are indexed in the International Genealogical Index (IGI) online at FamilySearch Historical Record Collection
Next try:
Ancestry database: Includes Index Only
Choose one of the following:

1660-1931 New Jersey, Births and Christenings Index- use Ancestry Institution at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center

1660-1931 New Jersey Births and Christenings Index - use your own Ancestry subscription $, To obtain a subscription to Ancestry; Ancestry is often available for free through your local public library
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 New Jersey Department of Health
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 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 within the last 100 years from the government agency, you must meet the following requirements:

For a Genealogical Birth Certificate

  • The person on the certificate must be DECEASED.
  • The birth occurred more than 80 years ago.

For additional information visit New Jersey Department of Health, Getting copies of Genealogical records

For a Certified Birth Certificate (non-genealogical record)

  • The person on the certificate must have been born in the last 80 years.
  • You must be able to fully identify the record.
  • Provide required identification.

For additional information visit New Jersey Department of Health, Getting copies of Non-Genealogical 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


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