Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States Gotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Philadelphia County

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906 .
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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 Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906 collection is available for online viewing only to members of the supporting organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These records are available on microfilms which may be ordered to your nearest FamilySearch Center for viewing. Please go to the following website for information: Ordering Microfilm or Microfiche

What is in the Collection?

This collection is an index and images of birth registers from the Board of Health in the city of Philadelphia. It includes birth returns filed by physicians, midwives and area hospitals or other facilities. The collection includes records from 1860 to 1906.

Collection Content

The records usually contain the following:

  • Date of Registration in City of Philadelphia
  • Date of birth
  • Name of child
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Place of birth (ward number and street address)
  • Names of parents
  • Occupation of father
  • Name of physician and their residence

How Do I Search the Collection?

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

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth

Search the Collection

To search the collection by name:
Fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals 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 look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Make a photocopy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors. The following examples show ways you can use the information:

  • Use the names and relationships as a basis for compiling family groups.
  • Use the names, date, and residence or place to locate the individual or family in the census.
  • Use the names and places to locate additional records about the individual or family such as church and land records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • You may need to compare the information of more than one family or person to make this determination.
  • If the record is a birth record look for records of the parents.

What if I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?

  • Check for variant spellings of the names.
  • Search the records of neighboring counties.
  • Search for an index. Local historical and genealogical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.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.

Related Websites

City of Philadelphia Department of Records

Related Wiki Articles

Pennsylvania Vital Records

How You Can Contribute

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.


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:

"Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births,1860-1906." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Board of Health. Department of Records.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906.


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 Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906.