Texas Birth Certificates (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1935 .
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Texas, United States|
|Flag of Texas|
|Location of Texas|
- 1 What is in the Collection?
- 2 Collection Content
- 3 What Can this Collection Tell Me?
- 4 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Known Issues with This Collection
- 7 Citing this Collection
- 8 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in the Collection?
This collection contains birth certificates for the years 1903 to 1935, from the state of Texas, housed at the Vital Statistics Unit of the Texas Department of Health in Austin.
Coverage Table and Map
A table and map showing the number of records per county is available here. This page also includes a chart showing the number of records per year. Most of the records in the collection are from the time periods listed in the table; however, the collection may have a few records from before or after the time period. Records where the exact county could not be easily identified due to incomplete information in the index as listed in the table as Texas (State), but are not graphed on the map.
Digital Folder List
This collection was published as a DGS browse collection. These collections do not include any human-readable waypoint data making them difficult to use. A table showing each DGS number and its contents can be found in Texas Birth Certificates Digital Folder Number List. The list can be sorted by DGS number, GS number, year, film note, author and title with a link to the FamilySearch Catalog record.
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.
What Can this Collection Tell Me?
Birth records usually include the following information:
- Full name and gender of child
- Date and place of birth
- Names of parents, including maiden name of mother
- Parents' place of residence
- Parents' age(s) and their birthplace
- Parents race and occupation
- Number of children now living
Delayed birth records usually include the following information:
- Child’s name and gender
- Child's birth date and place of birth
- Names of witnesses to verify birth
How Do I Search the Collection?
To begin your search it is helpful to know:
- The name of your ancestor.
- The approximate date of birth.
- The place where the birth occurred.
- The names of the child's parents.
Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
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 birth certificate, 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 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.
I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
- Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
- 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.
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword Texas, Birth Records items in the FamilySearch Catalog.|
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 email@example.com. 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.
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.
- "Texas, Birth Certificates, 1903-1935." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Bureau of Vital Statistics. State Registrar Office, Austin.
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 Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1935.|
|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 Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1935.|
How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
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