User:HardestyPN/Sandbox Births pre 1863

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Finding U.S. Birth Records go to West Virginia Birth Records go to Births Before 1863


West Virginia became a state in 1863. Before 1863, it was a part of Virginia. Virginia began recording births on the county level starting in 1852. Not every birth was registered in each county leaving gaps in the records. Before 1852, no births were recorded by the county or state. You must search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s birth date and place.

If the Birth was Before 1853

Because no birth records were created before 1853 by the local or federal government, you must use substitute records to locate birth information.

Substitutes for birth record information:

  • Church Records: Depending on the denomination, church records may contain information about birth, marriage and death.
  • Cemetery Records: Cemetery records are a rich source of birth and death information. These records may also reveal family relationships.
  • Census: Census records are a valuable source for birth and marriage information. You may also determine approximate time of death when the individual disappear from the census. This is a good place to begin a search.
  • Newspapers: Besides obituaries, local newspapers may contain birth and marriage announcements and death notices. Also check newspaper social columns for additional information.
  • Military Records: Military pension records can give birth, marriage and death information. In addition, soldiers' homes records can include this same information.

If the Birth was Between 1853 to 1863

Not all births were recorded for every county. For those that exist, use the following:

Index and Records

Index Only

  • If you did not get results, type in less information about the person. Try only searching for the first and last name of the person.
  • If you have too many hits, try adding information including approximate birth date and the county.
  • Try a different index. Different indexes use different search parameters and your ancestor may be located in one but not the other.

If the Birth was after 1863

Return to the West Virginia Birth Records wiki page to choose a different date