Virginia, Richmond Birth Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Virginia, Richmond City Birth Index, 1870-1912 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Henrico, Virginia, United States
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Flag of Virginia
US Locator Map Virginia Henrico.PNG
Location of Henrico County, Virginia
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Location of Virginia
Record Description
Record Type Birth Index
Collection years 1870-1912
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of a card index to births in the city of Richmond, Virginia for the years 1870 to 1912. The cards are generally arranged alphabetically by the surname and given name(s) of the individual. Many of the cards are typed.

Virginia registration of births, deaths, and marriages began on a county level in 1853 and continued until 1896. Many counties abandoned registration during the Civil War, or recorded only a small percentage of events. Except in some independent cities, records were not kept between 1896 and 14 June 1912, when statewide registration of vital statistics began. Early records, 1853–96, have been microfilmed and are available at The Library of Virginia and the Family History Library. Marriage bonds and licensing were in place from the 1600s in Virginia, though are sporadic and fragmented. They are usually found among the county levels of records, and are often published.

Collection Content

Sample Image

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The key genealogical facts in these birth indexes generally include the following information:

  • Full date of birth
  • Race of Child and Parents
  • Full name of Father
  • Child's given name
  • Full name of Mother
  • Certificate number

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search in the index you need to know the following:

  • Child's name
  • Approximate birth date
  • General birth place

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information 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 compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒ Select the "Film" category which takes you to the images

With either search 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. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 help establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • The information in birth records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • 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.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
  • 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.

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:

"Virginia, Richmond City Birth Index, 1870-1912." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Library of Virginia, Richmond.

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 Virginia, Richmond City Birth Index, 1870-1912.


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 Virginia, Richmond City Birth Index, 1870-1912.


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.