How to Find Birth Information in the United States

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United States  Gotoarrow.png  Vital RecordsGotoarrow.png United States Birth Records Gotoarrow.png How to Find Birth Information in the United States

See also United States, How to Use Birth Records


Information about the birth of an individual may be an important element in that individual's identification and differentiating the individual from others with the same or similar names. For example, it not unusual, when a child or infant died, to name the next born child of the same gender with the name of the deceased child. Absent accurate birth information, the second and sometimes succeeding named children may simply be skipped over as duplicates, rather than subsequent births.

Birth information may also be an important element in identifying and individual's parents or other relatives.

But do not confuse "Birth Information" with the concept of a "Birth Certificate." Birth certificates are most commonly issued by civil governments as a proof of citizenship or for other legal reasons. Depending on the part of country and the time frame, birth certificates did not generally become a part of the record system until quite recently. Many records may contain birth information, such as school registration records, that are not at all considered to be birth records. Never limit your search. Almost all kinds of records have the potential to contain birth information.

Scope of this Article

Please note the links to other Wiki articles about birth information at top of this page. Information about the time before the formation of the United States is included as it pertains to that portion of the North American Continent presently occupied by the United States. This article is intended to give you an overview of the types of U.S. records that may contain birth information. This article is by no means exhaustive. You should look to the "Vital Records" topics in each of the states for further information. Many records containing potential birth information also exist on a county, municipality, city, town, or even a village level. You should search all possible levels of documents.

Earliest Records

Birth Records in the 1600s

Birth Records in the 1700s

Birth Records in the 1800s

Birth Records in the 1900s and Later