How to Find United States Birth Records
Start Here: Where Did the Birth Occur?
To find a birth record, choose the state the birth occurred:
- What if you don't know the state? — Go to How to Estimate Birth Information
Tips about Searching United States Birth Records
- Most states began recording births between 1900 and 1930, but each started a different year. For example,
- New England states started recording births on the town level starting as early as the first residents of the town. New England states consist ofConnecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont,and New Hampshire.
- Some states began recording births on the county level as early as the 1860s.
- Restrictions: Births after 1900 often have restrictions on who can see them. Each state has its own laws. One state may have births for some years available to everyone while other states may limit access to relatives.
Frequently Asked Questions about United States Birth Records
How do I find my ancestor’s birth record?
- Use the How to Find US Birth Records wiki page
- Check online indexes and digital images
- Check repositories, such as archives and libraries (FHL)
- Obtain certificate from the government agency ($$)
Why would I want to search for a birth record?
- May give the exact date and place where the child was born
- May indicate where the parents were born
- Help you extend a generation to the parents of the child.
What information does a birth record include?
Information gathered by state and county officials differs from each state. Generally the following was included:
- Name of child
- Birth date and place of child
- Father’s name
- Mother’s name including maiden
- Birthplaces of parents