Texas Birth Certificates (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1935 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Texas, United States
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Flag of Texas
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Location of Texas
Record Description
Record Type Birth
Collection years 1903-1935
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites



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. 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 these RecordsTell Me?

Birth records usually include the following information:

  • Full name and gender of child
  • Date and place of birth
  • Legitimate?
  • 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


Collection Content

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.

Sample Image


How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know at least some of the following:

  • The name of your ancestor.
  • The approximate date of birth.
  • The place where the birth occurred.
  • The names of the child's parents.

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information in the list to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if it is the correct person. You may need to compare several persons in the list before you find your ancestor.

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page.


For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the information to find other records such as marriage, census, church, land and death records. .
  • Use the occupations to find employment or military records.
  • Use the information to establish a migration pattern and find additional family members.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of Texas, United States Genealogy.
  • Search in the Texas Archives and Libraries.

Known Issues with This Collection

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See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

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 support@familysearch.org. 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.  

Collection Citation:

"Texas, Birth Certificates, 1903-1935." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. 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.

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 Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1935.

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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.