Washington, King County Delayed Births (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Washington, King County Delayed Births, 1941-1942 .

Record Description

This collection includes records created in King County, Washington, during 1941 and 1942 for people who applied for delayed birth certificates. Delayed certificates can be issued for people whose birth was not recorded at the time of the event. The records were created in the 1940s, but the actual births occurred earlier.

Individuals who were born prior to 1907, or who did not have a birth certificate, may have applied for a delayed birth certificate at a superior court or at the State Department of Health. Washington began keeping delayed birth records in 1907. Many unrecorded births were finally registered during World War II or as people applied for Social Security.

The records cover the years 1941 and 1942. 

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics. Washington, King County, delayed birth certificates. Washington State Archives, Bellevue, Washington.

Record Content

Washington, King County Delayed Birth Records DGS 4299163 14.jpg

Delayed birth records usually contain the following information:

  • Name of person requesting delayed birth certificate
  • Current residence
  • Name of child for whom certificate is requested
  • Child's date and place of birth
  • Name of any attendee at birth
  • Father's name, current residence, race and birthplace
  • Mother's maiden name, current residence, race and birth place
  • Names and affidavits of two (2) witnesses and their residence

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • Child's name
  • Birthdate
  • Birth place
  • Parents' names

Search the Collection

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors 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.

For help searching the collection view the on-line demonstration FamilySearch Search Tips.

Using the Information

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. For example:

  • 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.
  • 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 can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • 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.
  • The information in birth records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from record to record.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Check for variant spellings of the names.
  • Look for an index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the records of nearby counties.

General Information About Delayed Birth Records

Births were recorded for public health purposes. Birth certificates were also issued to individuals as legal documents. In cases where an individual’s birth had not been recorded, it was not uncommon for that individual to apply for a delayed birth registration since the certificate was needed to receive government benefits.

Related Websites

Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Region 

Related Wiki Articles

Washington Vital Records

Contributions to This Article

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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

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A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.