How to find out where someone was born

Information collected in Census Records may help you to find which jurisdiction you will want to look for vital records in.

For instance, if you find your ancestor's state of birth and approximate year of birth are reported in the census, you can then contact that local jurisdiction regarding their birth records. Certain census years , , and also had mortality schedules were unfortunately destroyed , so you may find someone's death reported if it occurred in the year leading up to the census. Marriage Registers of Freedman , an article from Prologue This article describes the marriage records available for freed slaves and other records about slave families.


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  • Online United States Birth, Marriage, and Death Records • FamilySearch.
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These records are an invaluable source for African-American family history. See links to more resources on African-American Research.

See where and when you were born, and more

Records of the twentieth century may provide additional details, such as the name of the hospital, birthplace of parents, occupation of the parents, marital status of the mother, and the number of other children born to the mother. If no record was filed at the time of an individual's birth, the person, in some jurisdictions, may request a delayed registration of birth by showing proof of the birth as recorded in a Bible, school, census, or church record, or by testimony from a person who witnessed the birth.

Delayed registrations generally did not become common in the United States until after when the Social Security Administration required proof of birth. The registration is usually in the state where the birth occurred.

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The Family History Library has some copies of many delayed certificates, especially for the Midwestern states. A corrected record of a birth may be filed if a name was changed or added. Most corrections require affidavits of eyewitnesses or evidence from other official records.


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The library has microfilm copies of a few of these records. The Social Security Death Index SSDI is a database whose records reveal an individual's full name and residence at time of application, birth and death dates and last known residence.

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A birth record is considered a primary source. Once you have a birth date, you can look far a newspaper announcement that could lead to more information about the family.

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Knowing the birth place can help to locate the family and lead to additional records, such as land records, and city directories. The birth record may also contain the maiden name of the mother and the parents' and child's complete names.

Related by Location

Some birth records also have the name of the hospital and doctor or attendant. In some instances, the birth record may also contain the family's religious affiliation.

How to get a birth certificate

The Family History Library has copies of many death records indexes and death records. These records can be found in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under each of the following approaches:. You can find further information about birth records in research pages available for each state. To request editing rights on the Wiki, click here. From FamilySearch Wiki. United States.