Obtaining a Birth Certificate

If you are trying to locate someone or build a set of control data about them you will definitely need a copy of their Birth Certificate and this you can easily accomplish by accessing State and County databases online.   It will also facilitate an address search.

A Birth Certificate contains all the pertinent data concerning the recorded birth of a human being, including their full name, specific date of birth, location, names of mother and father, mother maiden name, and attending physician.

Birth records, which are usually widely available from as far back as the early 1900s (vital records typically were not compiled before that time), are generally issued by the state and local government in which the individual was born.

There is no Federal Law governing the documentation and filing of these records, so each State enacted their own laws around the turn of the Century, but the accessing of this information is also generally specific to that State or County and is relatively easy to complete.

Birth records can provide an individual with a plethora of valuable information on another individual.   They can be very useful when researching an ancestor’s or relative’s birth for genealogy purposes.  You can also trace the lineage of adopted persons by using this document, as legally adopted persons have their lineage listed on a modified record, reflecting their adoptive parents in lieu of birth parents.

You will need to access and obtain a birth certificate through the appropriate office in the State or County where that date is kept.   A simple visit to this office, along with a written request and a small fee, can produce the birth records for nearly any individual, provided you come armed with a certain amount of information on that individual.  There are some states that require an official request for a birth record so you may have to utilize a people finder.

To find the address of your state or local vital records office, you can contact the National Center for Health Statistics by either calling them at (301) 458-4636 or by visiting www.cdc.gov/nchs.

Once you arrive at your state or local vital records office, you will need the following information: 

•        Full name of the person on which you are requesting the birth record

•        The sex of the individual

•        The parents’ names, including the mother’s maiden name

•        The city of birth

•        The reason for requesting the birth record

The more complete your set of qualifying data on the person the better your chances of getting the correct birth certificate.  The appropriate agency that maintains the vital records for the county or state will typically charge a small fee for providing a certified copy of the Certificate.

All states now have online databases for birth records as well.  This makes the entire process of locating and obtain the birth certificate much easier than in years past.  If you need a certified printed copy of the BC document you will typically need to visit that agency in person, but if all you need is an information copy this can almost always be obtained via the internet.

If you are trying to find a person from another country you may be able to accomplish this online as well. There are also many online searchable databases that allow individuals to search for birth records from other countries.  Internet access to worldwide records of this nature have made the process much easier to accomplish.

Genealogy References

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