Birth Certificate

The birth certificate is the first vital record of a person's life, and it is a primary source for genealogical research.

The hard data recorded on the birth certificate can solve some genealogical puzzles and provide exciting new leads. The most common information you may find on the birth certificate is:

  • the name of the child
  • the date and place of birth
  • the full names of both parents

  Some localities include extra data on the birth certificate, such as:

  • the father's profession,
  • the place of birth for each parent,
  • the age of the mother and father
  • the mother's maiden name

You can sometimes even learn whether the child's father and mother were citizens of the United States, whether they had other children, and if so, how many were still living at the time.

Birth certificates, like other vital records, were mandated by law starting around 1910.  Consequently, if you are researching individuals born before that year, you may have a harder time tracking down birth records.

A birth certificate may help you find a new leaf for your family tree. can help you find entire branches., the original online global family tree, offers you the opportunity to link up your research with the research of others who are looking at the same family lines.

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