Birth Records


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Delayed Birth Records

What is a Delayed Birth Certificate?

When a citizen’s birth registration has not been filed within the first year, a different form will have to be submitted along with certain documents that serve as supporting evidence. The form that is filed more than 1 year after a citizen’s birth is known as a Delayed Birth Certificate.

Delayed birth certificates can be filed any time after the established period of 1 year past the citizen’s birth has been exceeded.



What year did each states begin recording birth records?

  • Alabama - In 1881, Alabama began requiring counties to record births, although not all counties complied or continued to record them on a consistent basis. Birth registers during this period usually do not list the name of the child. 
  • Alaska - Territory-wide registration of births began in 1913 in Alaska. Currently, there are minimal online ind​​​​exes to Alaska births from 1913 to the present.​​​​​​
  • Arizona - Records dating from 1855 are available for a few counties. In July 1909, counties began sending birth records to the state for registration.
  • Arkansas - In 1881, some Arkansas counties and cities, such as Little Rock and Fort Smith, began recording births.
  • California - Before 1905, no birth records were maintained by the state, but some were recorded by counties.
  • Colorado - In 1876, some Colorado counties began recording births. Delayed birth records also exist for this period. 
  • Connecticut - Birth records were kept by each town clerk. Early town clerks put birth records in town records and in land records. After about 1850, birth information was only put in town records. Town clerks were usually good at recording birth information. The towns continue to keep birth records. These are described further in Connecticut Town Records.
  • Following the Revolutionary War to about 1870, records were not always recorded.

    In 1870, the State Board of Health established. Record keeping in towns improved. 

    Connecticut towns are like western townships, so several populated places are in a town's borders. The name of the town is used in official records rather than the name of the populated place.

  • Delaware - Delaware did not have birth registration on a statewide level until 1881.
  • District of ColumbiaBefore 1874, no births were recorded by the District.
  • Florida - In 1899, Florida began statewide registration of births with general compliance by 1920. Currently, there is not a complete index online to Florida birth certificates from 1899 to the present.
  • GeorgiaIn 1919, Georgia began statewide registration of births. Currently, there is not a complete index online to Georgia birth certificates from 1919 to the present.
  • Hawaii - Statewide registration of births began in 1842 in Hawaii, but most records begin in 1896, with general compliance by 1929. Delayed birth records also exist. 
  • Idaho - Idaho statewide registration of births began in 1911. Currently, there are no complete online indexes to Idaho births from 1911 to the present.
  • Illinois - Before 1877, only a few counties in Illinois recorded birth records.
  • Indiana - Statewide registration of births began in 1907. Prior to October 1907, records of birth are filed only with the local health department in the county where the birth occurred.
  • Iowa - In 1880, Iowa was created a state from Iowa Territory. Iowa began to register vital records during the 1870s, but most county records began in 1880, when a state law took effect requiring counties to record births. Statewide registration of births began July 1, 1880. County registrars do not have birth records for the years 1921 to 1941
  • Kansas - Before 1911 no births were recorded by the state. Between about 1885 and 1911 a few births were recorded at the counties or city clerk's offices in register volumes. Not all of these registers have survived.
  • Kentucky - In 1852, Kentucky passed a law requiring counties to record births. This law was repealed in 1862. Registration was again attempted from 1874 to 1879 and sporadically from 1892 to 1910. Delayed records of births before 1911 exist.
  • LouisianaBefore 1911, no births were recorded by the state. Some individual parishes recorded births before 1911, notably Orleans Parish, which began in 1790.
  • Maine Before 1892, birth records were kept by individual town clerks or selectmen. Although some towns have existed since the 1650s, most records date from about 1700. Some of these records have been indexed.
  • Maryland
    • A very few births were recorded in colonial Maryland but not many survived.
    • Birth registration started in 1865.
    • 1875 Baltimore City began recording births.
    • 1898 All counties in Maryland began recording births, although full compliance did not happen until about 1910.
    • Birth records are restricted for 100 years to immediate family members.
  • Massachusetts - Towns have been recording births in Massachusetts since the 1600s. Statewide registration began in 1841.
  • Michigan - Michigan was admitted into the Union on January 26, 1837, as the 26th state. Death records for each county, with copies also sent to the state, began no later than January 1867, although registration of all vital records was certainly not enforced. A 1905 law required more effective record keeping and was generally complied with by 1915.
  • Minnesota - 
    • 1858 - Minnesota law required counties to record births. A very few records exist from 1840.
    • The state of Minnesota was created from the Minnesota Territory in 1858.
    • 1870 Legislation ordered recording of county vital records.
    • 1908 - Minnesota Statewide birth registration began.
  • Mississippi - Statewide registration of births began in 1912 in Mississippi. Before 1912, no births were recorded by the state. Some counties recorded births as early as 1879.
  • Missouri - In 1821, the state of Missouri was created from the Missouri Territory. Statewide registration of births began in 1910.
    • Missouri was created from Missouri Territory in 1821
    • Between 1883 and 1893 Missouri law recommended county clerks record births. This also included the independent City of St. Louis.
    • 1910 - Missouri Statewide birth registration began
  • Montana - Statewide registration of births began in 1907 in Montana. Currently, there are no online indexes to Montana births from 1907 to the present.
  • Nebraska - In 1867, Nebraska was created a state from the Nebraska Territory.
    • A few Nebraska counties began recording births before statewide registration
    • 1869 - City of Omaha began recording birth records
    • From 1889, Lincoln began recording births
    • 1904 - Nebraska Statewide birth registration began
    • 1920 - Nebraska Statewide birth registration was generally complied
  • Nevada - Statewide registration of births began in 1911 in Nevada.
  • New Hampshire - Town clerks in New Hampshire have been keeping record of births since the 1600s. In 1866, law required town clerks to send copies of birth records to the state government. Between 1866 and 1905, compliance was not enforced and many birth records were not sent to the state.
  • New Jersey - The first laws requiring town clerks to register vital records were made in 1675 and 1682, but few clerks complied. In 1848 New Jersey became the second state (after Massachusetts) to require statewide registration, but the early registration was not complete. At least 100,000 births in the period before 1920 were not recorded.
  • New Mexico - In 1907, counties began recording births. Records dating from the 1880s are available for very few counties. Statewide registration of births began in 1920 in New Mexico with general compliance by 1930.
  • New York - Before 1847, no births were recorded by New York State. In 1847, New York State passed a law requiring that doctors and midwives report births, marriages, and deaths to the trustees of local school districts. Due to the complexities of this law, it quickly fell into disfavor and few communities reported births after 1850 (with many discontinuing after the 1847-1848 time period). Extant records for this time period are either held by the local village, town, or city clerk or by the county clerk.
  • North Carolina - Before 1913, no births were recorded by the county or state (exceptions being the cities of Raleigh (births begin 1890) and Wilmington (births begin 1904)). Delayed birth records are kept by each county's Register of Deeds.
  • North Dakota - North Dakota became a state in 1889, and was created from the Dakota Territory. In 1893 a state law was enacted requiring registration of births. This law was repealed in 1895 and then reenacted in 1899. When the State Department of Vital Records was formed in 1923 all prior records kept by the counties were to be sent to the state. Birth records from 1893 can be obtained from the Department of Vital Records.
  • Ohio - In 1803, Ohio was created from Ohio Territory. Statewide registration of births began in 1908 in Ohio. Records before 1908 are found in the Probate Court in the county where the birth occurred. The Ohio History Connection has copies of birth records for many counties from 1867. County-level registrations of births and deaths began in 1867 and were kept by the probate court; however, they are incomplete. A few counties have records dating from the 1840s. These records include the names of the parents and their place of residence. The obligatory recording on a state level of births and deaths in Ohio began 20 December 1908. Birth records prior to 20 December 1908 are available from the probate court of the county where the event occurred. 
  • OklahomaBefore 1891, no births were recorded by the county or state.. Statewide registration of births began in 1908 in Oklahoma with general compliance by 1930. Currently, there are no Oklahoma birth records available online. Some Oklahoma counties kept birth records as early as 1891. They are held at county courthouses. Delayed birth records also exist.
  • Oregon - As early as 1871, some Oregon counties and cities recorded births. Delayed birth records also exist. Oregon statewide registration of births began in 1903.
  • Pennsylvania - Before 1852, no births were recorded by the county or state. One of the original thirteen colonies, Pennsylvania was a late comer to the keeping of vital records on a state level. Between 1852-1855 Pennsylvania counties were directed to record births within their jurisdiction. However few counties complied. In 1893 counties were again required to record births within their jurisdiction. This law had a better response and remained in effect until 1906 when the state of Pennsylvania began to record births on a statewide level.
  • Rhode Island - Towns began keeping birth records as early as 1636. In 1700 the laws concerning vital records registration were made more specific and the records after that time are more complete. State wide registration of births began in 1853 and was generally complied with by the 1900s. State wide registration of births in Rhode Island began in 1853. Earlier birth records dating back to 1636 were kept by the towns.
  • South Carolina - Before 1915, no births were recorded by the county or state, the exception being the City of Charleston, which recorded births from 1877-1901. Statewide registration of births began in 1915 in South Carolina.
  • South Dakota - South Dakota was created in 1889, from Dakota Territory. In July 1905 South Dakota started its vital records system. Individuals who were born before they started the system were given the opportunity to file their records with the system. There are many records from the 1800's to the early 1900s that have been filed with the system, but they are not complete. There is a South Dakota birth index site which indexes the birth records that have been filed with them but the births must be at least 100 years old. The earliest birth year they search is 1843. Each organized county is a registration district for vital records. Before 1889, few births were recorded by the county or state. There is a South Dakota birth index site which indexes the birth records that have been filed with them but the births must be at least 100 years old, and the records are not complete. The earliest birth year they search is 1843.
  • Tennessee - Statewide registration of births began in 1914 in Tennessee with general compliance by 1927. Before 1874, no births were recorded by the county or state. In 1874, some Tennessee counties and cities began recording births, but coverage is incomplete. Delayed birth records exist as early as 1869.
  • Texas - Before 1873, no births were recorded by the county or state. As early as 1873, some counties and towns began recording births in Texas. Delayed birth records aka "probate births" also exist. Statewide registration of births began in 1903 in Texas.
  • Utah - Utah were required by law to record birth before 1898. Though not required to do so, Salt Lake City and Ogden began registering births in 1890 and Park City began registering births in 1892. These records are available at the Utah State ArchivesBefore 1890, no births were recorded by the county or state.
    • Births 1898 thru 1905, Births after 1914
  • ​In 1896, Utah was created from the Territory of Utah.

      • 1898 - Utah law required counties to record births
      • 1905 - Utah Statewide registration began
      • 1917 - Utah statewide registration generally complied

    ​During the time period from 1898 to 1905 or later, you may wish to search individual county records.

    • Births from 1905 thru 1913
    • In late 1904, the Utah Dept. of Health assumed responsibility for creating birth certificates for all individuals who were born in Utah.

    • The Utah State Archives has birth certificates from 1905 to 1913.
  • Vermont - Birth records were kept by each town clerk. Early town clerks put birth records in town records and in land records. After about 1850, birth information was only put in town records. Town clerks were usually good at recording birth information. The towns continue to keep birth records today. These are described further in Vermont Town Records.
  • Following the Revolutionary War until about 1870, records were not always recorded. In 1870, the State Board of Health was established and record keeping in towns improved. Vermont towns are like western townships, so several populated places are in a town's borders. The name of the town is used in official records rather than the name of the populated place.

  • Virginia - Before 1853, no births were recorded by the county or state. In 1853, Virginia passed a law requiring counties to record births, although not all counties complied or continued to record them on a consistent basis. Birth registers during the Civil War period (1861-1865) are incomplete. From 1896-1911, births were not recorded. Delayed birth registrations for the years 1896-1912 exist.  Statewide registration of births began in June 1912 in Virginia.
  • Washington - Washington did not record births on the state level at this time. Before 1891, births were not required to be recorded by the county or the state. A few counties began keeping record of births as early as 1869. Delayed birth records may provide early dates.
    • Births 1891 to 1907
      • 1848 – Oregon Territory created, including present day Washington state
      • 1853 – Washington Territory organized
      • 1889 – Washington granted statehood as the 42nd state of the Union
      • 1891 – Washington law required counties to record births
      • 1907 - Statewide registration of births began on July 1
  • West Virginia - 
    • Births from 1853 thru 1912
      • 1853 - Virginia law required counties to record births
      • West Virginia was created from the state of Virginia in 1863
      • From 1853-1879, 15% of the births were recorded
      • From 1880-1920, 65% of the births were recorded
      • 1917 - West Virginia Statewide birth registration began
  • Wisconsin In 1848, Wisconsin was created a state from Wisconsin Territory. The state directed the counties in 1852 to record births, but the directive was largely ignored. Another law was established in 1878 which garnered more support. Statewide registration of births began in 1907.
    • Births from 1853 thru 1907
      • 1852 - Wisconsin law required counties to record births, but this was largely ignored.
      • 1878 - Wisconsin law required counties to records births. This met with better compliance.
      • 1907 - Wisconsin Statewide birth registration began
  • Wyoming - Before 1909, a few counties recorded births, but the records are incomplete. Some delayed birth records exist. Statewide registration of births began in 1909 in Wyoming with general compliance by 1922.

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