Births and Christenings Vital Record Index Collections (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article contains information about various collections of vital records. See the Related Birth and Christening Vital Record Index Collections to learn more about individual indexes, and to access the records.


What is in This Collection?

These collections are electronic indexes comprised of the following:

  • Indexed church records
  • Civil registrations
  • The Internet indexing project sponsored by the LDS Church

The Vital Record Indexes are not necessarily intended to index any specific set of records. This index is not complete for any particular place or region. These collections may include information previously published in the International Genealogical Index or Vital Records Index collections.

Sometimes we identify a set of entries for a locality and record type that form their own collection. When these are identified and pulled together into the new “complete” collection (usually with images), the entries are removed from the Vital Records Index collection.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Birth and christening index entries usually include (over 98% of the time):

  • Name of the child
  • Gender
  • Names of the parents
  • Birth date
  • Birthplace
  • Christening date (if the source is a church record)
  • Family History Library Microfilm and item numbers for the source materials

Birth and christening index entries sometimes include:

  • Father's birthplace (79% of the time)
  • Mother's birthplace (78% of the time)
  • Race or color (23% of the time)

How Do I Search the Collection?

Search the Index

You can search the index or view the images or both. Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • Name of the person
  • The name of a parent or date of the event

Search the Index

You will be able to search this collection when it is published.


How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.

What Do I Do Next?

Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.

I Found Who I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the information to find other records such as marriage, census, church, land and death records.
  • Use the occupations to find employment or military records.
  • Use the information to establish a migration pattern and find additional family members.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of Canada Genealogy.
  • Search in the Canada Archives and Libraries.
  • Search in the FamilySearch Catalog

Indexing Project (Batch) Numbers

Individual indexing projects were given a unique number called a batch number. The batch numbers listed in this index are links. Clicking on the batch number will display an alphabetical list of all the index entries in that batch.

Finding the Original Source For an Entry in This Collection

Each entry in this index includes a source film number. You may find additional information by searching the film. These film numbers are FamilySearch Catalog numbers. To find more information about a specific FHL film number, search for it in the FamilySearch Catalog.

The following wiki articles have more information on batch numbers:

Related Birth and Christening Vital Record Index Collections

United States

Canada

Other International Localities

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.