Texas Birth Certificates (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1935
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Texas, United States|
|Flag of Texas|
|Location of Texas|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These RecordsTell Me?
- 3 Collection Contents
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Known Issues With This Collection
- 7 Citing This Collection
- 8 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in This Collection?
This collection contains birth certificates for the years 1903 to 1935, from the state of Texas, housed at the Vital Statistics Unit of the Texas Department of Health in Austin. Each birth was recorded on a one-page, preprinted form. Delayed birth records are birth records created years after the birth and after acceptable documents and affidavits have been presented to the probate court.
As early as 1873 some cities and towns in Texas had authorized the registration of births and deaths. For a brief period from 1873 to 1876, the county recorders also recorded births. In 1901, Congress passed a resolution asking states to gather information about the births and deaths that occur within their borders. Many states responded, but because Congress did not fund the request, it took several years until all the states were keeping these records consistently. Statewide registration of births began in 1903 with the formation of the Texas Department of Public Health. By the late 1920s, over 80 percent of the births occurring in Texas were recorded.
Birth records were usually filled out by a witness, midwife, or a medical professional. The certificate was then sent to the county, and the county sent a copy to the state. The records are intact and are being preserved under good conditions although some records may have been damaged or destroyed during their transfer to state officials. The state required counties to begin recording births to document the occurrence of a birth and to track public health issues. Delayed registration of births allowed persons whose birth was not recorded to obtain a birth certificate, usually in order to receive government benefits.The birth date and place, residence, and other facts that were current at the time the birth occurred are quite reliable, though there is still a chance of misinformation. Other data such as the parents' age or birth place have a greater chance of error because they are based on the memory of the informant.
What Can These RecordsTell Me?
Birth records usually include the following information:
- Full name and gender of child
- Date and place of birth
- Names of parents, including maiden name of mother
- Parents' place of residence
- Parents' age(s) and their birthplace
- Parents race and occupation
- Number of children now living
Delayed birth records usually include the following information:
- Child’s name and gender
- Child's birth date and place of birth
- Names of witnesses to verify birth
Coverage Table and Map
A table and map showing the number of records per county is available here. This page also includes a chart showing the number of records per year. Most of the records in the collection are from the time periods listed in the table; however, the collection may have a few records from before or after the time period. Records where the exact county could not be easily identified due to incomplete information in the index as listed in the table as Texas (State), but are not graphed on the map.
Digital Folder List
This collection was published as a DGS browse collection. These collections do not include any human-readable waypoint data making them difficult to use. A table showing each DGS number and its contents can be found in Texas Birth Certificates Digital Folder Number List. The list can be sorted by DGS number, GS number, year, film note, author and title with a link to the FamilySearch Catalog record.
How Do I Search This Collection?
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 location or date of the event
Search the Index
View the Images
To view images in this collection:
- Look at the Digital Folder Number List article to determine the folder/film number for the images you want to see
- Go to the Browse Page
- Select the Film number to view the images
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1935. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see images.|
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. Keep track of your research in a research log.
What Do I Do Next?
If these are indexes, the original records may contain additional information than was not indexed, or the information might have been indexed incorrectly. You may want to search for the original record at the Texas, United States Genealogy.
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?
- Search for other vital records, such as marriage and death records
- Use the information found in the record to find additional family members in census records
- Use the information found in the record to find probate records
- Use the information found in the record to find land records
- If applicable, search for immigration and naturalization records as well
I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?
- If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives
- If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby town or county
- Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name
- Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names, or even initials
Consult the Texas Research Tips and Strategies and its Record Finder to search other records.
Known Issues With This Collection
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to email@example.com. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
Citing This Collection
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
- Collection Citation
- "Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1935." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Citing Bureau of Vital Statistics. State Registrar Office, Austin.
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.
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.