Texas Birth Certificates (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1935 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Texas, United States
Texas flag.png
Flag of Texas
US Locator Texas.png
Location of Texas
Record Description
Record Type Birth
Collection years 1903-1935
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites



What Is in the 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 many 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 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
  • Legitimate?
  • 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

Collection Contents

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.

Sample Image

How Do I Search the 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

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

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.

For more tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.


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 Who I Was Looking For, What Now?

I Can’t Find Who 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. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Check the info box above for additional FamilySearch websites and related websites that may assist you in finding similar records.

Known Issues With This Collection

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See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

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 support@familysearch.org. 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.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1935.

Image Citation:

When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1935.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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