Delaware State Birth Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Delaware State Birth Records, 1861-1922 .
This Collection will include records from 1861 to 1933.
Birth returns were turned into the State by county clerks from 1861 until statewide registration began to be enforced. Returns and birth certificates were recorded on pre-printed forms.
Statewide birth records were collected by the State sporadically from 1861, with the majority of the State collection beginning after 1920.
Statewide registration of births began in 1861, was discontinued in 1863 and was resumed in 1881 when physicians and midwives were required to register births with the county Recorder of Deeds. By 1901 returns and certificates began to be reported to the State Board of Health, but that process was not generally complied with until 1921.
In 1913 the Bureau of Vital Statistics was created as an agency of the State Board of Health. It houses some birth records but others have been transferred to the State Archives. Records housed at the Delaware Bureau of Vital Statistics are restricted to those with an interest or a need to prove ownership rights. The city of Wilmington also has a register of vital statistics. By 1921, it is estimated that most births were reported.
Birth and deaths were recorded to better serve public health needs.
Birth records are considered to be primary source records. Information in these records is usually reliable.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- Delaware Bureau of Vital Statistics. Delaware State Birth Records, Delaware Bureau of Archives and Records Management, Dover, Delaware.
Delaware birth records may include:
- Child’s full name
- Date and place of child's birth
- Child's gender and race
- Whether living or stillborn
- Father's name, age, occupation and place of birth
- Mother's maiden name, age and place of birth
- Child's place of order in family
- Parents' place of residence
How to Use the Records
To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:
- Date and place of birth
Search the Collection
To search the collection by name, fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.
Be sure and look at the original image to find additional information.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.
Using the Information
When you have located your ancestor’s birth record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.
- Use the birth date along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
- Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
- The father’s occupation can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
- The parents' birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile birth entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the birth records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born in the same county or nearby.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- The information in birth records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
- There is also some variation in the information given from record to record.
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).
Related Wiki Articles
Contributing to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.