Maryland Vital Records: Birth

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Maryland Birth Records

Quick Reference

Maryland Birth Records (for Baltimore City after 1874 see next table)

Years Where Can I Get it? Restrictions Indexes/Documents online? Notes
Colonial (1654 to 1776)

Maryland State Archives; 

Family History Library 

None

Transcriptions: Kent, Talbot, & Somerset Counties, various years 

Transcriptions: Kent County, 1694-1707
Transcriptions: Kent County, 1676-1698

Not all births were recorded.
1800-1864 NO BIRTH RECORDS KEPT BY THE COUNTY COURTS      Try Searching church records
1865-1884 Maryland State Archives  None No Not all births were recorded.
1898-1972, County Records Maryland State Archives  Birth records are restricted for 100 years. No Registration of births can be incomplete until 1914
1973 to Present Division of Vital Records   Birth records are restricted for 100 years. Can only provide individual’s certificate for parent, guardian, or legal representative. No  


Baltimore City, Maryland Birth Records


Years Where can I go to get it? Restrictions Indexes/documents online? Notes
Before 1875 Check County Records Above     Try Searching church records
1875 to 1972 Maryland State Archives   None for births occurring over 100 years ago. No Registration of births can be incomplete until 1914
After 1973 Division of Vital Records   Birth records are restricted for 100 years. Can only provide individual’s certificate for parent, guardian, or legal representative. No  

Content

Colonial Period (Up to 1800)

Beginning in 1654 it was required by the Maryland General Assembly to record all births to the clerk of the county court. Later, the responsibility was given to the Clerks of the Protestant Episcopal Vestry.  The Protestant Episcopal Church was required to register all births that occurred – regardless of the parents' religion – until 1776. Other churches also recorded births of their congregation members, thus creating a second recording of some individual's birth.

The information requested was:
  • Birth date of child
  • Child’s name
  • Names of parents (sometimes the mother was not recorded).

Maryland Births, 1800-1864

During 1800 to 1864, recording births was not required by the Maryland General Assembly.  Only local churches were recording births occurring during this time period.

County Circuit Court, 1865-1884

Registration of births was changed to county circuit court by the Maryland General Assembly in 1865. Many people did not comply with the new law which resulted in a small amount births actually being recorded.

Information on births registered included:
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Name of child
  • Names of parents
  • Occupation of father
  • Residence of parents
  • Date of record
  • Usually sex and race of child

Baltimore City, 1875 to 1972

Baltimore City had different laws regarding the recording of births compared to the rest of Maryland. In 1874, the Mayor and City Council required registration of all births that occurred in Baltimore. This registration lasted until 1972 – even after the state Board of Health began registrating births in 1898. This resulted in two sets of records.

Information on Baltimore City birth records included:
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Number of child (birth order)
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Names of parents
  • Birthplaces of parents
  • Occupation for father
  • Name and address of medical attendant
  • After 1903, name of child (not commonly reported until 1911)
  • After 1910, residence, race, age and occupation of both parents

Maryland County Birth Records, 1898-1972

A new law by the General Assembly in 1898 required birth registration in Maryland’s 23 counties. It took until almost 1914 before registration of all births occurred.

Information on birth records from 1898 to 1972 included:
  • Name of child
  • Birth date
  • Birth place
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Number of the child (birth order)
  • Living or still born
  • Names of parents
  • Race of parents
  • Occupation of parents
  • Birth place of parents
  • Residence of parents
  • Medical attendant’s name and address

Maryland Births, 1973 to Present 

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Division of Vital Records was the only agency to record births for all counties in Maryland and Baltimore City starting in 1972.

Birth certificates from 1973 to the present include:
  • Name of child
  • Sex
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Parents’ names
  • Parents’ birthplace
  • Parents’ race
  • Parents’ age
  • Parents’ residence
  • Parents’ occupation
  • Number of children previously born to mother
  • Medical attendant name and address


Locating Records

Maryland State Archives

Birth records and indexes located at the Maryland State Archives can be viewed onsite or a research request can be made.  To view fees and how to request information go to the Maryland State Archives website, Placing Research & Copy Orders.

Below is a list of the necessary information to view or request microfilm and original records that are available at the Maryland State Archives seperated by time period:

Colonial Births (up to 1800)

INDEXES to births
  • Bible and Tombstone Records, Index: Maryland Indexes var.d. MSA S1406, Index 32
  • Church Indexes, Birth & Baptism Index: Maryland Indexes 1663-1967 various dates for 13 churches MSA S1401, Index 28 
  • Birth Records, Index: Maryland Indexes, 1649-1720, 1804-1877, 1898-1923, incomplete MSA S1403 Index 30
Birth Records

Births in Circuit Court records from 1865-1884:

  • Anne Arundel County Circuit Court 1804-1877 MSA C39
  • Baltimore County Circuit Court 1865-1883 MSA C283
  • Caroline County Circuit Court 1865-1884 MSA C474
  • Cecil County Circuit Court 1865-1891 MSA C593
  • Charles County Circuit Court 1865-1877 MSA T2144
  • Frederick Courty Circuit COURT 1865-1873 MSA C759
  • Kent County Circuit Court 1865-1873 MSA C1027
  • Montgomery County Circuit Court 1865-1899 MSA C1116
  • Prince George's County Circuit Court 1865-1867 MSA C1167
  • Queen Anne's County Circuit Court 1865-1881 MSA C1358
  • Somerset County Circuit Court MSA C1738
  • St. Mary's County Circuit Court 1865-1867 MSA C1534
  • Washington County Circuit Court 1865-1867 MSA C1935
  • Worcester County Circuit Court 1865-1889 MSA C1998

The Maryland State Archives is always receiving records. Check the list of “transferred records,” to see if they have additional county records.

County Birth Records from 1898 to 1972

INDEXES to Birth Records:
1898-1909 Board of Health MSA S1035 microfilm
1898-1919 Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Division of Vital Records MSA T1332
1910-1919 Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics MSA S1045
1910-1950 Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics MSA SM27;MSA SM35 microfilm 
INDEX to Delayed Birth Records:
1860-1921 Department of Health, Bureau of vital Statistics MSA SM29 microfilm

There are no indexes from 1951-1972 at the Maryland State Archives

Birth Records (Restricted for births occurring in the last 100 years):
1898-1951 Department of Health, bureau of Vital Statistics MSA SM35 microfilm
1898-1924 Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Division of Vital Records MSA T1886
1951-1969 Department of Health, Division of Vital Records and Statistics MSA SM32 microfilm
1969-1972 Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Division of Vital Records MSA SM36 microfilm

Baltimore City Birth Records

INDEXES to Balitmore City Birth Records
1875-1941 Baltimore City Health Department, Bureau of Vital Statistics MSA C2 originalMSA CM1134 microfilm
1918-1941 Baltimore City Health Department, bureau of Vital Statistics MSA C8

There are no indexes from 1941-1972 at the Maryland State Archives

Baltimore City Birth Records:
1875-1972 Baltimore City health Department, Bureau of Vital Statistics MSA CM1135 microfilm 
1890-1911 Baltimore City Health Department, Bureau of Vital Statistics MSA C6
1875-1896, 1911-1924 [Baltimore City] Department of Health and mental Hygiene, Division of Vital records MSA T310
Delayed Balitmore City Birth Records:
1876-1925 Baltimore City Health Department, Bureau of Vital Statistics MSA C2145 

Birth indexes and Records are available from 1875 to 1941 for Baltimore City, although actual birth records are restricted within the last 100 years.

Family History Library

There are some Maryland Colonial birth records at the Family History Library. Microfilm records can be viewed at the Family History Library or at a Family History Center.


The following are links to topics in the Family History Library. Each topic has records that contain either a book call number or microfilm number to the record.  Only microfilms and microfiche can be loaned from the Family History Library:


Division of Vital Records Department of Health & Mental Hygiene

From Aug 1898 to the present (January 1975 for the City of Baltimore), records and indexes for births can be ordered from the Division of Vital Records.  However, they will not give out certificates to genealogists.  If you are not directly related to the individual, you must order it from the Maryland State Archives.

Records are restricted for 100 years after the date of birth.


You can obtain a birth certificate for births within the last 100 years, if:

  • You are requesting your own birth certificate
  • Parent or guardian of indivdiual named on certificate
  • Representative of the individual named on certificate, parent or guardian


Click here, to download a birth certificate application

To mail in a request:
Division of Vital Records
P.O. box 68760
Baltimore, MD 21215-0036
To call for more information, (410) 764-3038 or (800) 832-3277
To order for same day service with additional fee, go to Vitalchek.com

References

Information provided here was taken from the following sources:

Eichholz, Alice. Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry Publishing, c2004).

The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America. (Logan, Utah : Everton Publishers, c2006).

Maryland: Research Outline. (Salt Lake City, Utah : Corp. of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of L.D.S., c1988).

Maryland State Archives

Division of Vital Statistics Department of Health & Mental Hygiene