Texas Birth Certificates (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Texas Birth Records, 1903-1934 .
- 1 Collection Time Period
- 2 Record Description
- 3 How to Use the Record
- 4 Record History
- 5 Related Web Sites
- 6 Related Wiki Articles
- 7 Contributions to This Article
- 8 Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
- 9 Sources of Information for This Collection
Collection Time Period
This collection covers birth records the years 1903 to 1934 and delayed birth records for the years 1845 to 1934.
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.
Birth entries usually include the following information:
• Child’s name
• Sex of child
• Parents’ names
• Birthplace for the parents
• Residence or address of parents
Delayed birth records include the following information:
• Child’s name
• Birth date
• Sex of Child
How to Use the Record
Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Use the locator information in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestors in the birth records. Compare the information in the birth record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination. Be aware that as with any index, transcription errors may occur.
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. For example:
- 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 employment records or other types of records such as military records.
- The parent’s 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.
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)
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.
Why this Record Was Created
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.
Related Web Sites
Related Wiki Articles
Contributions to This Article
| 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.
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should also 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: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection
"Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1934." index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org): accessed 7 April 2011. entry for Alandreo Peterson, born 3 December 1919; citing Birth Certificates, digital folder 4,492,357, image 00,191, certificate 58,615; Texas Department of Health, Austin, Texas.
Sources of Information for This Collection
“Texas Birth Records, 1903-1934,” database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org); from the Texas Department of Health, Austin. FHL Microfilm, 394 rolls and Digital images, Family History Library Salt Lake City, Utah.