Texas Birth Certificates (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Texas Birth Records, 1800-1934 .
- 1 Record Description
- 2 How to Use the Record
- 3 Record History
- 4 Known Issues with This Collection
- 5 Related Websites
- 6 Related Wiki Articles
- 7 Contributions to This Article
- 8 Citation for This Collection
- 9 Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
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.
- 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.
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 the 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
“Texas Birth Records, 1903-1934,” index and images, 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.
Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.
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.
Examples of Source Citations for a Record Found in This Collection
"Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1935," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X2JR-4QK : accessed 3 April 2012), Alandreo Peterson (1919).
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.