Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesGenealogy · 1 decade ago

Where do I find birth records?

I am attempting to trace our family's heritage back to when our family first came off the Mayflower. As you can imagine, this is a daunting task and even though I just started a month ago, I feel like it will take my whole life to complete. Not knowing where to turn, I asked a local genealogist where to start, and she told me to look up birth records in the various locations in the U.S where my family has lived. So, can anyone point me to where I can find birth records?

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago

    I've been at this 30+ yrs. There is no such thing as "complete". Each step teaches something new.

    Re birth records.. don't confuse birth records with birth CERTIFICATES. Birth certificates are the official document issued by the state. You won't even have access to most of those, if they are recent, since they can be misused for id theft.

    Birth RECORDS IS ANYTHING that tells you when a person was born. Prior to the 1900s, there were no birth certs in general (northern states more likely than southern). A tombstone is a birth record. So is the census (implied). A woman married in 1810 would be estimated as born 15-20 yrs before that, if it is her first marriage.

    My suggestion is to start with the tutorial below (it is only one of many). I think your friends suggestions was just a bit simplistic.

    as for "daunting".. I use the word challenging. It is satisfying to learn beyond what you already know, and solving puzzles.

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