We all know how much you need your birth certificate. If you have ever needed to apply for anything such as a Social Security, a Passport, or even to sign up for school, you have needed your birth certificate to prove who you are.
Birth certificates are also important to genealogist. With a birth certificate, we can prove age, gender, name, where someone was born, and parentage.
When did Birth Certificates Start in the USA?
The United States first started the application form process for birth certificates in 1907, but it was not mandatory for states to collect the information and report it to the federal government until after 1915. So when you have trouble finding your long lost relatives birth records, just remember it was not until 1933 that birth certificate information was being collected by all states.
Are Birth Certificates Public Information?
Birth Certificates are considered public record. Ordering an original or copy of a birth certificate however, can be limited to the person listed on the birth certificate, or immediate family. Older birth certificates and records can usually be accessed in the office that holds the vital record or in some cases ordered online.
Are Birth Certificates Free?
No. Whether you order an original or a copy online, or even going to the vital records office to obtain a copy, you will incur a fee.
Even if you are lucky enough to find a birth record through a genealogy website, more than likely you have had to pay for a subscription to obtain it.
Can Birth Certificates be Viewed Online?
Though birth certificates for living individuals can be ordered online they cannot not viewed. For genealogy purposes however, some states have published their older vital records online for access and viewing.
Can Birth Certificates be Downloaded Online?
Only authorized government officials can download and print a birth certificate, so no you cannot download a birth certificate online.
The birth certificates and records you find on genealogy websites like Ancestry or Family Search are photos of the original record. These images can be saved to your online genealogy website account or downloaded to your personal computer.
Can Birth Certificates be Wrong?
From experience I can tell you that yes, birth certificates can be wrong. My birth certificate has my middle name misspelled.
For a birth certificate to be issued for an individual, an application is filled out by the family after the birth of a child. If the family has not written clearly or misspelled something, it will more than likely show up incorrectly on the issued birth certificate.
Birth Certificates- Why do we need them?
Birth certificates have become an important part of our lives. For us living souls, we need them for just about everything to prove who we are. If you need to apply for a loan or open a bank account, you have to have some sort of identification. That same identification more than likely required a birth certificate to get it.
For genealogy, they can provide us with a wealth of information and help us add to our family tree. It can tell us where who the person’s parents are, where they were from, and in some cases, what the parent’s occupation was at the time of the birth.
No matter if it is for yourself or your child, it is wise to have birth certificate on hand for when you need it.
If you are lucky enough to come across a birth certificate for someone in your family tree, savor it. You won’t come across them often, so it makes them a really special find when you do.
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