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What To Expect In These Records

Even the early Civil Registration records of births contained more information than the church records did at that time. You might find any of the following information:

  • The name of the individual you are seeking.
  • The date of the individual's birth.
  • The place of the individual's birth.
  • The name of the individual's parents.
  • The names of the witnesses to the event.
  • The residence of the parents.
  • The occupation of the father.
  • The circumstances surrounding the birth (whether it was legitimate or illegitimate).

So you can see that this information would be just wonderful. Particularly when you consider that birth records in the United States rarely exist prior to the twentieth century except in New England and a few other scattered states such as New Jersey (1848) or Michigan (1867).

Unique Challenges With These Records

Just because these records are similar, it does not mean that they can all be obtained the same way. For example, one of the most frustrating things to discover is that you must often already know the year and place of birth, BEFORE you can find the birth record.

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