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Family Facts You Can Find In Newspaper Birth Records

  1. Date of birth
  2. Birthplace
  3. Name of the infant
  4. Names of the parents & occupations
  5. Names of siblings
  6. Names of the grandparents
  7. Mother’s maiden name
  8. Baptism records & religious affiliation
  9. Baby & family photos
  10. Size, hair color, eye color, weight

Birth Records Search Tips

While searching newspaper birth records and announcements, it is important to keep these tips in mind:

  • The name of the newborn is not always provided in birth records. If you can’t find your ancestor’s birth record by their first name, we recommend searching by the surname.
  • Further narrow your results, by limiting your search by date or location. For example, if your family lived in New Orleans, start with searching New Orleans birth records.
  • Search for birth records of all family members. The details noted in one birth record might include clues for another ancestor.

What Are Birth, Marriage, & Death Vital Records & How to Use Them

Genealogists refer to official birth, marriage, and death records as vital records, each providing critical details and clues into your family heritage. The United States did not have a standardized registration system until 1902, which means that vital records such as births, marriages, and deaths were not officially recorded prior to this date. As such, you may not be able to find the original birth certificate of your ancestor born before 1902. Alternative places to find birth records and similar genealogy records are local churches which often recorded this information as well as local newspapers.

Why Search Newspapers to Find Birth Records of Your Ancestors

Births are a joyous occasion everyone wants to share. Although it’s uncommon to see formal newspaper birth announcements today, this was the norm for many generations. Parents were proud to introduce their newest little ones and shared the news in local newspapers shortly after the birth date. With the timely publication, birth announcements in old newspapers are invaluable resources in building your family tree.

Although official birth records only started in the 1900s, U.S. newspapers have been announcing births since the 1700s. As such, birth announcements in newspapers can help you trace family members born before the early 1900s. Additionally, birth records can provide clues to help you track down ancestor’s birth certificates.

In addition to the wealth of information birth records and announcements provide about your ancestors, you can also find old baby photos of your family members. It was very common for newspapers to carry photos of babies on their first birthday. Use newspaper birth announcements to discover the faces behind the names on your family tree. Who knows, maybe that’s where your family’s nose came from...? GenealogyBank helps you search and uncover your family's origins by finding out when and where someone was born. Find the starting point of your ancestor's life or even your entire family tree with newspaper birth announcements!