American Birth Records
Enter your ancestor's name below and we'll search birth records to help you learn more.
American Birth Records
Are you looking to find out more about your ancestors in Washington, District of Columbia?
American birth records are a valuable source of information. Births were often announced in newspapers, and with GenealogyBank, you can access 330 years of U.S. history at the click of a button within our newspaper database.
Whether you’re starting to construct your family tree for the first time or whether you’re an experienced family historian, GenealogyBank can enable you to access historical American birth records in seconds.
Here are some of the main reasons why birth records in American can help you find out where you came from:
- Find out when your ancestors were born.
- Discover an ancestor’s birth parents.
- Use birth notices as a starting point for further research.
Open up the history of your family with birth records. You can also use birth certificates to double-check whether someone in Washington, District of Columbia truly belongs to your family.
GenealogyBank allows you to cut down on the time it takes to research your family history, and you can do it all from the comfort of your own home.
How to Search for Birth Records in the American
GenealogyBank makes searching for American birth records simple. Start your search with the last name of your ancestor and click the “Search” button.
You can also download the “Tips for Searching Newspapers” guide for free to learn about smart techniques that can help you to narrow down your results and uncover those elusive family members.
Follow these steps to perform an advanced search of birth notices in the American:
- Step One – Include first and last names. This is especially useful for searching newer records, which tend to also include middle names.
- Step Two – Narrow down your search with keywords. Know where an ancestor was born? Add it as a keyword. Know which hospital your ancestor was born in? Add it to your search.
- Step Three – Know more about your ancestor? Exclude keywords that don’t apply to your ancestor to further narrow down your results.
- Step Four – Include a year range if you know roughly when your ancestor was born. This is especially important if you have a common last name. It’s wise to use a year range as parents often waited a few months to put a birth announcement in the newspaper. US Census Records also provide birth year information.
- Step Five – Try changing the sorting order. GenealogyBank automatically orders by best match, but you can also filter by newest and oldest records.
Tips for a Successful American Birth Records Search
Older records in Washington,District of Columbia were not always the most accurate. Only in the modern age did birth certificates include first and middle names. Plus, many records offices took down information orally, which resulted in misspellings and missing information.
Remember, nobody audited records in the newspaper, apart from busy newspaper editors.
If you’re finding it difficult to get American birth records, try following these tips:
- Search by initials. Many birth records in the American may have only included initials plus the surname.
- Look for common misspellings. Records were often taken down orally, and there were high levels of illiteracy, meaning many people didn’t know how to spell their names. This is particularly important when dealing with names of foreign origin or longer names.
- Look for illegitimacy. Children born out of wedlock were often registered under their mother’s maiden surname.
- Expand your year's search. It wasn’t uncommon for people to be unaware of their real birth date or to lie about it, particularly when it came to war service records.
Finally, if you’re struggling to find a relative, consider searching for siblings or other family members first. Remember, not everyone may have chosen to register births in newspaper records.
How to Get Copies of Birth Certificates in the American
Newspapers only made birth announcements. They were never responsible for handling official government records. As a result, it will be impossible to find American birth certificates. To get physical copies of birth certificates, you will need to visit the Office of Vital Records, Washington, District of Columbia.
Certified copies of historical birth certificates can be obtained either via an in-person visit or by mailing in your application.
Here’s how to get real copies of birth certificates found based on American birth records:
- Visit the Office of Vital Records in person or print out and mail in your application.
- Provide a copy of a legal photo ID, such as a passport or driving license.
- Pay or mail in a check to cover the fee.
Family historians looking to get physical copies of birth certificates don’t need to jump through many hoops.
Using the American as a starting point for your research can help you to nail down those lost ancestors in Washington, District of Columbia and build up your family tree.