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Family Finder
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* Birth date

An individual's birth date can usually be found on any of the documents listed below. If you have the minimum information required to find one of these documents, select the name of that document. The items in the list are ordered from most to least important. If you do not have the minimum information required, read the paragraph below this list.

Vital records

To find an individual's birth date on a vital record, such as a birth, death, divorce, or marriage certificate, you must at least know the individual's full name at the time of the event, depending on the record, the approximate year of the event, and the state or county of the event, depending on when the event took place.

Church records

To find an individual's birth date in church marriage, baptism, or christening records, you must at least know the individual's name, and either the name of the church where the ceremony was performed or the name of the clergyman that appears on the certificate.

Newspapers

To find an individual's birth date in a birth announcement or an obituary, you must at least know the approximate date of birth or death, the individual's full name at the time of the event, and the state and city or town where the event took place (or where the announcement or obituary was likely to have been published).

Bible records

To find an individual's birth date in Bible records that are no longer in the family's possession, you must at least know the individual's full maiden name or married name, as well as the state and county in which the individual lived.

Military records

To find an individual's birth date in a military pension record, you must at least know the veteran's name, the branch of service, such as Army, Navy, or Marine Corps, the state from which the veteran entered the service, and the war in which the veteran served. If the period of service was after 1916, you must also know entry and release dates, military ID number, Social Security number, whether an officer or enlisted, and date of birth.

Census records

Beginning in 1850, the census recorded either each individual's age on their last birthday or their birth date. To find an individual's birth date in census records, you must at least know the individual's name, the state, and the county in which the individual lived when the census was taken. If you are using census records for 1870 or earlier, you can probably use an index that only requires the state and surname.

Social Security Death Index

To find an individual's birth date on the Social Security Death Index, you only need to know the individual's name.

International Genealogical Index

To find an individual's birth date in the International Genealogical Index (IGI), you must at least know the individual's name. An approximate birth date or birthplace will help you narrow down your search.

For a description of any of the records listed above, see the topic Genealogy dictionary.

To get help finding the minimum information required to locate any of the records listed above, select one of the following items:

Finding the minimum information for vital records

Finding the minimum information for church records

Finding the minimum information for newspapers

Finding the minimum information for Bible records

Finding the minimum information for military records

Finding the minimum information for census records

Finding the minimum information for the Social Security Death Index

Finding the minimum information for the IGI

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