Finding the minimum information for census records
To find an individual's birthplace 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. If you do not have the minimum information to locate a census record, you can either:
Get help finding some of the minimum information by selecting one of the following items,
click the Back button at the top of this window to return to the list of other places where you can find birthplaces, or
read the paragraphs below for a few additional tips.
You may also want to check the information contained in state and local censuses. Not all states and localities took their own censuses and the contents vary from state to state. However, sometimes the information is quite valuable. Genealogy.com has a selection of state census records on CD-ROM, and you can also contact libraries, state archives, and genealogy societies in the area where your ancestors lived. They should be able to tell you if any exist and where you might find them. The Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is another possible source.
If the individual was a veteran who served and was killed in the Korean or Vietnam War, you may be able to find a birthplace through the death records in the Military Index on the FamilySearch computer at your local Family History Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Family History Library has all other wars indexed on microfiche. You only need to know the war and the veteran's name. Local community and genealogy libraries may also have war indexes. Contact individual libraries for their holdings.
Try finding out where the individual's parents were married. The mother may have given birth in the same town.
Make sure to check photo albums, scrapbooks, diaries, and family Bibles at home. See the topic Finding information at home for more information. Also check for local histories. See the topic Finding previous research.
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