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Tracking Family Histories with Birth Certificates

By Charles Hopkins Published 01/19/2007 | Genealogy

Today, many of us are looking into our family history. Our genealogy has suddenly become very important to us. Many start out with much enthusiasm only to give up when they realize how much work can actually be involved. To go back 3 or 4 generations is relatively simple. Chances are you have living relatives that can help you with that. Records are also much more meticulously kept today then they were generations ago. However, to go back further things can get a bit frustrating. There may not be records or the ones that do exist may be very difficult to read. However, if you can get names and dates you may have more resources than you realize.

A good place to start when searching your family genealogy is through birth certificates. Today, by law all births must be recorded, and a birth certificate must be issued. If a child is born in a hospital, they make the initial certificate that is then sent to the state. The information is then transferred to the state birth register and a state birth certificate is then issued. This is just to keep everything uniform and as simple as possible. Birth certificates are an excellent place to being because everyone has to have one. If you know a relatives name the chances are good that you can gain access to their birth certificate.

The birth certificate will provide you with some very useful information. It will tell you when this person was born and in what city. It will also list the parents of the child. This gives the names of two more people that you could possibly trace. Chances are good you can find their birth certificate and parent names. You could go back as far as public records will allow.

Birth certificates are a good source because they are easy to obtain. Once a birth is recorded with the state, then it becomes a matter of public record. Unless restrictions are put in place, anyones birth certificate can be viewed. Usually copies can be purchased for a small fee. It is quite quick and easy access to potentially vital information that can be used in piecing your family history together.

Those searching out their family history are in for quite a challenge. Many cases people give up because the search becomes quite difficult. Sometimes people dont know where to begin and what resources they have available to them. Many times birth certificates can be a great source of information. Everyone has a birth certificate and if you know the city or even the state of birth they should be quite easy to track down. Birth certificates are a matter of public record, and can easily be obtained. Unless stipulations are put in place you can get the persons birth certificates usually in minutes. A birth certificate can give you instant access to the previous generation, giving you 2 more people to follow up on. With the help of birth certificates, you can go back as far as public records will allow.