Birth, Baptism & Christening

Collection Information

In most of the birth collections on Ancestry, you will find the indexes that link to images of actual birth records. In other cases, they are indexes that contain information that will help you request the record. If you find your ancestor in an index, be sure to click on the database title and look at the description to learn how to request the actual birth record. The full record will include details not found in the index.

Birth records can provide details about your family member’s birth and for baptism records. They typically contain the name, date and place of the event, parents’ names, ages, birthplaces, occupation, and residence.

Birth, baptism, and christening records are primary resources for family history research because they were typically created at or shortly after the birth, making the record more likely to be accurate. This collection includes indexes that can help you request the record, and in some cases, actual images of the birth records.

Sample Images

Search Tips

  • Keep in mind that when civil registration first began, not everyone complied immediately and some births may not have been recorded.
  • Click on VIEW ORIGINAL IMAGE to see more details from the original image.
  • Try leaving one of the name fields blank and search by County. Also try only the parent’s names to see if other children were registered.
  • Seek out the birth records for all family members. Information found on the records of siblings may include helpful details that aren’t found on your ancestor’s record.
  • Ancestry transcribes what is documented in the register and sometimes the child has not been registered with a name. Try searching for "Female" or "Male" or "not named".
  • Delayed registrations are those who were not registered within the prescribed time of 1 year after the birth and if your ancestor required proof of birth at some point in their life they may have applied to the government later. They can be really interesting since they would involve other people’s affidavits!
  • When you find a record in a birth index, always follow up and request the original record. The source information and description on the collection page will tell you where the records are held.
  • If you’re looking for a common name, try adding the father and mother’s given names to narrow your search.
  • Look for ages and places of birth in Census Records to estimate birth dates and focus your search.
  • City directories can place your ancestor in a particular place around the time of the birth. Then investigate churches in the area that might have recorded a baptism or christening.