Consular Reports of Birth, 1910–1949. Series ARC ID: 2555709 - A1, Entry 3001. General Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59. National Archives at Washington D.C.
Contained in this database are birth reports from U.S. Consulates abroad between the years of 1910 and 1949. The report form is called A Consular Report of Birth Abroad and is primary proof of the individual’s American citizenship. To qualify, the child must have either two U.S. citizen parents with one of the parents having resided in the U.S. prior to the child’s birth, or one of the child’s parents must be a U.S. citizen who has resided in the U.S. for a specified number of years previous to the child’s birth.
Birth certificates are a fairly recent method of record keeping having only become common in the United States since the 1900s when the U.S. Census Bureau designed a standard birth certificate to collect vital statistics on a national basis. Prior to that time births were recorded by church officials, various government bodies, or family members. An important distinction in the birth of a U. S. citizen versus an individual of another nationality is the difference between the systems of jus soli (literally law of ground) or jus sanguinis (right of blood). The Fourteenth Amendment states that American citizenship is governed by the jus soli system of citizenship where anyone born in the territory of the state has the right to nationality or citizenship in that state. An 1898 ruling by the Supreme Court determined that children of United States citizens born abroad would also be granted U.S. citizenship status through the jus sanguinis system if their parents were permanent residents of the United States per the above stated stipulations.
Information in this database:
- Child’s name
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Parents’ names
- Parents’ ages
- Parents’ Passport numbers
- Consulate where registered
- Parents’ naturalization dates if foreign born
- Parents’ birth places
- Number of other living children
Many of these reports were received with other papers and correspondence, you may want to look at previous and subsequent images to find all the information pertinent to a specific individual. There are some records that were not found at the time this data was scanned. Currently missing from this collection are 1 bound volume, containing approximately 400 records, as well as three boxes of loose paper (boxes 363, 364, and 365) containing records for the surnames Canwell through Colom.