Alabama Births - Why can't I find the record?

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Revision as of 12:06, 19 July 2018 by SmithCE (talk | contribs) (Added summary to hints.)
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This page will give you additional guidance and resources to find birth information for your ancestor. Use this page after first completing the birth section of the Alabama Guided Research page.

Additional records


Additional Databases and Online Resources

Substitute records


Additional Records with Birth Information

Substitute records can contain information about more than one event, and are used when records for an event are not available. Because the substitute records may not be created at the time of the event, it may contain incorrect information. Search for as many substitute records as possible to corroborate information found in substitute records to help improve accuracy.

Use these substitute records to locate birth information about your ancestor:
Wiki Page
FamilySearch(FS) Collections
Why to search the records
Death Records
Alabama Death Guided Research
Go back to the Alabama Guided Research page, and click on "Death". Death records may include the deceased individual's birthday or age at death is given, suggesting an approximate birthdate by subtracting the age from the death date.
Cemetery Records
Alabama Cemetery FS Collections
Tombstone inscriptions and records created when a deceased individual was interred in a cemetery.
Census Records
U.S. Census FS Collections
Census records from 1830 onward give ages of the recorded individuals, allowing researchers to calculate birth years.
Church Records
See Wiki page
Include baptism records, which occasionally give the individual's birthday. Also includes death and burial records, sometimes giving individual's age at death, allowing researchers to calculate approximate birth years. In order to access these records, researchers need to know the church their ancestor attended.
See Wiki page
Contain obituaries. Before the 21st century, obituaries were mostly restricted to leading members of a community or for those who died in an unusual manner. While the majority of the population did not have their own obituaries, such records often give the individual's age at death, and sometimes include birth information.
Alabama Obituary FS Collections
Obituaries often include the birth date and place of the deceased.
Military Records
Alabama Military FS Collections
May provide the age and/or birth date of the individuals who served in military positions.
Bible Records
See Wiki page
May include dates of birth for family members.

Improve searching


Tips for finding births

Successfully finding birth records in online databases depends on a few key points. Try the following search suggestions:

  • Spelling variations. Your ancestor's name may be misspelled. Search with spelling variations for the first and last name of your ancestor.
  • Search parents. Search for the parents, if known, as the child's first name may not be on the birth record.
  • Search given name. Search by given name (leave out the last name) with the approximate date of birth.
  • Add information. For common names, add more information to narrow the search such as approximate birth date or parent's names if known.
  • Date range. Expand the date range of the search by 5 years.
  • Search state. Search using the state name only instead of by county.

Why the record may not exist


Known Record Gaps

Records Start

  • 1881--Some counties, inconsistent coverage
  • 1908--Statewide registration
  • 1927--Compliance to statewide registration

Records Published
Collection coverage tables show the places and time periods of original records published. Check the coverage table for the collections you searched which did not include your ancestor. Gaps in the online collection may require searches in other records or original birth records at an archive.

Records destroyed
The following counties had record loss. Click on the county for more information.