How to find someone's birthplace

Sometimes it becomes necessary to track down a person's birthplace. There are different ways to go about finding an individual's place of birth and thanks to the Internet and telephone, this search can begin right in a researcher's living room. It doesn't matter whether the birthplace search is for a historical figure or someone who is still around. A variety of resources help make the search easier than you might think.

Write down anything you know about the person whose birthplace you are trying to find. If they are no longer around, try to find stories they recalled from their youth to see if you can pinpoint a location. If it's a historical figure, look for any references to towns or cities that might relate to a place where the individual's family lived when he was born.

Use online resources to locate a birth certificate so you can determine a birth place. Sites such as offer services where researchers can look up information like birth records.

Sift through town records if you know the name of the town where the person was born. Look for information on births and hospitals. Keep in mind that the individual you are researching might not have been born in a hospital or that a hospital might not be in existence anymore.

Consult with local historians to see what information they could offer on the person. Find out what they know about the individual's birth.

Call existing hospitals to see if they have records. While you might not be able to legally access the actual records, some hospital staff might let you know how you can go about obtaining them. If there are no records of the person, ask the hospital to put you in touch with midwives in the area who might offer more information.

Go to a local library in the town where you think the person was born and look through microfiche films of old newspapers. If you know the month and year the person was born, you might find a birth announcement in the newspapers. You might also find christening information in church records, which might tell about the person's birthplace.

Make a formal request for birth certificate information from your state's Bureau of Vital Statistics. The bureaus keep track of all births within a state.

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