Q. How do I find my great-grandmother’s birth certificate?
A. Although Illinois started requiring birth records to kept
in 1877, the record keeping was not widely enforced for the first several years.
Birth records are kept at the County Level by the County Clerk. For records after 1916, they may also be
obtained from the Department of Public Health at https://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/birth-death-other-records/genealogy. The records of some counties have been
digitized and are online at familysearch.org.
Due to privacy restrictions, births more recent than 75 years can only
be obtained by that specific person or their parents.
Some people filed a delayed birth certificate if they were
born prior to registration but needed documentation to apply for social
security when that program began. If
there is not an official birth record, other sources of birth information
should be considered, such as baptism records, census records, and birth
information on the death certificate to name a few.
Note: This was originally published in the "Tips from the Genealogy Committee" column in the Illinois State Genealogical Society Newsletter (July 2020). While these tips were written for those researching Illinois ancestors, many of the principles can be applied to other locations.