Birth records are a part of the civil registration. A birth record lists the following data:
- Place, date and time of birth
- Names of parents
- Name, profession and age of the one registering the birth (often the father)
- Names, profession and age of the witnesses
- Often: address where the birth took place
Within a few working days, every birth has to be registered. This means there can be a difference of a few days between the document date and the actual birth date. Stillborn children are not registered in the birth records, only in the death records.
Normally the registration is done by the father, but if he is not present (or known!) anyone attending the birth or the owner of the house where the child was born has to register the child. Two male witnesses are required at the registration. These are often neighbors, although sometimes uncles or grandfathers can be seen as well.
Some children were born from unmarried mothers. In these cases, the birth was often registered by the midwife. If the mother married later, and her husband acknowledged the child as his, a note can be found in the margin of the birth record.
If the mother didn't marry, she had to acknowledge her child as hers at a later date (at least before the child married). This had to be done because at the time of the registration, the mother was still recovering from labor. To make sure she was the real mother, she had to acknowledge the child.
Birth records are public after 100 years.
Example of a birth certificate
Where to find
Birth records can be found in both local and provincial archives. Many birth records can be found in Genlias.