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A Complete Guide To Finding Ancestry Birth Records is known as one of the largest online collections of family records. From marriage bonds to death records, it has a vast information archive that can help you learn more about your ancestors and family history. If you’re digging into your family roots, one good place to start is in Ancestry birth records.

How do you search for your ancestor’s birth records on Ancestry? Learn more about what information these birth records contain about your ancestor and their parents and why you may not be able to find your ancestor’s records on this popular site.

How To Find Ancestry Birth Records

If you’re looking for your ancestor’s birth records on Ancestry, the site’s search page will ask you to fill in the following information:

  • First name
  • Middle name
  • Last name
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth (e.g., city, county, state, and/or country)
  • Names of parents and other family members, such as a spouse or child
  • Gender
  • Other keywords that may narrow the search (e.g., ancestor’s profession)
  • Collection focus (i.e., countries and ethnicities to narrow the search)

The more of these entries you can fill out, the more specific the results you may get. will then search its birth, baptism, and christening records. Some results will show indexes where you can request a physical copy of the record from a country clerk or other agencies. Others will have actual images of birth records.


What Can I Learn From My Ancestor’s Birth Record?

Typically, your ancestor’s birth record will have the following information:

  • First name
  • Middle name
  • Last name
  • Religious affiliation (if baptism or christening record)
  • Birthplace
  • Birthdate and time
  • Gender
  • Legitimacy
  • Birth order (if plural births or twins/triplets, etc.)
  • Certificate of attending physician or midwife

These records may also have the following information about your ancestor’s parents:

  • First names
  • Middle or maiden names
  • Surnames
  • Respective ages at the time of your ancestor’s birth
  • Occupations and total years spent in their line of work
  • Number of children that their mother had, including stillbirths
  • Race
  • Place of residence

Why Can't I Find Birth Records On Ancestry? birth records are fairly extensive, so you may be wondering why you’re having trouble finding your ancestors’ records online. Here are some common reasons you could be having this problem:

Your Ancestor’s Records Aren’t Online

If you can’t find your ancestor’s birth records on Ancestry, it’s highly likely that their information simply isn’t part of birth records. While the site has a remarkably vast database, it doesn’t have full access to offline resources.

Many records, such as delayed birth certificates, are still confined to physical collections like historical societies or genealogy libraries. In the cases of ancestors who were adopted, their birth parents’ names may have been sealed by court records. You will need a trip to their local jurisdiction to get these records.

Getting offline resources is just as valuable as searching online, and, in some cases, it may be the only way you can trace your ancestor’s history. Talk to librarians from your ancestor’s hometown, go to a genealogical conference, or even ask for tips and help at

Keep in mind that there’s also a chance that your ancestor’s records aren’t online or offline. Recordkeeping back in the day was inconsistent, and many past archives have been lost or destroyed by natural disasters.

You’re Only Searching For Surnames

While scouring through free Ancestry birth records, it’s important to give as much information as you can to narrow down your search. If you’re only searching for surnames, you’ll get far too many incorrect results that will take forever to sift through.

Add your ancestor’s first name, known nicknames, and hometown to your Ancestry search. This information narrows down your search and gives you related results for surname variations in case your ancestor’s last name was spelled incorrectly.

Take Name Changes Or Misspellings Into Consideration

If your ancestor legally changed their name, it may make it harder to find their birth record. 

An ancestor who got a divorce may have chosen to revert to their unmarried name, but it’s also equally likely that they kept their married name. If your ancestors immigrated to the United States from another country, they may also have chosen to take an Anglicized name as part of their journey.

Another possibility is that your ancestor’s name may have been misspelled on official documents, such as immigration records. It’s common for many old records to have misspelled entries, so typing their surname ends up yielding nothing or unrelated hits.

In these situations, it’s best to try variations of their names to rule out their records’ absence from Try typing in your divorced ancestor’s maiden name or common variations of your ancestor’s surname. For example, if your ancestor’s surname was “McDonald”, try entering “MacDonald”, ”MacDonalld”, or even “McDhonald”.


Other Records You Can Check On Searches

If you can’t find your ancestor’s birth records on the Ancestry website, don’t worry. has other record collections that could eventually point to their birth records in physical archives or online repositories. 

Here are some of the records you can check on Ancestry:

  • Death records
  • Burial records
  • Cemetery records
  • Obituaries
  • Marriage records
  • Divorce records
  • Census and voter lists
  • Immigration and travel records
  • Public family trees submitted by Ancestry subscribers
  • Military records, including indexes for casualties, pensions, and enlistments
  • Searchable cart catalogs worldwide

Learn More About Your Family Tree And Yourself

Digging into your family history can help you embrace your heritage and gain a better understanding of your own identity. If you want to learn more about your ancestors, a good place to start is their birth records. These documents can tell you more about their parents, the era they were born, and other siblings they may have had.

Another great way to delve into your roots is to have old family photographs restored. Have your old pictures restored at a professional photo restorer like Image Restoration Center. Restored images are a wonderful addition to your family tree and a good conversation starter for family stories!