San Mateo County Genealogical Society's Blog featuring society events, projects, meeting notes and other items of relevance to genealogists.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

SMCGS Databases Online: Birth Index

The San Mateo County Birth Index which covers the years 1856-1965, was created to augment the counties computerized index which started with the year 1966.  Included are Birth Volumes A-C and 1-53, Delayed Birth volumes 1-5 and the Birth Affidavit Register (which lists births filed with the counties Official Records.)

Although there is a statewide index to birth records starting in 1906, it does not include book or page numbers for locating records at the county level.  It does not include the many delayed births that were filed including many after 1906. It also contains many mistakes.

Using the state index as a starting point, Barry Goyette, Cath Trindle, Norma Sheehan, Loren Perrit and Chris Green checked each name against actual records and the county index. Where multiple spellings of surname were in the state index they were kept. New spellings were added when indexers felt the name had been misinterpreted.

At some level, state or county, one original indexer indexed many names that could be construed as nicknames with the name they might be as well, thus Lisa becomes Elizabeth, Wendy becomes Gwendolyn, etc. These were also left in the index as we had no way of knowing
if in fact names had been changed at the state level and not reflected in county records. Be aware that because it is in the index does not make it a fact.

For more information on San Mateo County delayed births read Armchair Research in the September 2013 SMCGS Newsletter, which is available in the members only section of the SMCGS website, in the SMCGS library and in other genealogical libraries.

Official Records Book (FS - Record of Deeds New Series) 1037 p. 73 
Before ordering the record from the San Mateo County Recorders Office, be sure you are asking for the right thing.  If the numbers are in the DB column the records are in the Delayed Birth Certificate Books.  If you don't specify that you might be told the record doesn't exist.  If the numbers are in the Or columns then you need to ask for the page in that Official Record Book (you might also find those records online on FamilySearch.  These records often include information that wouldn't have been recorded if it had been filed at the time of the birth, such as this 1902 birth which was recorded in 1942.

Check out the other SMCGS Databases and good luck with your research.

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