What are Delayed Birth Records? How can I use them?
The implementation of the Social Security Act of 1935 created a need for proof of age in the early 1940's. Although Social Security officials accepted proofs other than birth certificates, many people chose to secure the delayed birth certificate. To prove age, a person had to have at least three proofs of age. These could include an affidavit from either parent, an older sibling, an older relative (aunt, uncle, or cousin), attending doctor or midwife, or a neighbor. Other proofs that were used included birth certificate of child, marriage license of applicant, insurance application, armed forces discharge, school record, Bible record - almost anything that gave a birth date or age as of a given date.
North Carolina began keeping birth records in 1913, so most of the delayed birth certificates are for individuals born before that time. Other certificates are for individuals whose records were not filed at birth, many of which were home births.
What information can I find in a Delayed Birth Record?
Delayed birth records are a very good source of genealogical data. Almost all certificates give the names of both parents, and in many cases the birthplaces and birth years of the parents. In the 1950's, the certificate form was changed to ask only for the state of the parents' birth, which is why many of the birthplaces only list a state as birthplace. Please remember that in most situations the application for the certificate was filed many years after the birth. You will note that occasionally birth years will vary for a given parent from child to child.
Delayed Birth Records publications usually contain:
- an alphabetical listing of the name of each individual,
- his/her birthdate,
- his/her place of birth,
- names of parents (with their birth dates when available),
- most birthplaces of parents, and
- book and page number of certificate.