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Looking for alternatives to missing Boston birth records of the early 19th century.

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  I am having difficulty finding Boston births from the 1820's and 1830's.  I find that my ancestors appear in the city directories, but why is it there are no births recorded for the children?  The 1820-1840 U.S. Census enumerates the family with children under the age of 10 in each case.


Answer:  During the the period from 1790 to 1850 there were very few births recorded in the town and later city of Boston.  Many genealogists have found that searching for church baptism records to offer some solution to these missing records.  I would suggest looking for the marriage of the parents to determine the religion.  If the marriage occured in Boston you can acquire the name of the minister from the record.  NEHGS has the Boston marriages 1801-1848 on microfiche at Microtext Library on the Fourth Floor.  After acquiring the name of the minster, then search for him in a Boston city directory to determine his religious affiliation.  NEHGS has many Boston church records on microform, books, manuscripts and CD-Rom.

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