Hawaiian Delayed Birth Records Part One: What are Delayed Birth Records?

Hawaiian Delayed Birth Records Part One: What are Delayed Birth Records?

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You may have heard the rumors about Hawaiian vital records. Records before 1900 are few and far between. You may have better luck finding a diary that your ancestor scribbled in than finding his or her birth certificate. There is a possibility your ancestor applied for a delayed birth certificate especially if they were born before 1910.

What are delayed birth records and why did a person apply for one? Delayed birth records were a way for an individual born in Hawaii to prove their place of birth. A person may need this proof for a variety of reasons: to apply for a job, receive government benefits, apply for a passport, and so forth. You’ll notice quite a few people applied in the 1940s and 1950s. This was probably due to the creation of Social Security. Without proof that they were born in Hawaii, they wouldn’t be able to receive Social Security benefits.

People born in Hawaii before 1910 would have difficulty proving they were born in Hawaii without documentation. Those who weren’t of Hawaiian descent most likely had immigrant parents, so they’d have to prove they were born in Hawaii and not in their parent’s homeland.

Many records disappeared through natural disaster and negligence. Many folks in the early years never bothered to register births. If they went through the registration process, chances are they did not hold on to the official certificate. While birth registration was required before 1900, enforcement was not strict until after 1905 or so.

There are also problems with the records themselves. If you search through the birth register books for Hawaii, you’ll notice some oddities. For instance, in the years before 1890, you may only find the first name of the child and parents recorded. You may also find the names written in their Latin form. This may make it impossible to locate a true match.


Reprinted from the YourIslandRoutes.com Archives

Copyright 2009 – Melody Lassalle All Rights Reserved

4 thoughts on “Hawaiian Delayed Birth Records Part One: What are Delayed Birth Records?

  1. I’m trying to find my grandmother’s birth certificate. She was born in January 14th of 1907. I think growing up I heard that she was born @ St. Francis Hospital in Honolulu. They had her name listed as either Amelia or Emily Conceicao. I was wondering who her father was. When I pulled my great grandfather’s name, it showed Anna Perry with 4 children, William, Frank, Benny and a daughter Rosaline. My grandma wasn’t listed as a child. Her mother’s name was Anastasia Perry aka Anna Perry married to Rosa Perry from Puerto Rico, her surname was Martines or Martin. Now we’re thinking that my grandma had to be an older half sister and was born 10 years earlier than the first Perry child, which was my uncle William Perry. I’m trying to find out how to find out the name of my real great grandfather.

  2. Raymond, thank you for your comment! You have a tricky research problem. Have you been able to trace the family through the census just to see how the children are listed? 1907 is in the period where vital records are iffy. You may not find an actual birth certificate. However, since you have the date of birth, you should be able to find her in the birth register books. In fact, it might be helpful to find all the children just to verify what the parents names are. The birth register books for Hawaii have been microfilmed by the LDS church and are available through their Family History Centers.

    If you can research them yourself, you are better off. If a “real” birth certificate does not exist, the staff at the vital records department types them from these birth register books. You can same yourself some money by doing it yourself.

  3. Mahalo Melody for getting back to me on this. Where would I find these Family History Centers? I know it can be costly tracking down records so I’ll be doing this all on my own.

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