Kentucky Delayed Birth Certificate Index
Contributed By: Mary Hatton and Suzanne Shephard
Kentucky started keeping birth and death records in 1852, stopped in 1862, started again in 1874, but didn't get serious about it until 1 January 1911. Before that date, births and deaths were recorded at the county level and copies were forwarded to the state once a year. Surviving birth records are mostly for the years 1852-1861, 1874-1879 and 1900-1910. Because of official indifference and neglect, no records are extant for many of the years before 1911.
People lacking official certificates could file delayed birth certificates with the state. This became common starting around 1940 due to the requirements of Social Security and military service. According to Roseann Hogan, "Kentuckians have filed over a half-million of these delayed certificates... Social Security, for a time, accepted completed certificates that were not filed with the Department of Vital Statistics in Frankfort. Therefore, it is possible, that even if no official certificate can be found in Frankfort, a certificate may have been filed with Social Security or other government agencies." (Kentucky Ancestry, page 79)
Delayed birth certificates contain name, date of birth, place of birth, sex, race, parents' names, ages, etc. similar to regular birth certificates. Plus two older witnesses, one related one unrelated.
In Kentucky, the Department of Vital Statistics has most of the delayed birth certificates. There is an index on microfiche which can only be consulted at the Department. The Kentucky Historical Society also has 45 rolls of microfilmed delayed birth certificates. There is no single index to all the delayed birth certificates and that the KHS rolls are not included in the VS microfiche. Copies of certificates may be ordered from the Department of Vital Statistics, 275 Main St., Frankfort KY 40601. Cost is $9