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HWST 115 - Mo'okū'auhau: Hawaiian Genealogies: Birth Records

Background Information

The first laws requiring reporting of births and marriages began in 1842, but many of those early records have not survived. In 1896, the Department of Health was given the responsibility for registering births.

The Department of Health has the following records of birth:

  • Hawai'i: 1877-date
  • Kauai & Niihau: 1896-date
  • Maui & Molokai: 1896-date
  • Oahu: 1863-date

From 1911-1972, a person born in Hawai'i but whose birth was not registered could apply for a delayed certificate, commonly known as a Delayed (Hawaiian) Birth Certificate. Births prior to 1911 are included, and all of these records can be found at the Department of Health.

The Research Process

Getting Started
Birth Records are located at the Department of Health. In order to submit an application to obtain a certificate, you need to know the following information: Name on Certificate, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Fathers Name, and Mothers Name.

Where can you find all this information?
In order to find this exact information, you need to consult the birth indexes. UH Mānoa has a few copies of birth indexes on microfilm you can look at, however, the bulk of your birth records research will be looking through the birth indexes and records available at the Hawai'i State Archives and the Hawaii State Library (478 S. King St.).


@ Hawai'i State Archives

The Hawai'i State Archives has the following birth records resources

  • Card Catalog of Birth and Marriage Notices Published in Hawaii Newspapers, 1850-1950
  • Birth Records from the following islands of the following years
    • Hawai'i: 1853-1861; 1869-1897
    • Maui: 1860-1864; 1899
    • Niihau: 1853-1856
    • Oahu: 1852-1885

@ Hawaii State Library

The Hawaii State Library (478 S. King St.) has the following birth records resources

  • Delayed Birth Certificates Index
  • Territorial Hawai'i Birth Index books by: Mother, Father, and Child 1896-1900 (all islands)
    Location: behind Hawaiian Collection reference desk
  • Birth Index, from 1909-1914 to 1946-1948
    Location: microfilm section
  • Birth Certificates, from 1909-1911 to January 1921-April 1921
    Location: microfilm section
Content: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Windward Community College Library