About the Oregon Historical Records Index

Portland Birth Records

The records document births in the City of Portland. Prior to the passage of legislation that required the recording of births at the state level, the City of Portland passed a local ordinance that required the recording of births within the city. Although there are a few records that record births that occurred earlier, the bulk of the records begin in March 1881.

The records may include the following information:

Name of child, (In many instances the child was not named at the time the birth was being recorded.)
Name of father;
Name of mother;
Mother's maiden name;
Nativity of each parent;
Occupation of the father;
Residence of the parents;
Name of person reporting the birth.

In some instances an actual birth record does not exist, but there is an entry in the register created by the city as the records were filed. If there is a volume number indicated in the remarks field the only information found comes from the register.

Because the requirement to file birth records was by local ordinance, births occurring in areas outside the city's boundaries will not be found here. Linnton, St. John's, Albina and many of the areas now part of Portland were annexed into the city in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. Some people did come from outlying areas to Portland because of access to more advanced health care, so there are instances of births occurring in Portland when in fact the family resided outside of the city.

State Archives • 800 Summer St. NE • Salem, OR 97310

Phone: 503-373-0701 • Fax: 503-378-4118 • reference.archives@state.or.us