Researchers will need to investigate sets of vital records in state capitol Albany, New York City, or other local municipalities depending on the time period. There are separate also indexes to many of these different collections. The latest NY records news, expert genealogy tips, and fascinating stories, delivered twice a month to your inbox!
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Finding a New York City birth, marriage, or death record can be complicated due to the different territorial and record keeping histories of each of the 5 boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn often referred to as Kings County , Manhattan often referred to as New York County , Queens, and Staten Island often referred to as Richmond County. Where to look and what methods to use can vary depending on the county or borough you're looking in, as well as the exact year.
His suggested repositories and record sets also include many vital record substitutes for periods and locations when official city copies are unavailable. The following resources also contain detailed information on vital records in each of the boroughs of New York City, particularly when looking for records in the early s and before:. In general, researchers can find vital records from the following time periods at the Municipal Archives:.
To retrieve a copy of a certificate, the most important piece of information a researcher should have is the certificate number. Certificate numbers can be found by locating the name of the individual in a vital records index.
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Once the certificate number has been found, there are a number of ways to obtain a birth, marriage, or death certificate. Of course, researchers can head down to the Municipal Archives in person to locate the vital certificate themselves. Vital certificates that are still at the Department of Health can be accessed, but not by everyone. Individuals with one of the following relationships to the subject of the certificate can obtain copies of birth records from DOHMH with proof of death :.
Individuals with one of the following relationships to the subject of the certificate can obtain copies of death records from DOHMH:.
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While you may be able to order a certificate online with DOHMH , researchers may want to make the request in person to avoid any complications due to the rollout of these new rules. If you're seeking a birth, marriage, or death record for an ancestor in one of those locations before , click the name of each municipality for tips on finding records before These records are only available to the public after a certain period of time, which varies depending on the record and the researcher's relation to the person of interest.
Those seeking New York birth certificates should begin with State's index to all birth certificates from These repositories still have this index, but for most it will be far easier to access online.
Click here to search the index on Ancestry. Again, these indexes do not cover several notable locations. See the New York City section of this guide for more information.
New York Vital Records
Click the name of each municipality to find out about obtaining vital records for your ancestors in these cities. Once you have found the birth certificate number, you're ready to request a copy.
Marriage indexes are available to researchers on microfiche at the eleven repositories listed above. In some cases, marriage records can be located at the county level. See the New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer for a list of the exact years and counties covered in this collection, as well as other online marriage collections. New York City marriage records have always been kept completely separate from vital records of other locations in New York State.
Once you have found the marriage certificate number, you're ready to request a copy. To find a death certificate, researchers should begin by searching New York State's index to all deaths beginning in Thanks to the non—profit group, Reclaim the Records , the vital records indexes are beginning to make their way to the internet for free use by all. There are plans to add the marriage and birth indexes within the current year. They also have the Buffalo death index , and plan to add Albany soon as well. These indexes will tell you the name, date, location and state file number for the event; they do not give you any other information contained on the certificate.
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You would need to purchase a copy of the certificate. Be aware that not all places kept records, not all places charge the same, and some places will send you only a transcript and not a copy of the original certificate like the state will. Additionally, some local towns and villages will have them, and in some places its the county that has them for all places located within it. They do, however, include vital records in the former towns of Kings County, prior to their annexation by the City of Brooklyn in the 's and 90's; portions of Westchester County prior to their annexation by New York City in ; and in Richmond County Staten Island and the western portion of Queens County prior to their incorporation into the City of New York on Jan.
They also do not include births and deaths in Albany, Buffalo and Yonkers prior to , or marriages in those cities prior to Birth reports included the names of the parents, and the sex, race and name of each child born alive. The town clerk or city alderman was required to send an abstract to the county clerk or health inspector.
The county clerk or health inspector was required to send an abstract to the Secretary of State.
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Births, deaths and marriages are required to be reported within 3 days of their occurrence with the city, town or village clerk. Birth certificates signed by the physician or midwife are required to be filed within 30 days of the birth. Filing of the birth certificate is required within five days of the birth. The State Health Commissioner is authorized to subdivide or combine two or more primary registration districts. The State Health Commissioner is authorized to charge fees for certified copies of birth and death records and for searches of files or records.
Stillbirth registration is required. Birth certificates are made legal evidence for personal identification. The original birth certificate is sealed and replaced by an amended birth certificate whenever the parents of an illegitimate child subsequently marry; the child was adopted; or the child's parentage was determined by a court.