For many reasons, finding vital records in New York State can be confusing and challenging. The purpose of this guide is to help clarify:.
There are a couple of crucial facts all researchers should know about locating vital records in New York State. New York State did not require local governments to report births, marriages, and deaths until Where you look for a vital record will change depending on the year and location of the event you're investigating.
Cook County Clerk's Office
New York vital records are not all stored in the same location or by the same authority. 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!
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. 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:. 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.
Can I Get a Death Certificate Online for Free?
See the New York City section of this guide for more information. 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. Go to Worth Street in Lower Manhattan. Use the Lafayette Street entrance, which is handicapped accessible, and go to room We are currently undergoing a renovation, and lines are longer than usual. Ordering online is the fastest, most efficient way to get a death certificate.
If you prefer to order in-person, lines are shortest in the morning. You should come prepared with identification. See requirements below. You may also pay by credit card, debit card or by electronic fund transfer EFT using your checking account and routing number. Cash is not accepted. Category 1: Identity documents photocopies permitted for mail orders Please submit any one of the following, if it includes your photo, your signature and is unexpired:.
Category 2: Proof of address. If you don't have any of the above, you may provide proof of address as described below no photocopies permitted; when you bring original copies with you, your certificate will be mailed to the address indicated on the documents. I am not considered an entitled party in the table above. Is there any way to get a copy of a death certificate? Please refer to the table above. If you are not listed in the table, please follow these instructions:. In addition to the identification requirements indicated on the form, you must establish your right to obtain a death certificate by providing any of the original or certified documents below.
If you are a party with a property right, you will need to demonstrate that information beyond the fact of death is necessary to protect or assert a right of that party. The Health Department issues two types of certificates to eligible individuals. Applications PDF must be submitted in person, by mail or through the funeral director who served you, if within the last 12 months. The certificate type depends on information submitted by the hospital or midwife, based on their best clinical estimates of gestational age. This document certifies the death of a fetus that occurred before or during the 20th week of gestation.
Finding New York Birth, Marriage, and Death Records | New York Genealogical & Biographical Society
This document certifies the stillbirth of a fetus that occurred after the 20th week of gestation. Certificates of Still Birth can be obtained only by the following:. Note: If your child was born with some evidence of life such as a heartbeat or voluntary muscle movement, the infant will have both a birth certificate PDF and a. You must apply separately for these certificates.
Use the birth certificate correction application. There are no fees for these corrections. In New York City, if private funeral arrangements are not made, remains of stillborn infants more than 24 weeks gestation are sent for burial to the City cemetery located at Hart Island, Bronx, NY, commonly known as Potter's Field, by the Office of the City Medical Examiner. I would like a copy of a death certificate for a person who died outside of New York City.
Where can I get more information? I would like a copy of a death certificate from before How can I order a death certificate for someone who died in New York City before ? I am an attorney retained by an entitled party and I need to order a death certificate for a client. How can I order a death certificate? Only entitled parties defined in the table above and their attorneys may submit orders for NYC death certificates. This excludes paralegals, couriers and other substitutes. Attorneys should follow these instructions when submitting orders in person or by mail.
If you experience any problems when attempting to submit an order in-person, please ask for a supervisor. For death certificate applications PDF , the entitled parties are limited to those listed in the table above. Please refer to the table above for the list of entitled parties. If the customer returns the "Record Not Found" statement by mail or in person with the additional information requested within 3 months from the issue date, OVR will conduct an additional search at no cost.
The customer receives an email from OVR explaining the cancellation and told how to contact OVR with further inquiries. Once an order has been cancelled, the customer must re-submit it according to the instructions provided. If the order is accepted and searched, this process can take from business days. If the certificate cannot be found, the customer is mailed a "Record Not Found" statement.
Check refunds take approximately 30 days.