How to Find New York Birth RecordsEdit This Page

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Finding United States Births Gotoarrow.png New York Gotoarrow.png New York Births

Looking for a birth record from New York State as part of your genealogy research? New York State briefly kept birth records from 1847 to about 1850 and started recording births again in 1881. Copies of all records can obtained from either the village, town, or city of birth or by contacting the state archives.

New York City keeps birth records separately from New York State. Learn more about finding birth records from New York City.

Next Step: When did the birth occur?

Choose a time period:

Learn more about U.S. Birth Records


Births before 1847

Before 1847, no births were recorded by New York State. You will need to search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s birth date and place. Substitutes for birth record information:

  Records that give birth information:
Death Records
Cemetery Records
Newspapers
Church Records
Census
Military Records
Return to top: Choose another birth year



Births from 1847 thru 1850

In 1847, New York State passed a law requiring that doctors and midwives report births, marriages, and deaths to the trustees of local school districts. Due to the complexities of this law, it quickly fell into disfavor and few communities reported births after 1850 (with many discontinuing after the 1847-1848 time period). Extant records for this time period are either held by the local village, town, or city clerk or by the county clerk.

PART A: You know the village, town, or city of birth

Try 1st:
Determine if the records from your village, town, city, or county have been microfilmed by FamilySearch. Search the Catalog for both village/town/city and county and then order available microfilm copies to your local Family History Center.

Try 2nd:
Order a copy of the birth record from the village, town, or city clerk. To locate contact information, search for the village, town, or city in the FamilySearch Research Wiki. Note that in some counties the county clerk holds all birth records for this time period.

If you do not want to order the birth record, you can search other records with birth information.

PART B: You do not know the village, town, or city of birth

If you do not know the village, town, or city of birth, learn more about the family using census, land, probate, and church records.

Return to top: Choose another birth year



Births from 1851 thru 1880

After the failure of the 1847 law, no births were recorded by the State of New York between 1850 and 1880 though some cities (including Albany, Buffalo, Yonkers) started recording births in the 1870s. Try searching substitute records to locate your ancestor's birth date and place.

  Records that give birth information:
Death Records
Cemetery Records
Newspapers
Church Records
Census
Military Records

Learn how to access records kept by Albany, Buffalo, and Yonkers from the 1870s.

Return to top: Choose another birth year



Births from 1881 thru 1913

Starting in 1881, New York required that village, town, and city clerks record births. Copies of these births were then filed with the State Department of Health. Due to earlier city laws, births recorded in Albany, Buffalo, and Yonkers were not copied to the State between 1881 and 1914.

Births in New York State (except Albany, Buffalo, and Yonkers)

STEP ONE - Search the Index

The New York Archives as well as nine other repositories in New York hold copies of microfiche indexes to birth certificates. Contact one of these ten repositories (listed on the State Archives website) to search the index.

STEP TWO - Obtain the Certificate

With an exact date (from your records or the index above), you can order a copy of the birth record for a fee from the following locations:

To Order Birth Certificates
From village/town/city of birth (search the Research Wiki for contact info) From NY Dept of Health State office
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state Individual clerks may not be aware of state laws regarding record availability Offers a standard search covering 1-3 years with additional years with the option to increase the number of years searched for an additional fee May take more than eight months to fulfill a request

See list of restrictions for ordering birth records record, you can search other records with birth information.

Births in Albany (city), Buffalo, or Yonkers

Albany
Birth records for the 1870-1914 time period can be ordered from the Albany Registrar of Vital Statistics.

Buffalo
Birth records for the 1878-1914 time period can be ordered from the Buffalo Registrar of Vital Statistics.

Yonkers
Birth records can be ordered from the Yonkers Registrar of Vital Statistics.

See list of restrictions for ordering birth records

Return to top: Choose another birth year



Births from 1914 thru 1938

After 1914, copies of all birth records (except New York City) were filed with the New York Department of Health. Copies can be obtained either through the village, town, or city clerk where the birth took place or by contacting the Department of Health.

STEP ONE - Search the Index

The New York Archives as well as nine other repositories in New York hold copies of microfiche indexes to birth certificates. Contact one of these ten repositories (listed on the State Archives website) to search the index.

STEP TWO - Obtain the Certificate

With an exact date (from your records or the index above), you can order a copy of the birth record for a fee from the following locations:

To Order Birth Certificates
From village/town/city of birth (search the Research Wiki for contact info) From NY Dept of Health State office
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state Individual clerks may not be aware of state laws regarding record availability Offers a standard search covering 1-3 years with additional years with the option to increase the number of years searched for an additional fee May take more than eight months to fulfill a request

See list of restrictions for ordering birth records If you do not want to order the birth record, you can search other records with birth information.

Return to top: Choose another birth year



Births after 1938

Births recorded less than seventy-five years ago are only available to direct line descendants who provide proof of their relationship and proof of the death of the person whose birth certificate they are requesting.

To Order Birth Certificates
From village/town/city of birth (search the Research Wiki for contact info) From NY Dept of Health State office
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state Individual clerks may not be aware of state laws regarding record availability Offers a standard search covering 1-3 years with additional years with the option to increase the number of years searched for an additional fee May take more than eight months to fulfill a request

See list of restrictions for ordering birth records

If you do not want to order the birth record, you can search other records with birth information.

Return to top: Choose another birth year



Restrictions for Obtaining Birth Records

To obtain a certified copy of the birth certificate for those born within the last 75 years, you must be:

  • The person named on the birth certificate
  • A parent of the person named on the birth certificate (requesting parent's name must be on birth certificate)
  • Spouse, child, or other person by order of a New York State Court

An uncertified copy of a birth certificate issued within the last seventy-five years is available to a direct-line descendant who provides

  • Proof of their relationship to the person whose birth certificate they are requesting
  • Proof of the death of the person whose birth certificate they are requesting

 

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  • This page was last modified on 23 May 2014, at 19:34.
  • This page has been accessed 4,841 times.