How to Find New York City Death Records

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Prior to 1898, the towns in the counties of Queens (Queens Borough) and Richmond (Staten Island Borough) kept death records according to New York State laws. Starting in June 1880, New York required that village, town, and city clerks record deaths. After New York City consolidated in 1898, many of these records were sent to the New York City Municipal Archives.  
 
Prior to 1898, the towns in the counties of Queens (Queens Borough) and Richmond (Staten Island Borough) kept death records according to New York State laws. Starting in June 1880, New York required that village, town, and city clerks record deaths. After New York City consolidated in 1898, many of these records were sent to the New York City Municipal Archives.  
  
===== '''STEP ONE: Find Birth Information'''  =====
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===== '''STEP ONE: Find Death Information'''  =====
  
 
The [http://www.archives.nysed.gov/a/research/res_topics_gen_vitalstats.shtml New York Archives] as well as nine other repositories in New York hold copies of microfiche indexes to death certificates. Contact one of these ten repositories (listed on the State Archives website) to search the index. If you do not find your ancestor's death or if you want order a copy of the certificate, contact the [http://www.nyc.gov/html/records/html/archives/geneology.shtml New York City Municipal Archives].  
 
The [http://www.archives.nysed.gov/a/research/res_topics_gen_vitalstats.shtml New York Archives] as well as nine other repositories in New York hold copies of microfiche indexes to death certificates. Contact one of these ten repositories (listed on the State Archives website) to search the index. If you do not find your ancestor's death or if you want order a copy of the certificate, contact the [http://www.nyc.gov/html/records/html/archives/geneology.shtml New York City Municipal Archives].  

Revision as of 20:23, 12 June 2013


Finding United States Deaths Gotoarrow.png New York Deaths Gotoarrow.png New York City Deaths

Looking for a death record from New York City as part of your genealogy research? On January 1, 1898, the towns located in four counties (New York, Richmond, Queens, and Kings) were consolidated into the five boroughs of New York City (Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island). Prior to this time, New York City referred primarily to Manhattan. Records for the towns that became New York City do exist, many of which are held by New York City's Municipal Archives. Later records are held by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

According to New York State law, death records for New York City are not filed with the state of New York. Learn how to find death records outside New York City

Next Step: When and where did the death occur?

Choose a borough and time period:
Manhattan:
Brooklyn:
Queens and Staten Island:
The Bronx
All Boroughs:

Learn more about U.S. Death Records

Deaths before 1847

Before 1847, no deaths were recorded by either the state of New York or by New York City. You will need to search substitute records to locate your ancestor’s death date and place. Substitutes for death record information:

  Records that give death information:
Cemetery Records
Newspapers
Probate (wills, etc)
Tax Records
Church Records
Census
Bible Records
Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths from 1847 thru 1849

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 deaths after 1850 (with many discontinuing after the 1847-1848 year). Most records that exist for this time period have been collected by the New York City Municipal Archives.

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

Try 1st:
Most of the records for Manhattan as well as the towns in Kings, Queens, and Richmond counties have been microfilmed by FamilySearch. Search the Catalog for the name of village, town, or city and then order copies of the associated microfilm to your local FamilySearch Center.

Try 2nd:
Order a copy of the death record from New York City Municipal Archives.

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

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

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

Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths from 1850 thru ----

After the failure of the 1847 law, no deaths were recorded in the towns comprising present-day New York City. For births in Manhattan between 1850 and 1852, in Brooklyn before 1862, and in the towns of Queens, Richmond (Staten Island) and Kings (other than Brooklyn) Counties before 1881, try searching substitute records to locate your ancestor's death date and place.

  Records that give death information:
Cemetery Records
Newspapers
Probate (wills, etc)
Tax Records
Church Records
Census
Bible Records
Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths from 1853 thru 1897 (Manhattan)

Manhattan started keeping some death records in 1853. In 1866, a more complete law was passed requiring that all deaths be recorded. Records from this time period have been microfilm by FamilySearch and the original records are held by the New York Municipal Archives.

STEP ONE: Find Death Information

An online index for Manhattan deaths from 1864 thru 1897 does exist. Births from earlier time periods are available on microfilm. If you do not find your ancestor's death or if you want order a copy of the certificate, contact the New York City Municipal Archives.

Try 1st: New York City Death Database - Includes Index Only
1868-1909 - from ItalianGen.org Free; covers deaths in New York City from 1898 through 1909 as well as Manhattan (from 1868-1897) and Brooklyn (1862-1897); enhanced tools (including a listing of FamilySearch Film Numbers) for searching the collection can be found through stevemorse.org.
Try 2nd: Ancestry database: Includes Index Only
Choose one of the following:

1891-1902- use Ancestry Institution at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center

1891-1902 - use your own Ancestry subscription $, To obtain a subscription to Ancestry; Ancestry is often available for free through your local public library
Next Try: FamilySearch Microfilm: Includes Index and Images

1830-1965 - Register of New York City Death Records Free; order copies of microfilm to your local FamilySearch Center
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No death record for your ancestor? Other records with death information

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

PART A: You know the year and have a certificate number

With a year and a certificate number, you can either order a copy of the FamilySearch microfilm or order a copy of the death record from the New York City Municipal Archives for a fee

To Order Death Certificates
FamilySearch Microfilm NYC Municipal Archives
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state Microfilm copies may be hard to read Offers a search of the state index for an additional fee May be more expensive than ordering the microfilm

See list of restrictions for ordering death records

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

PART B: You don't know the year or have a certificate number

If you do not know the exact year and certificate number, the New York City Municipal Archives will search for the record for a fee.

See list of restrictions for ordering death records

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

Return to top: Choose another death year


Deaths from 1866 thru 1897 (Brooklyn)

The city of Brooklyn started keeping death records in 1866. At the time, the towns of Flatbush, Flatlands, Gravesend, New Lots, and New Utrecht were not a part of Brooklyn. These towns reported their deaths starting in 1880 (when New York State passed a law) to the New York State Department of Health until they were annexed by Brooklyn.

Deaths in Brooklyn (city)

STEP ONE: Find Death Information

An online index for Manhattan deaths from 1864 thru 1897 does exist. Births from earlier time periods are available on microfilm. If you do not find your ancestor's death or if you want order a copy of the certificate, contact the New York City Municipal Archives.

Try 1st: New York City Death Database - Includes Index Only
1868-1909 - from ItalianGen.org Free; covers deaths in New York City from 1898 through 1909 as well as Manhattan (from 1868-1897) and Brooklyn (1862-1897); enhanced tools (including a listing of FamilySearch Film Numbers) for searching the collection can be found through stevemorse.org.
Try 2nd: Ancestry database: Includes Index Only
Choose one of the following:

1891-1902- use Ancestry Institution at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center

1891-1902 - use your own Ancestry subscription $, To obtain a subscription to Ancestry; Ancestry is often available for free through your local public library
Next Try: FamilySearch Microfilm: Includes Index and Images

1830-1965 - Register of New York City Death Records Free; order copies of microfilm to your local FamilySearch Center
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No death record for your ancestor? Other records with death information

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

PART A: You know the year and have a certificate number

With a year and a certificate number, you can either order a copy of the FamilySearch microfilm or order a copy of the death record from the New York City Municipal Archives for a fee

To Order Death Certificates
FamilySearch Microfilm NYC Municipal Archives
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state Microfilm copies may be hard to read Offers a search of the state index for an additional fee May be more expensive than ordering the microfilm

See list of restrictions for ordering death records

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

PART B: You don't know the year or have a certificate number

If you do not know the exact year and certificate number, the New York City Municipal Archives will search for the record for a fee.

See list of restrictions for ordering death records

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

Deaths in Flatbush (1880-1894), Flatlands (1880-1895), Gravesend (1880-1894), New Lots (1881-1886), and New Utrecht (1880-1894)

STEP ONE: Find Death Information

The New York Archives as well as nine other repositories in New York hold copies of microfiche indexes to death certificates. Contact one of these ten repositories (listed on the State Archives website) to search the index. If you do not find your ancestor's death or if you want order a copy of the certificate, contact the New York City Municipal Archives.

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

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

To Order Death Certificates
NYC Municipal Archives From NY Dept of Health State office
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state May not have copies of all vital records for this time period 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 death records

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

Return to top: Choose another death year



Deaths from 1881 thru 1897 (Queens and Staten Island)

Prior to 1898, the towns in the counties of Queens (Queens Borough) and Richmond (Staten Island Borough) kept death records according to New York State laws. Starting in June 1880, New York required that village, town, and city clerks record deaths. After New York City consolidated in 1898, many of these records were sent to the New York City Municipal Archives.

STEP ONE: Find Death Information

The New York Archives as well as nine other repositories in New York hold copies of microfiche indexes to death certificates. Contact one of these ten repositories (listed on the State Archives website) to search the index. If you do not find your ancestor's death or if you want order a copy of the certificate, contact the New York City Municipal Archives.

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

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

To Order Death Certificates
NYC Municipal Archives From NY Dept of Health State office
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state May not have copies of all vital records for this time period 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 death records

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

Return to top: Choose another death year


Births from 1898 thru 1909

After 1898, birth records for New York City are available from the New York City Municipal Archives and are organized by Borough. Record for this time period are also available on microfilm from FamilySearch.

STEP ONE: Find Birth Information

Many New York City births have been indexed in the following databases. If you do not find your ancestor's birth or if you want order a copy of the certificate, contact the New York City Municipal Archives.

Try 1st: New York City Birth Database - Includes Index Only
1880-1909 - from ItalianGen.org Free; covers births in New York City from 1898 through 1909 as well as Manhattan and Brooklyn births from 1880-1897; enhanced tools (including a listing of FamilySearch Film Numbers) for searching the collection can be found through stevemorse.org.
Try 2nd: Ancestry database: Includes Index Only
Choose one of the following:

1891-1902- use Ancestry Institution at FamilySearch Centers/Libraries Free at FamilySearch Centers and Libraries; Find your local FamilySearch Center; enhanced tools for searching the collection can be found through SteveMorse.org

1891-1902 - use your own Ancestry subscription $, To obtain a subscription to Ancestry; Ancestry is often available for free through your local public library; enhanced tools for searching the collection can be found through SteveMorse.org
Next Try: FamilySearch Microfilm: Includes Index and Images

1830-1965 - Register of New York City Birth Records Free; order copies of microfilm to your local FamilySearch Center
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No birth record for your ancestor? Other records with birth information

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

PART A: You know the borough and year and have a certificate number

With a year and a certificate number, you can either order a copy of the FamilySearch microfilm or order a copy of the birth record from the New York City Municipal Archives for a fee

To Order Birth Certificates
FamilySearch Microfilm NYC Municipal Archives
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state Microfilm copies may not include delayed births or may be hard to read Offers a search of the state index for an additional fee May be more expensive than ordering the microfilm

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.

PART B: You don't know the borough and year and have a certificate number

If you do not know the exact borough, year, and certificate number, the New York City Municipal Archives will search for the record for a fee.

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 1965

Birth Certificates for this time period are held by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and can be ordered for a fee.

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


The Bronx

The Bronx did not exist as an independent borough prior to the consolidation of New York City in 1898 and did not exist as a separate county until 1914. In 1874, Manhattan annexed several towns from Westchester County located on the west side of the Bronx River. In 1895, Manhattan annexed the remaining area of present-day Bronx county. To locate birth records for towns locate in The Bronx:

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