New York, New York City Births (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at

Collection Time Period

The collection covers the years 1847 to 1909.

Record Description

Name index and images for birth records from New York City including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Richmond boroughs.

Record Content

These records generally contain the following information:
New York, New York City Municipal births DGS 4011687 200.jpg
  • Name of child
  • Birth date
  • Birth place
  • Gender
  • Names of parents
  • Age of parents
  • Birthplace of parents
  • Registration date and place
  • Occupation of parents is sometimes listed

How to Use the Record

Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Use the locator information in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestors in the birth records. Some on-line indexes, such as indexes to FamilySearch Historical Records, will take you directly to an image. Compare the information in the birth record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination. Be aware that as with any index, transcription errors may occur.

When you have located your ancestor’s birth record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.

For example:

  • Use the birth date along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
  • The father’s occupation can lead you to employment or other types of records such as military records.
  • The parents' birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.

It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile birth entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the birth records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born in the same county or nearby.

Keep in mind:

  • The information in birth records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from record to record.

Record History

"Founded in 1950, the Municipal Archives preserves and makes available the historical records of New York City municipal government. Dating from the early seventeenth century to the present, the Municipal Archives holdings total approximately 160,000 cubic feet. Accessioned from more than one hundred city agencies, the collections comprise office records, manuscript material, still and moving images, ledger volumes, vital records, maps, blueprints, and sound recordings.

Collection highlights include vital records, census, and city directories that are an essential resource for patrons conducting family history research, the number one hobby in America. Records pertaining to the administration of criminal justice, dating from 1684 to 1966, constitute the largest and most comprehensive collection of such material in the English-speaking world. There are more than one million photographic images in fifty collections including pictures of every house and building in the city, ca. 1940. Legislative branch records date back to the first Dutch colonial government in New Amsterdam. Robert Moses’ papers document the city’s vast infrastructure from 1934 through 1959, and the records of mayoral administrations provide extensive information about every aspect of New York City from 1849 to the present."

"The Municipal Archives is committed to long-term preservation of the materials in its care. The institution maintains a conservation unit that performs complex document treatments, a micrographics unit to reformat materials, and a photography unit that produces new prints, transparencies, negatives, and scans from vintage photographic materials for both in-house use and for patrons."

Information found on the website for the New York City Vital Records at the Municipal Archives

Why the Record Was Created

The mission of the civil registry is to keep a written evidence of the events related to the civil status of the native citizens. The civil registration constitutes a proof of all the events registered in the municipal, consular, or central registries.

Municipal birth records were created for different purposes, such as for elections, military draft, taxing, municipal administration, etc.

Record Reliability

Civil births were official records and are some of the most reliable sources of information available for those who were born in New York.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection

  • United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet ( September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71.
  • Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet ( April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023.

Sources of information for This Collection

New York. New York City Municipal Births, 1847-1909. Municipal archives of New York. New York, New York.