Great news for those with ancestors born in New York City! Ancestry.com recently added a new searchable database containing crucial information on New York City births between 1910 and 1965.
The images in the collection have been digitized from official New York City Department of Health print indexes provided by www.vitalsearch-worldwide.com. Researchers may find details including:
- Date of birth
- Borough of birth
- Birth certificate number
Images in the collection are linked to a digital index, so the record set is fully searchable by name, birth year and location. Images can also be browsed and are organized by year and by borough, and names are listed alphabetically by surname.
This is an important release for several reasons. The index can help provide an exact birth date for those who do not know that information about their ancestors, but researchers should attempt to obtain the original certificate if possible since indexes are derivative sources.
How to obtain birth certificates located in this index
Even more importantly - especially for those researching adoption related subjects - the certificate number can be a breakthrough discovery. Unfortunately, because these records have not yet been transferred to the Municipal Archives - the earliest birth records there are through 1909 - they may be difficult to obtain.
While these birth certificates remain at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, researchers who would like to obtain certificates for ancestors located in this index will need to satisfy the department’s standards for releasing birth records, which are very difficult but sometimes possible to get through.
Once records are transferred from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to the Municipal Archives, they can be accessed without any restrictions.
Unfortunately, the New York City is currently attempting to pass a rule that would prevent birth records from being transferred to the Municipal Archives and made accessible to the public for 125 years.
This means that the birth certificates found in this index won’t be available at the Municipal Archives until 2035 or later! Read more about this news here, and learn what you can do to help prevent this from happening.
The image quality in this record set can be a challenge for some years and boroughs - but overall, this collection is definitely worth exploring if you have ancestors born in New York City during this time period!