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Genealogy Basics Research Guide: New York City Vital Records

Indexes

New York City vital records are organized within each event type (birth, marriage, or death) by borough, year, and certificate number. The below indexes will provide you with this information, so that you can easily locate or order the certificate you are seeking.  

Online Indexes

FamilySearch, the website of the Church of Latter-Day Saints’ Family History Library, offers searchable indexes of historical New York City certificates of birth (prior to 1910), marriage (prior to 1938), and death (prior to 1950). Specific date ranges for each borough are provided at the above links.

Microfilm Indexes

For New York City birth and death certificates later than those covered by FamilySearch’s online indexes (see above), indexes through 1965 are available on microfilm through the Church of Latter-Day Saints’ Family History Library. To find the relevant microfilm number, search for “New York, New York (City)” and click on “Vital Records – Indexes.” These indexes are on permanent loan at the Center for Jewish History’s Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute. If you cannot visit the Genealogy Institute, please see the U.S. Vital Records section of this guide for information on ordering these microfilms.

Obtaining Vital Records

Older Certificates

The New York City Municipal Archives (Department of Records) maintains original records of births reported in the five Boroughs of New York City prior to 1910; marriages reported prior to 1938; and deaths reported prior to 1949.* You may view them in person or order them online or by mail. For order forms and instructions, click here.

* For specific date ranges of Municipal Archives holdings for each borough, click here.

Note: Approximately 25% of all births prior to 1910 were not reported to the city, as they often took place at home and the doctor or midwife sometimes failed to report the event to the appropriate civil office. At least two independent sets of marriage records were maintained for the period 1908-1937 in each borough, one set at the Department of Health and the other at the City Clerk’s Office. In addition to holding the complete Department of Health set from this period, the Municipal Archives also holds the following records from the City Clerk’s Office set: bride and groom license indexes, 1908-1951; licenses, 1908-1929.

NYC Department of Records
31 Chambers Street, Room 103
New York, N.Y. 10007
Phone: 311 or (212) 639-9675 (outside NYC)
Click here to send an e-mail.
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm; Friday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Recent Certificates

Birth certificates from 1910 to the present and death certificates from 1949 to the present are held by the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene’s Office of Vital Records. They may be ordered online, by mail, or in person. Note: You may order birth certificates only for deceased relatives. When ordering death certificates, if you are not the spouse or a blood relative of the deceased, you must document your right to get the certificate. For order forms and instructions, click here.

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of Vital Records
125 Worth Street, CN-4, Room 133
New York, NY,  10013
Phone: 311 or (212) 639-9675 (outside NYC)
Hours: Monday to Friday, except holidays, 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.

Marriage applications and licenses from 1930 to the present and marriage license indexes from 1908 to the present are held by the NY City Clerk’s Office, Marriage Bureau. The City Clerk has offices in each of the five boroughs. Marriage records between 1930 and 1995 can be obtained only at the Manhattan office. Records between 1996 and the present may be obtained at any city clerk’s office. For locations and contact information of all NY city clerk offices, click here. Note: Marriage records more than 50 years old are available to the general public and may be ordered by mail or in person. Marriage records less than 50 years old are more difficult to obtain; you must meet specific criteria and present all required documentation. For order forms and instructions, click here.

Manhattan City Clerk’s Office, Record Room Division
141 Worth Street
New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 669-8090
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (Walk-in hours until 3:45 pm)

Library Media Resources Center
LaGuardia Community College
31-10 Thomson Avenue, room E101
Long Island City, NY 11101
Email the Library