Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Tuesday's Tip: Research in the New York, New York Index to Death Certificates, 1862-1948

The record collection for New York, New York Index to Death Certificates, 1862-1948 is one of my favorite record collections.  It is online at Ancestry.com with 7,269,466 name indexed entries.  Note that this is an Index collection, and not a collection of death certificate digital images.

The original source for this online collection is the New York City Department of Records & Information Services. New York City Death Certificates.

On Ancestry.com, the user will find this collection search page in the Card Catalog:

The description of the information in this record collection is (from the Ancestry.com collection page):

This collection consists of robust indexes to deaths in the five Boroughs of New York City reported to the Health Department from 1862 to 1948.
Death records are currently available for the following boroughs and years. Additional years will be added as available:
  • Bronx, 1898 - 1948
  • Brooklyn, 1862 - 1948
  • Manhattan, 1866-1867, 1870-1875, 1934-1948
  • Queens, 1898 - 1948
  • Richmond, 1898 - 1948
In addition to the name of the individual who died, in these records you may be able to find:
  • The Death Date, Death Location (Address/Hospital, Ward, and Borough), Gender, Race, Marital Status, Length of time in US, Birth Date, Age at Death, Cause of Death, and Usual Address of the individual who died
  • The Name and Birthplace of the Mother and Father of the individual, as well as the Name of the Spouse, if applicable
  • The Name and Relationship to the deceased of the Informant and Executor.
Obtaining Copies of the Records
Visit the Department of Records/Municipal Archives website, www.nyc.gov/records (click on family history research) for information and instructions on how to view and/or obtain copies of death records identified in the index, and to view the complete list of death records. 
As you can see, there are significant gaps in this collection; for instance, Manhattan records between 1867-1870 and 1875-1934 are unavailable.  Records for Bronx, Queens and Richmond start in 1898.  

I searched for Seaver as a last name, checked the Exact box, and saw 59 results:

I clicked on the first match, and saw the information extracted for the death of Mary Jane Seaver (two screens):

As you can see, this record provides name, gender, race, marital status, age, birth date, birth place, residence place, residence address, date of death, death street address, death place, burial date, burial place, occupation, father's birth place, mother's birth place, father's name, mother's name, spouse's name, informant, informant's gender, informant's relationship, and more.  In many cases, the cause of death is included.

The "prizes" on these records are the full name, the birth date, the birth place, the death date, death place, cause of death, father's name, mother's name, spouse's name, and more.  

For my key surnames, this collection has these numbers of exact records:

*  Seaver:      59
*  Seavers:     31
*  Seever:        1
*  Seevers:       3
*  Sever:        20
*  Severs:      12
*  Sevier:        5

*  Carringer:   2

*  Auble:        3

*  Vaux:         4

The Ancestry "database number" for this collection is 61778.  I have over 25 profiles in my Ancestry Family Tree with a pending Hint in this collection (and probably more).   


NOTE:  Tuesday's Tips is a genealogy blog meme intended to provide information about a resource helpful to genealogists and family historians, especially in the U.S. online genea-world.

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Copyright (c) 2020, Randall J. Seaver

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