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Vital Records


Mrs. Edsel B. Ford's Bridal Party. Image ID: 817847

Vital records—records of births, deaths, and marriages—are invaluable genealogical and family history information sources. The Milstein Division has indexes of vital records available on microfilm and through genalogy databases available in the library. To access some of these indexes you will have to visit the library in person, or engage the services of a genealogist or researcher. The Board for Certification of Genealogists and the Association of Professional Genealogists maintain lists of professional genealogists.

New York City Vital Records

New York City Vital Records Indexes

Indexes* at the Milstein Division of U.S. History, Local History & Genealogy, The New York Public Library:

Index to NYC Births, 1866–1909 (Manhattan/Bronx 1888–1909; all boroughs, 1898–1909)
Index to NYC Deaths, 1888–1948 (some earlier years for Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island)
Marriage Indexes by Groom 1888–1937 and Brides 1869–1937

*These indexes can only be viewed in person.

The Milstein Division also has a selection of indexes births, deaths and marriages prior to 1866, for New York City, and beyond, gathered from announcements in newspapers, and from church records.

Online Indexes:

Grooms Index

Brooklyn 1864–1907, Manhattan 1866–1907 and all boroughs 1908–1936.

Brides Index

Start date varies, end date 1937, for all boroughs.

New York City Death Index (1891–1948)

Death indexes for Manhattan 1891–1894, Brooklyn 1862–1897 and all boroughs 1898–1948.

Central Avenue, Tompkinsville, Staten Island, N.Y. [residential street with row homes and interesting 3-story brick apt.? building; people walking on street and ten children posed in a line in street]. Image ID: 105105
Central Avenue, Tompkinsville, Staten Island, N.Y. [residential street with row homes and interesting 3-story brick apt. building; people walking on street and ten children posed in a line in street]. Image ID: 105105

Historical Birth, Death and Marriage Records for the Five Boroughs of New York City

Municipal Archives
31 Chambers Street, Room 103
New York, NY 10007
Hours: Mon–Thurs. 9 am to 4:30 pm and Friday 9 am to 1 pm

Birth Records prior 1910
Manhattan 1847-48, 1853–1909
*Bronx 1898–1909
Brooklyn 1866–1909
Queens 1847–49, 1881–1909
Staten Island 1847–49, 1881–1909

Death Records prior to 1949
Manhattan 1795, 1802–1804, 1808, 1812–1948
Bronx 1898–1948
Brooklyn 1847–1853, 1857–1948
Queens 1847–49, 1881–1948
Staten Island 1847–49, 1881–1948

Camp Viola Woodland Beach Staten Island [man, woman, children in front of tent]. Image ID: 104459

Marriage Records prior to 1930
Manhattan 1847–48, 1853–1929
Bronx 1898–1929
Brooklyn 1866–1929
Queens 1847–49, 1881–1929
Staten Island 1847–49, 1881–1929

Please note; the boroughs of Brooklyn (Kings), Queens, Staten Island (Richmond) and areas of the Bronx did not become part of New York City until 1898.

*The Bronx did not exist as a separate Borough until 1898. New York City (Manhattan) annexed the area west of the Bronx River in 1874 and annexed the area east of the Bronx River in 1895. For vital records in those areas after the date of annexation through 1897, search Manhattan records.

Separate marriage & death records for Kings County towns Flatbush, Flatlands, Gravesend, New Lots, and New Utrecht pre-1894/95.

Birth records after 1910 and Death records after 1949
Department Of Health Office Of Vital Records
125 Worth Street, CN-4, Room 133
New York, NY 10013.
Telephone: (212) 788-4520

Marriage records after 1930*
Office Of The City Clerk
Municipal Building, Room 252
Centre & Chambers Streets
New York, NY 10007
Telephone: (212) 669-8898
*Marriage records 50 years or older are public records obtainable by anyone.

Dutch children at breakfast. Image ID: 1636161

Vital Records Outside of New York

All States Index to Vital Records Information

College of Physicians & Surgeons Obituary Database (Columbia University Medical Center)
At present the database includes obituaries dating from 1911 to 2003 and is updated quarterly. The earliest class is 1850.

Death Indexes and Records for the USA
Directory of online death indexes listed by state, including death certificate indexes, obituaries, cemetery burials & probate records.