Re: birth certificates in NYC #general


Hi, Genners,

I am not sure what Gloria meant in her statement "The
family did not live in the Bronx and may have given
another family member's address in order to be able to
use that hospital."

I was born in Brooklyn, in February, during a
blizzard. [You can check the facts, if you are
curious - please contact me off-group.] This was a
fairly difficult drive >from our home in Queens for my
[nervous] first-time father. My point - those were
the *only* 5 days of my life that were spent in that

My parents lived in Queens and all of my grandparents
lived in the Bronx - at least since the early 1920s.
My sister and both my paternal first cousins were born
in Brooklyn as well. In our family, the reason is
straightforward - my grandfather's cousin was a
physician affiliated with a certain Brooklyn hospital.
He recommended the obstetrician that my mother and
aunt used. [Yes, they commuted by train for an hour
each way every month for their check-ups.] That
doctor delivered at that particular Brooklyn hospital.
End of story.

We four were not the only ones in our family who were
born in a different place >from where the parents
resided. If you are not familiar with Dr. Left's
Maternity Hospital [originally of Manhattan, then of
the Bronx,] then you are missing a large part of
1920's through 1960's NYC Jewish birth [and terminated
birth] history. My husband and his brother, >from a
Union County, New Jersey family, were both born in the
Bronx at Dr. Left's.

No one need live in a certain place to gain access to
a certain hospital, at least not in NYC in my

As to Joy Weaver's dilemma - I believe that as long as
the infant arrived at the hospital very soon after
birth, then the hospital was listed as the place of
birth. Remember that birth certificates are not the
only documentation that a hospital records. They have
a Board of Health to answer to and issues about infant
health and mortality, drops in the eyes, etc. that
affect their license and credentials. Also the Board
of Health tracked patterns of illness which might
warrant notifying families that had members stay at a
particular facility at a certain time.

As opposed to an at-home birth, hospitals could not
fudge much of what they recorded. Now if you want to
talk about the "payola" used to smooth things out
between businesses and NYC government that's another

Shellie Wiener
San Francisco, CA
== Gloria Bailey wrote in response to Joy Weaver's
message about birth certificates and the possibility
that the birth took place elsewhere than where the
certificate was issued:

<My relative always said (and she is still alive) that
she was born in a taxicab on the way to the hospital.
However, her birth certificate was >from Lebanon
Hospital in the Bronx and gives the birth place as
Lebanon Hospital. Obviously she couldn't remember her
own birth, but she heard about it >from her mother many
times. (The family did not live in the Bronx and may
have given another family member's address in order to
be able to use that hospital).>

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