Re: obtaining NYC Death Certificates #general

A. E. Jordan

Robert Avner asked what to do since the NYC Department of Health
Services placed increased restrictions on accessing death records.

As someone who works with New York records on a weekly basis let me
assure you that the New York City Department of Health marches to
its own beat. They make their own rules by their own authority and
do not follow the restrictions established by New York State.

I already told the story but it is worth repeating that for someone
I was trying to get a 1911 birth certificate for a child who we knew
died in 1913 and we had the death certificate. When I put the
request to the Health Department they kept repeatedly asking me if I
was the father of the child born in 1911 and I had to politely
explain how that would have been extremely difficult considering it
would make me most probably 130 years old!

If you are just trying to establish a date of death and you know it
was inn New York City the New York Public Library has the death
certificates index to 1972 missing only one year. It only contains,
name, borough, date, age and certificate number but it helps narrow
down the dates.

Another possible work around is probate files. I recently did a
search for someone in Manhattan and in a 1990s vintage file I found
an original copy of the death certificate as well as a letter >from a
friend written to the court detailing the family relationships. It
is hit or miss om if you will actually find the death certificate in
the probate file and I will say in Brooklyn a lot of the files >from
the 1930s do not have the death certificate but you of course do get
the date of death and then >from the other papers the next of kin.

Allan Jordan

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