Re: Resuming Lookups in NYC #general

A. E. Jordan

Yes it is correct that indexes are available online but there are
numerous generalizations in this message which unfortunately are
misleading on the records. I repeat my offer to discuss in detail the
specifics of NYC records with anyone who has a question.

There is a lot of value in the individual records were the summaries
posted online. The LDS for example does not include all of the lines
in the summaries on FamilyHistory not to mention the issues of
handwriting interpretations. A lot of the data entry was done by
people not familiar with New York or Jewish customs so you find
inaccuracies in names for example.

The LDS has a lot of the New York City records but they are mostly
only available with an in person visit to the Family History Library
or Family History Center.

There are however also tools available at the Archives that help to
solve problems. The Archives has the original indexes on microfilm
and >from which many of the online indexes were built, Of course
there are errors or omissions in the online indexes which sometimes
can be solved by working with the microfilmed indexes.

It is correct that the Archives charges a much higher price but the
copies are certified records >from the Archives which some people
require when filing with a court or seeking to use one record to open
another. For example, with a certified death certificate >from the
Archives you in theory can get some of the birth certificates still
held at the Health Department. I say in theory because the Health
Department is difficult to work with and is trying to make the privacy
rules even more difficult but I have had some successes using this

You also need to be careful because some of the online sources appear
to have the files but in many cases those records are incomplete. For
example the 1890 Police Census. The LDS index fails to supply a
critical bit of information which is the address and I have had numerous
instances where I have used the LDS index for this file and the person
in question is not where the index seems to indicate they are located.

The 1890 Police Census images that are on line are a tiny fraction of
the census. If you read Ancestry's description of the file you will see
that it says "These constitute 26 of the 894 extant books...: -- that's
about 3% of the census.

Many people om this list have worked with me in the past and I think you
all understand this is first and foremost a mitzvah to the community. I
enjoy the research challenges and helping others and am happy to assist
anyone who contacts me or offer you recommendations on how to advance
you research.

Allan Jordan

-----Original Message-----
From: Banai Lynn Feldstein

Allan offers look-ups in NYC, but I want to clarify to everyone what
is available for NYC without a visit to the Municipal Archives. You
may save yourself and Allan some time.

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