Re: New records online: the New York City *Geographic* Birth Index, late 19th and early 20th century,

A. E. Jordan

-----Original Message-----
From: Asparagirl <asparagirl@...>
Sent: Mon, Nov 4, 2019 9:18 pm
So if you already know the address of a New York City family from
another source, such as a census record (US Federal Census, New York
State Census, or the 1890 New York City "Police Census") or a city
directory or a vital record, go check that same address through the
years to see if any other kids with a similar surname were born at
that address, too. You might find some previously-unknown births where
the names might have been misspelled or mistranscribed in the
"regular" New York City birth index

Congratulations to Reclaim for pulling this record out of the file cabinets at he Archives and making it more available to people.

One important thing to under about this record is it was built from the same set of birth certificates as the other indices.  If someone does not have a birth certificate elsewhere it not going to be here as well.  What this solves, as Brooke says, is if the spelling is so completely different or the transcription so poor (or missed) into the other indices.

The NYC Municipal Archives staff has told me that they estimate a quarter of all births went unrecorded in NYC circa 1900.  Remember births were at home usually with a midwife and it was up to the midwife to report it.

Also I do not believe that they went back to add in the D or S birth certificates to this index.  It was and still is possible to report a birth after the fact and with the right documentation have a D or S issued with the original date.  You find them being created when the children were going to school and I guess the school asked for some ID about the child and so the parents went to the trouble of reporting the birth or I have seen cases were an adult needed their birth and could not find it so they filed for the D which is a Delayed Report or the S which is a Special Report.  Both of these show up in some of the online indices but if is very important to note the D or S with the number because they are stored separately.  Some of them are on the mircofilm at the Archives and others they have the original paper copies and the rest are still at the Health Department locked away like all the births after 1909.

Another thing to remember about the geographic index is that especially on the Lower East Side people moved around a lot.  If the address you have is months or even years old it is very likely the people have moved.  It is well worth trying but don't be surprised not to find them in the same address.  The nice thing is that since not a lot of children were reported born at any one address in one year once you find the listing it is fairly short versus page after page of names.

Happy hunting and again thanks to Reclaim for making these records available to more people.

Allan Jordan

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