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

A. E. Jordan

Brooke Schreier Ganz writes
There are many other films of this Geographic Birth Index, which
supposedly go up through the 1940's or possibly the early 1950's. We
believe they are still in the possession of the New York City
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and were not turned over to
the Archives.

I have had some experience with these files at the Health Department.  As part of a search a few years ago I asked for access to these files or the ability to check for a missing birth record.  It was a long drawn out process with the Health Department constantly asking me if I was the father of the child born in 1910 who died in 1912.  I got a certified copy of the death certificate from the Archives and using the DOH own rules I should have been permitted access to the birth record which was critical for the research.

After convincing DOH that it was mathematically (and biologically) impossible for me to be the father of a child who died 100-plus years ago one of the supervisors worked on my search.

When I raised the question of the geographic birth index to help solve the problem they admitted it exists on microfilm but later came back to me saying it was not possible that the records were "molding away" in their sub basement.

It would be great for Reclaim to win with the DOH but I fear what they may find.

Allan Jordan

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