JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: seeking NYC marriage certificate #general

A. E. Jordan

From: Jennifer Mendelsohn jennifer@...
From: ELIAS SAVADA <esavada@...>
Have you searched the city clerk records at the Municipal Archives on
Chambers St., NYC?
Jennifer replied ......
but I have had much success finding certificate numbers using....
To be clear these are two different sets of records. One set (which is
the one that is indexed online) is >from the Health Department and that
is open and available at the Municipal Archives as well as online via
the LDS through 1937. This is what Jeniffer mentioned.

Eli referenced a different set of records which is those kept by the
City Clerk. It is separate >from the Health Department file and
sometimes contains overlap but also has records for people who only
filed at the Clerk's office.

The City Clerk file is not on line and can only be searched in person
at the Municipal Archives. It is in a different file cabinet on the
other side of the room. They have the index all the way up to 1950 but
the actual records also stop in the 1930s. It is a more difficult file
to work with because it is first sorted by year and then by borough and
then within the reels it is a handwritten listed by the first two
letters of the last name and it is grouped generally in two month
intervals. The combination of the handwriting and the dark
microfilm/machines make it a difficult index to read. The one nice
thing is it has both a bride and groom index so you can cross check
when you think you find someone. What you get >from the index is the
name, date and record number. Then you can see the record by looking
up that number on a separate set of reels and they will print copies at
the same $11 fee as the other records. If you find someone in the
index for the years after the Archives has the certificates you can
walk up the street to the Health Department office and make a request
with the certificate number you found in the index.

As I said some people only have files on the City Clerk records so it
is a good second source for New York City marriages. Most of the time
I have found if you get the Health Department certificate the City
Clerk file is basically a duplicate but occasionally people gave
different information between the two forms.

Allan Jordan

MODERATOR NOTE: Thank you, Jordan. This information is also explained in the
JewishGen InfoFile at: and at
Read the sections under Marriage Records.

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