Possible non-existence of a NY City death record #general
This group has always been so knowledgeable and so I turn once again to help
solve a mystery, which is: Is it possible for someone to have died in NY City
between 1910-1930 and not have left a record? I know it is possible for birth
records to not exist, as I have personally experienced this.
Details: I ordered a death record for my g-g grandfather Nathan MEYER who
according to Manhattan, NY census records of 1900 and 1910 was born about
1839-40. The certificate itself was for an entirely different individual with
a different spouse and homeland. My Nathan was married to Sarah(Sima)MILBAUER
and was born in Mielec, Galicia.
I tried a variety of name variations using his approximate death date, but I
have not found success. I value and appreciate any additional suggestions any
of you may have.
PLATZMAN, REYITTS (REIZ)Kamenets-Podolskiy, Podolia >NY
SCHNEIDER, MILBAUER, MEYER, MAURER- Galicia/ Austria>NY
I have a similar problem.
My grandfather, Louis LIPOVITCH, died in Brooklyn April 7, 1900, age 34. He
was buried at Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn and I have visited his grave.
But I have NOT found his death record on any of the Death Indexes online.
I was hoping to find more info about his birth place, etc >from the record .
I know he had pneumonia and died within a few days. My father always said it
was because he smoked so much and was a cigar maker that his lungs couldn't
resist the pneumonia, so my father made sure no one in his family ever
smoked. Do you think the authorities just weren't so fussy about people
reporting deaths at that time, especially if the deceased didn't die >from a
I don't know where else to look for a death record. Any suggestions?
Shari Kantrow asked "Is it possible for someone to have died in NY City between
1910-1930 and not have left a record? I know it is possible for birth records
to not exist, as I have personally experienced this. Whether it's possible for
a death record >from New York City not to exist, similar to non-existent a birth
My brief answer is definitely - no.
It's possible for somebody to have been born in N.Y.C. a century ago to have no
birth record because people didn't need birth certificates to open bank accounts,
get driver's licenses, and so on. By the 1910's, it occurred infrequently, and
by the 1930's, it was rare.
But for somebody to be buried, or cremated, or even have a funeral, there had to
be a death certificate, as well as a transit permit to move the body. The funeral
home couldn't do anything until the person was "declared" dead. I forget when
this became law, but it was prior to 1900.
That's not to say that the death certificate had the right name - it could have
been spelled wrong, indexed incorrectly, the first name and surname could have
been transposed, a similar but different name could have been used, or depending
on the circumstances of death the person could have even been "unknown white male"
-- all of the things we try to think of when our relative isn't in the index
where expected, with the explanations getting more complicated the further we
look. Residents of New York City could have also outside of the five boroughs,
with their deaths recorded somewhere else.
New York, N.Y.
A. E. Jordan
In a message dated 8/23/2010 8:05:28 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
My grandfather, Louis LIPOVITCH, died in Brooklyn April 7, 1900, age 34.It was my understanding that the death certificate was required for a
person's burial. So in most cases I have worked on we ultimately find the
death certificate with a little more hunting.
First off consider -- did the person really die in the local area? Could
they had been traveling outside the city/area? Could they have lived
someplace else but been buried somewhere else?
If you can not find the grave have you considered where other family
members are buried?
Try twisting the name far and wide and don't be too concerned about the
age. Remember the age is whatever the informant tells them when the
certificate is being filed.
And now for this specific person's question:
Have you explored could he have been living in New Jersey? I have seen
graves at Washington >from congregations in Northern New Jersey. Not sure why
or how it happened but I know that a Hoboken, NJ temple had its plot in
Washington in Hoboken.
Another possibility would be to check obits >from The New York Times or
other newspapers to see if you can find more information.
And since you have the date of death you might try looking at the actual
death certificates which are organized by date. You could look at the
actual certificates on the microfilms and see if you can spot it with a spelling
problem or such that makes it invisible in the index.
Estelle asked about a death certificate for her grandfather. I found a
matching name at ItalianGen.org with his name spelled slightly differently
and his age as 43, not 34.
Lipowitch Louis 43 y Apr 7 1900 certificate #6987 Kings
My grandfather, Louis LIPOVITCH, died in Brooklyn April 7, 1900, age 34. HeBarbara Zimmer
Alan Greenberger <alanjg@...>
Gamble $15 and fill outtoggle quoted messageShow quoted text
On 2010-08-24, Estelle Guttman <email@example.com> wrote:
My grandfather, Louis LIPOVITCH, died in Brooklyn April 7, 1900, age 34. He
I, too, have a similar issue I've been trying to solve for years.
My great-grandmother, Rachel GELERINTER, died in Jan, 1969. The SS death index,
as well as 4 obituaries confirm this. The obits all call her GELERNTER, but I'm
used to that. Based on the recollection of the cousin whose family moved into
her rent-controlled, Manhattan apartment about a year before her death, she was
living in NY until her death. (although now, a discrepancy comes to mind and
I'll need to email said cousin right after sending this off). I've spoken to
older cousins who actually knew my GGM and can tell me stories about her and,
while they forget exactly where, they all agree she's buried in the tri-state
area. I also knew this since my father tells me his parents used to visit her
grave on a regular basis, yet never brought him and his brother since they
didn't do that sort of thing and bring children to the cemetery, so he doesn't
know WHERE it is. I've cold-called most of the cemeteries in the tri-state area
and every one either never heard of her, or wasn't willing to help me out. I've
had a handful of people check the NYPL archives for her death certificate not
only in '69 but in a couple years on either side. It took me a while, some
faith and some dumb luck to find her husband's grave several years ago and she's
not next to him. She remains the only of my GGparents that I haven't found yet.
So, I too, welcome any new ideas. :)
Searching: GELERINTER, BALKIN/BULKIN, PASHECK, HIRSCHBEIN, STEINBERGER,
MANISCHEWITZ, BROWNSTEIN (Hartford, CT)
In a message dated 8/23/2010 firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
My grandfather, Louis LIPOVITCH, died in Brooklyn April 7, 1900, age 34.Perhaps you've tried this, but follow my logic anyway...
i went to italiangen.org and asked for any death certificate in 1900 for LIP*,
thinking perhaps the name might have been misheard or miswritten. sure enough i
found this listing...could it be your Louis?
Louis Lipowitch, died april 7, 1900 at 43 years.
V.P.Eduction, JewishGen Inc.
In addition to [Allan Jordan's] very helpful suggestions, if everything else
fails, consider (these are generic and not specific to Estelle Guttman's
search in NYC death records circa 1900):
1. Some record index books have a tab on every page, which limits those
entries to one page. If they filled the page for that year with "Li" surnames,
they would be continued at the end of the book.
2. The death could have been recorded late, if there was an autopsy or coroner's
inquest (usually in cases of homicide or accidental death). A death at the end
of the year might have been recorded in the following year's books.
3. The death could have occurred in a hospital in a different borough, or a
different city, >from the place of residence or the place of burial.
4. The decedent could have gone by another name; perhaps the relatives of a
person known by an Anglicized surname decided to revert to his birth surname on
the headstone and elsewhere. If the decedent died unattended by relatives and
without identification, there may have been no informant able to give his name
5. The grieving relatives might have given an incorrect name; perhaps the
questioning of relatives in several languages might have gotten them to give
the decedent's father's name instead of his own, or his wife's maiden name, or
the name of his child. If the decedent's mother was the informant and had
remarried, the fact that she had a different surname >from her son might have
led to confusion.
5. Cemetery records may give a clue, especially if the death occurred out of
state and a health department permit may have been required in order to receive
a casket >from another state. If a family member is buried near your decedent,
perhaps the other person's death certificate might offer a clue -- a name, a
place of residence, an occupation, that you didn't know before.
6. Since your decedent died in April 1900, might he have been included in the
7. Try eliminating the first name >from your search, and try wildcard spellings
that incorporate known variants. Don't rely on Soundex to do the job for you.
In Estelle's case, there is no LIPOVITCH in the records, but Louis LIPOWITCH,
age 43, who died April 7, 1900, is right there in Kings County, Certificate
Best of luck,
Further response to Estelle Guttman's search in NYC death records circa
Actually, my response points to a possibly similar situation, this one occurring
in the Social Security Death Index (USA). My dad, Enoch MOED, died 19 December
1962 in New York City. Yet, the SSDI shows his death occurring in January 1963.
I surmise the erroneous SSDI date is due to the intervening end-of-year holiday
Henny Moed Roth
JG Researcher 19142
Los Angeles, California