Posted by Paul Rawlins on January 16, 2014 in Collections

Did you hear the news out of New York?

We have teamed up with the New York City Department of Records/Municipal Archives to bring indexes to more than 10 million New York City birth, marriage, and death records for the years 1866–1948.Statue of Liberty

You can search the indexes free from a new landing page at, where you’ll find other new releases as well, including the 1855 and 1875 New York state censuses.

Just how important was New York to U.S. immigration? Of the 5.4 million people who arrived in the U.S. between 1820 and 1860, more than two-thirds entered via New York. By the 1890s, New York’s share had eclipsed four-fifths. Even today, 36 percent of New York City’s population was born outside of the United States, down only 4 percent from 100 years ago. This means a wedding or death certificate from New York can often provide the first documentation for a family or ancestor in America.

You’ll also find a link to our latest state research guide—for New York—on the page. This guide walks you through records and family history resources available for New York and tells you where to find them, both on- and offline. A timeline of New York events to help you understand the history that surrounded your ancestors’ lives.

So feel free to start spreadin’ the news: New York, New York.


  1. BobNY

    You folks had best go back and check what you actually have in these indexes vs. what you claim they contain.
    For example, you state there are births for Manhattan, 1878 -1909. In actuality, there are no Manhattan births for 1878 through September 1900. There are also no Manhattan births for 1908 & 1909.

    A similar situation exists for Brooklyn (Kings Co.).

  2. John J Keohane

    The statement made by Bob is generally correct and I had assumed that the records might be posted in jurisdiction order. NYC was effectively consolidated in 1898 and prior thereto New York, Richmond and Bronx counties (part of which was Westchester until, I think, 1910) formed the City and the City of Brooklyn and various villages and towns on Long Island which would later be Kings and Queens Counties were separate jurisdictions. The records posted under the early births appear to be mainly from the Long Island jurisdictions and have little of the New York (Manhattan) and Bronx County listings. Is this just a question of timing in adding the additional information? Thank you. JK

  3. Paul

    Bob and John,

    The jurisdictional questions crossed my mind, but I don’t know if that is the answer. We are a looking into it, and I’ll pass along what I find out.


  4. meech

    …indexes compiled by VOLUNTEERS from the Italian Genealogical Group and the German Genealogy Group. It would be nice if Ancestry acknowledged them, too.

  5. John J Keohane

    I do not know whether the data is from the Italian and German Genealogical Groups, but they have done a great job and I have used their websites for years. However, if that is the source of the data I have not had the same problem when using them in the past as far as I know.

  6. Michael

    Thanks so much for adding this data! I too wish that Mr. Rawlins had acknowledged of the Italian and German Genealogy Groups here. Fortunately they are acknowledged in the data set description. I spent a fantastically productive day at the NYC Municipal Archives last year thanks to the work of those volunteers on these indexes and the great staff at the Archives.

  7. The data bases are still free on Italian & German genealogy sites. Many people like myself have worked hours to help get this data on line and to then have them charge for it is distressing.
    How does ancestry get away with this?

    I post my information on line at rootsweb to keep the information free & now it’s on Ancestry – not free.

  8. BobNY


    Yes, the 1909 Manhattan birth certs are at the Muni. The 1909 birth cert index is at the Muni, NYPL, NYG&B, IGG and GGG — just not in the much ballyhooed dataset from Ancestry.

    Still waiting for Paul to respond to Comment #1 from 10 days ago.

  9. Paul Rawlins

    A couple of updates.

    First, thank you for bringing up the volunteer efforts that put these indexes together. They are certainly a vital part of the story.

    And Bob and John, I haven’t forgotten the question about the year ranges. I just don’t have an answer to pass along yet.

Comments are closed.