In an answer to a question about New York records, efgen said:

The NYC birth index is actually available through 1965 on microfilm. However, only the indexes through 1909 are currently available online.


The Family History Library has a complete copy of the microfilmed indexes and records that are available at the NYC Municipal Archives. So once you have a certificate number from the index, you can order the appropriate microfilm through your local FHC to view the actual record.

Of course the Municipal archive only holds births through 1909, so it's unclear to me what records FamilySearch has.

Browsing the FamilySearch site, I was unable to find the metadata about the microfilm for the NYC births through 1965 mentioned by efgen. Their New York births collection covers the state, not NYC. Since I know the birth dates of the people from family records, I was thinking it should be possible to bypass the Municipal archive. Is this possible?


1 Answer 1


The website FamilySearch.org has several different resources available on it.

The most accessible resources are the online historical records, which are searchable directly from the main page of the site. Very valuable and I presume you have searched these records. If what you want doesn't show up (using various names and search stratigies), then FamilySearch does not have the records online (at present).

FamilySearch also provides access to the library catalog of the LDS Family History Library, which holds a very much larger set of records. (There is a "Catalog" tab on the main page to reach this catalog.) Finding something of interest there generally does not give you the data; to see that you must visit the Library in Salt Lake City or, in many cases, order a microfilm to be delivered to your area for local viewing (in a "Family History Center").

With some persistence, searching the catalog will yield the New York metadata you seek. I suggest that (currently) you might want to skip using the Beta interface to the catalog that you are initially presented with, and click the "previous version" link to use the older interface (but maybe I'm biased). Browsing the vital records headings under the place "New York, New York (City)" should get you to what you need.

Probably the record you first want to see is this one:

Births reported in the city of New York, 1881-1965

Note the button "View Film Notes" in the upper right; this will show you what the individual microfilm reels contain. Ordering one of these via a Family History Center will allow you to examine the item (from this film set, just an index entry, but likely necessary to efficiently find the actual birth certificate image elsewhere).

  • 1
    I was actually perusing the catalog when I saw your new answer come up. I'm so thankful you answered this. I was trying to sort out the difference between what seemed like four or five different place division sections/sub-sections for New York (City) in the catalog. (One as New York, New York; two as New York, New York (City) and two as New York, New York City.) There are also separate place division sections for the boroughs of New York (and there may be more than one for the boroughs).
    – GeneJ
    Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 22:16
  • It's interesting that I still cannot find this collection starting with the familysearch catalog. I wonder if somehow its not classified correctly. Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 23:56
  • I had reached it by the old interface, but I just tried the Beta interface and found it with "Place-names" search for "New York, New York (City)", then scrolling to "New York, New York (City) - Vital records - Indexes (9)" and clicking that.
    – RobertShaw
    Commented Oct 26, 2012 at 3:20
  • The FamilySearch catalogue is also very useful for finding out exactly where a particular record came from. It is worth looking up the File Number in the Catalogue to get to this information
    – Sue Adams
    Commented Oct 26, 2012 at 17:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.