I am hitting a brick wall trying to research my second great grandparents, Isaac and Allegra Honen. On Ancestry I found NYC death indexes showing the day that they both died in 1963, July 13 for Isaac and December 28 for Allegra. Unfortunately, I cannot find any other information at all about their deaths or where they were buried. They were both Jews who immigrated in 1916 from Salonica, Greece. Both were born around 1892/1893.

I'm afraid that their marriage documents were likely destroyed in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917, so I'm trying to get anything I can from their time in America.

  • Hi, welcome to G&FH.SE! I've edited your question to show that what Ancestry has are indexes to NYC deaths. The actual death records are not online.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Jan 28, 2021 at 2:22
  • When you say you cannot find any other information, where have you looked, and what were you looking for?
    – cleaverkin
    Commented Feb 2, 2021 at 20:25

3 Answers 3


1963 is recent enough that privacy law may prevent some data being publicly available publicly. As a descendant, you might request copies of the death certificates from https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/services/death-certificates.page .

However, you'd have better results if you were to ask your grandparent to make the request for you.

The following relations to the deceased may request both a death certificate and the confidential cause of death medical report:


The following relations may only request a death certificate, not the cause of death:

Great grandchild and great-great grandchild

  • Unfortunately there are no living grandparents I have related to them, but I have put in a request for the death certificate.
    – Hunter S
    Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 22:58

There are at least four good potential sources for burial information:

(1) death certificates (the most likely, already covered), but also

(2) newspaper obituaries (in NYC, you might need to find a local neighborhood paper, as the majors probably won't include much other than a very brief death notice);

(3) church burial records (if you know where they attended church, you might inquire there for records of them);

(4) cemetery records - yes, I know, if you knew which cemetery, this would be moot, but if there's a cemetery or cemeteries near where they lived that have a high percentage of their particular ethnicity, you might just check with the cemetery office to see if they have records of them. Some private cemeteries may not be able to provide any information at all, but in my experience, cemetery staff are generally quite helpful, especially if you have names and dates. Another possibility is that if you know where other close family members (e.g. their children) were buried, the office might be able to tell you who else is buried in the same plot - maybe your gg-grandparents didn't have headstones placed, and therefore might not show up on, say, FindAGrave or BillionGraves.


Here are some suggestions for research you could try while you are waiting for the death certificates to come in. Keep in mind that New York City keeps its own records, separate from New York State.

Review your prior research

You don't say how you know that Isaac and Allegra Honen were your second great-grandparents. Make a timeline of everything you know about them, noting how you know it.

Make a list of all your sources, arranged in the order they were created, and cross-reference this list with your timeline. Review all the sources you have on hand to see if there is information you may have missed. If you have sources where you don't know when they were created, put them at the end of the list (as if they were today's date).

Do your ancestors have any siblings? Add that information to a family timeline, and examine the entire family's information as a group.

If you have information that has passed down through the family, write that down and note as much as you can remember about who told you and when. If you are not in the oldest generation of your family, interview the older generation; if you have siblings, interview them. Write down what you learn. You can cite these interviews as "conversation with [name] on [date]", "email from [name] on [date]" and so on.

It is smart to review starting with the records created at death, or after death (like probate records) because those can give the fullest picture of a person's life.

FamilySearch Wiki Resources

The article Substitute Records For United States Death Information lists several different types of information that might hold information about someone's death and burial. Since you have exact deaths of dates already, newspaper research may be a good place to start.

The article New York City, New York Genealogy gives an overview of other record types for New York City that you might want to look for.

The article New York City, New York, Online Genealogy Records list records available online, both free and by subscription.

If you have difficulty finding other records from the time before their deaths, you may be able to get help from questions already on the site, or by posting a new question.

Other resources

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