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Does anyone have records of Birth Certificates for births in New York, NY between the years of 1855 and 1864?

If so, would it be possible to locate a birth certificate for a relative named Emilie Yznaga?

She passed on 01 Nov 1944 and the certificate shows her birth year as 1859.

However, her passport applications show 1864 which is a bit of a difference.

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  • Welcome to G&FH SE! I hope you do not mind that I have made some edits to your question to make it slightly quicker to read. Also, every question, answer and comment you make here is already signed by your user card (where you are free to include your email address, if you wish) and so that has been removed.
    – PolyGeo
    Mar 20 '15 at 3:36
  • This is just an aside, but we had an earlier Yznaga in New York question here that you may or may not be interested in: genealogy.stackexchange.com/questions/7861/…
    – PolyGeo
    Mar 21 '15 at 3:10
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I have never been able to find any birth certificates for Emillie, Fernando, Consuelo or Natividad Iznaga Clement using Iznaga, Isnaga, Ysnaga or Yznaga. You say Ysnaga was born in NYC but I think they lived in Orange, NJ.

I have a letter from October 14, 1860 which already mentions Emillie so April 30, 1860 is more likely her birth date. As to the other dates, Emillie was single and may have changed her DOB on passports as a woman's vanity. Their cemetery memorial at Woodlawn only show death dates.

With respect to spelling, there is no "Y" in Basque alphabet, "Y" was used as capital "I" to make it more visible. Also in the 1700's and 1800's it was very common for words beginning with “I” to be written with a “Y” both in common words (Yglesia, Ysla) and Names (Ygnacio, Ybarra ...). In the 1800's in America and in many other countries, Y and I were often interchangeable, as the alphabet was not yet officially 26 letters, and so Y, J, I all were basically used for the same thing as was U for V, thus why a W became shown as two V's joined together.

Basque Alphabet

Although letters C, Ç, Q, V, W, and Y are not used in writing traditional Basque-language words, they were included in the Basque alphabet for writing words borrowed from other languages that do use them.1

Y - Spanish

In the Spanish language, Y was used as a word-initial form of I that was more visible. (German has used J in a similar way.)

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  • Welcome to G&FH SE! As a new user be sure to take our Tour which describes how this site works which is different to discussion forums, bulletin boards and other Q&A sites you may participate on. Here you appear to be making a comment on rather than answering the specific question that was asked. If you have any information on the birth certificate of Emilie Yznaga perhaps you can edit your answer to include that and perhaps leave the current information there as an interesting aside?
    – PolyGeo
    Apr 22 '15 at 11:18
  • I have never been able to find any birth certificates for Emillie, Fernando, Consuelo or Natividad Iznaga Clement using Iznaga, Isnaga, Ysnaga or Yznaga. They claim they were born in NYC but I think they lived in Orange, NJ. Apr 22 '15 at 18:58
  • I have a letter from 10/14/1860 which already mentions Emillie so 4/30/1860 is more likely her birth date. As to the other dates, Emillie was single and may have changed her DOB on passports as a woman's vanity. Apr 23 '15 at 3:25
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    I have moved information from your comments into your answer but please be aware that there is an edit button beneath it that you can use to place additional information directly into that location.
    – PolyGeo
    Apr 23 '15 at 3:41
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    I have edited the dates which were originally written in the comments and edited into the answers so they are written out in full. Using the US-style of mm/dd/yyyy can be ambiguous to users from outside the USA, who may be used to dd/mm/yyyy forms. Writing the month by name instead of using a number, makes things clear for everyone.
    – Jan Murphy
    Jun 27 '15 at 17:07
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This is not a Birth Certificate but I note that Find A Grave via FamilySearch says:

Name: Emilie Clement Iznaga Maiden Name: Event Type: Burial Event Date: 1944 Event Place: Bronx, Bronx, New York, United States of America Photograph Included: Yes Birth Date: 30 Apr 1864 Death Date: 01 Nov 1944 Affiliate Record Identifier: 112422133 Cemetery: Woodlawn Cemetery

Citing this Record: "Find A Grave Index," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/QVG7-C7SS : accessed 20 March 2015), Emilie Clement Iznaga, 1944; Burial, Bronx, Bronx, New York, United States of America, Woodlawn Cemetery; citing record ID 112422133, Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com.

The birth date of 30 Apr 1864 is consistent with a number of immigration and passport records at FamilySearch which provide birth dates for Emilie Yznaga of:

  • 1864 once
  • 30 Apr 1864 twice
  • 31 Oct 1864 four times
  • 1865 once (spelled Emilia Yznaga)

It may or may not apply, but I suspect that relatives in their grief may struggle to remember a date when providing information for a death certificate at short notice, and have much more time to get it right when ordering a gravestone.


As commented by @bgwiehle:

  1. The Find-a-Grave memorial apparently was edited since FamilySearch indexing - currently has birthdate as Apr. 30, 1860. Memorial has obit transcripts and photos, current owner has Inzaga in the username, so may have additional information if contacted.
  2. Passport applications include references to supporting documentation; however, the few [@bgwiehle] looked at didn't include a birth certificate. Interesting that Emilie's always signed as Ynzaga, not Inzaga.
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    FYI (1) The Find-a-Grave memorial apparently was edited since FamilySearch indexing - currently has birthdate as Apr. 30, 1860. Memorial has obit transcripts and photos, current owner has Inzaga in the username, so may have additional information if contacted. [findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=112422133 ] (2) Passport applications include references to supporting documentation; however, the few I looked at didn't include a birth certificate. Interesting that Emilie's always signed as Ynzaga, not Inzaga.
    – bgwiehle
    Mar 20 '15 at 13:29
  • She signed her name as Yznaga because that is her legal surname. Iznaga is incorrect. She has NEVER been known as Emilie Iznaga. Her death certificate shows her name as Emilie Yznaga. Mar 24 '15 at 4:19

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