I don’t have a whole lot of time to write tonight, but I thought I’d at least provide an update on my activities.
I spent a rainy Fourth of July at my sister’s house with about fifteen other relatives. With the rain, it was a cozy bunch inside the house!
Thursday, I went to the New York State Archives, where I spent about six hours looking through the New York State vital records indexes.
New York State has a fairly restrictive policy for access to vital records for genealogy purposes:
To obtain birth records for genealogy purposes, the record must be 75 years old and the person named must be deceased; to obtain marriage and death records for genealogy purposes, the record must be 50 years old and the persons named must be deceased.
The time limits for genealogy requests may be waived if the person requesting the record is a direct-line descendant. The person named in the record must be deceased.
Certified copies of vital records may be obtained without time restrictions and without the requirement that the named individual be deceased, but very few people qualify to receive certified copies of vital records:
Those entitled to obtain a certified copy of a birth certificate are the person whose birth is recorded on the certificate and the parents of the named individual. The parents must be named on the certificate themselves. Anyone else who wishes to obtain the birth certificate of a living individual must have a New York State Court Order.
Those entitled to obtain a certified copy of the death certificate of someone who died less than 50 years ago are the spouse, parent or child of the deceased, and other persons who have a documented lawful right or claim, documented medical need, or a New York State Court Order.
Those entitled to obtain a certified copy of the marriage certificate are the bride or groom, or other persons who have a documented judicial or other proper purpose, or a New York State Court Order.
Those entitled to obtain a certified copy of a divorce certificate are the husband, the wife, and other persons with a New York State Court Order.
All the same, I examined the indexes to vital records (restricted to birth records at least 75 years old, and marriage and death records at least 50 years old). I had quite a bit of success finding vital records indexed for several births, marriages, and deaths. My next step with the vital records is to order the certificates, themselves.
Copyright © 2007 by Stephen J. Danko