At the turn of the 20th century, millions of people from across the world were stepping onto American soil for the first time. New York was a hub for these immigrants, where more than 12 million people came through Ellis Island alone to start a new life for themselves and their families in America’s so-called “melting pot.” Today, tens of millions of people can trace their roots back to, and through, the boroughs of New York City. From FDR’s marriage to Babe Ruth’s death, the lives of countless New Yorkers are documented in this index.
“When researching the American side of your family history, the likelihood of an ancestor either living in New York City or immigrating through it is very high,” said Todd Godfrey Director of Content Acquisition at Ancestry.com. “Our relationship with the New York City Municipal Archives and addition of this new index will help paint a robust picture of your family history, and perhaps answer questions you have wondered about for ages, such as grandpa’s year of birth or where your parents got married.”
New York remains a hot spot for people immigrating to America today, with 36 percent of today’s New York population having been born outside of the United States, compared with a similar 40 percent 100 years ago. This means a wedding or death certificate from New York can often represent the first documented presence of a family or ancestor in America, making free access to these records a tremendous resource to those researching their family history.
“We are pleased to have teamed up with Ancestry.com in making this easily-searchable index of New York City’s vital records available online for free,” said Eileen Flannelly, Commissioner of The New York City Department of Records. “It is our charter-mandated responsibility to the public to make this information available, and in working with Ancestry.com we have been able to do so in a way that is easy and efficient for people searching at home.”
Birth, marriage and death records, along with census data, can paint a picture of the lives of their ancestors and times in which they lived. In addition to the vital record index presented in collaboration with the New York Municipal Archives, Ancestry.com is also expanding its comprehensive New York Census Collection to include the complete state census data from 1855, 1875 and 1905.
These New York City Vital record indexes on Ancestry.com are free to browse for all who visit. Additionally, official copies of the vital records identified in the indexes can be ordered from the New York City Municipal Archives directly from the Ancestry.com site search.
For more information on the Collection and to get started with your own New York research visit www.ancestry.com/NewYork.
The above is a press release printed directly from Ancestry.com.