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NYC Geographic Birth Index is available online for free

Having problems finding a New York City birth certificate number? If you have tried birth index databases and cannot find your ancestor, another database may be able to help. It’s called the New York City Geographic Birth Index.

As the name implies, this collection is organized by street address. However, directional markers are considered to be a part of the street name. So, for example, the cards for East Broadway are followed by the cards for East Houston Street, and so on and will be with the other streets beginning with E.

The information was on index cards and then microfilmed by the Municipal Archives. The information on the cards includes the child’s date of birth, the child’s name, and the birth certificate number.

The microfilm reels have been digitized and are online at and also online at Internet Archive, however there is no name index at either of these locations.

The individual cards cover a 4 year time span. Some addresses will have more than one card if they were for a tenement or apartment building or other dwelling with several families.

Some cards are out of order, out of focus, damaged, or upside down. It is believed that the original index cards were destroyed.

The cards were originally split into six separate groups: one for each borough (county) and a special sixth group that listed every birth that took place in New York City area hospitals, workhouses, prisons, and other public institutions – even the Ellis Island Hospital and the New York Lunatic Asylum.

The following are the years covered:

1898-1910 Bronx

1898-1907 Staten Island

1898-1917 Queens

1898-1910 Brooklyn

1880-1914 Manhattan

The website has volunteers working to create a name index as part of their collaborative indexing projects. To help go to: and select NYC Geographic Birth Index.

In addition, Geneanet has also created this very helpful finding aid:

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