Thursday, August 23, 2012

A tangible piece of the past

Last Thursday I received a very exciting piece of mail! A few weeks ago I requested a copy of my grandfather's birth certificate from the New York City Vital Records. This was my first time attempting to locate such an old record so I was actually expecting a notification that nothing could be located.

I first talked about this idea in an earlier entry. The Vital Records website suggests that birth certificates issued prior to 1910 are currently available, but I think the time limit is actually anyone born more than 100 years ago. So, it's possible births in 1911 and 1912 are also available at this time.

The process was very easy and I would recommend it to anyone searching for vital records housed in NYC! I used the "Request a Search and Certified Copy Online" option. I provided 'the searchers' with lots of information including full name, birthday, location of birth, and parents' names because I just wasn't sure how difficult it would be for them to find the certificate. The only required information is last name, year of birth, and which borough should be searched. The base fee is $15 and smaller fees are added if your search requires additional years or boroughs.

Since I already knew a lot of the 'vital' data that this certificate confirms, perhaps the most interesting tidbit for me was that my grandfather was born at home and his birth was attended by a doctor. While the home birth doesn't surprise me, a doctor attending the birth did.
So thank you to Dr. Blanett, MD for helping get my grandfather into the world!

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