New York City Death Index
Database updated December 31, 2022
This database currently contains the indexes to 5,319,846 death records from 1862 to 1948 for the five boroughs of New York City (Bronx, Kings, Manhattan, Queens and Richmond).
NOTE: You can now access many years of New York City vital record certificates at the New York City Municipal Archives Historical Vital Records web site, for free. You can search by name or by certificate number. You can find the certificate number in this database or from the familysearch.org website. Certificate numbering starts over each year; so you will need to know the certificate number, the year and the county.
The New York City Death index includes the following years:
Bronx: 1898 - 1948
Kings: 1862 - 1948
Manhattan: 1867 -1948
Queens: 1898 - 1948
Richmond: 1898 - 1948
NOTE: Be aware that a date like Nov 25'05 with a year 1906 indicates that the event took place on the 25th of the month in the year 1905 but was recorded in 1906. Another indication that an event was recorded in the following year is a low certificate number for a month in the later part of the year. For example, if the event took place in December and the certificate number is 145, it probably was recorded the following year.
ALSO: an "A"
after a certificate number means that the number was issued twice, to
different people; the "A" certificate is filed after the certificate
without the A. The letter does not appear on the certificate.
A "?" after a number indicates that we found that the certificate number is not correct (or the year or county); that particular number was assigned to someone else. It's an indication to the Municipal Archives staff that they may have to do some other digging to find the right person.
This index was accomplished by scanning the original printed index books and required no typing. One man did all the scanning, Bob Boeckle of the German Genealogy Group. Bob devoted most of his waking hours to scanning and formatting the data into an OCR program. Other volunteers were used for proofreading and editing (please don't forget to click on the "Credits & Thanks" tab to see all of the wonderful people who've helped with this database!)
- NOTE: We have received a few questions concerning an age of 999 years...
- Where the age was unknown, a "999 y" was entered.
- When the date was unknown, a 99 was used as the day.
- And when the certificate number was unknown, a "99999" was used.
Records Search: Deaths
Please note that the Surname (e.g. Last Name) is a required entry field. But since exact spellings are not always known, to aid your search we offer three different ways to specify Surnames...
- Exact Match ("is exactly") - This is the default surname search method.
- Soundex ("sounds like") - This option enables you to specify a surname spelling it out as best you can, and it will return results that "sound" similar to what you spelled out.
- Wild Card - With this option you can replace part of the surname with a * to match any number of letters, or _ to match a single letter. E.g., Sch* will return all names starting with Sch. Similarly, Schl_tz might return results such as Schlitz or Schlotz.
NOTE: The wild card option applies ONLY to the surname. You can just enter the first few letters of a First Name; the search automatically adds a wild card to the end of the First Name.
For whichever of the above surname search options you would like to use, simply select the appropriate radio button option below the input field on the form. Although the additional form fields are optional, providing as much information as you can helps narrow your search. The more specific your search, the less time you need spend scrolling through search results!
Visit the New York City Municipal Archives web site for information on how to request Death Certificates.
If you find an error, you may submit a correction; but it MUST MATCH what is on the death certificate. No other changes will be accepted!
If you have a NYC Historic Vital Record Death Certificate for a person that you are certain is not in our index you may submit it here.
We wish to thank all the following volunteers their help and participation in the Death Index project:
Gloria Anderson * Joe Arrighi * Joe Battagliese * Richard Black * Robert Blum * Robert Boeckle * Jean Cavallo * Ann Chiappisi * Linda Cobb * Carol Danner * Barbara DeOliveira Anthony DiMarino * Don Eckerle * Marilyn Fannon * Dolores Frank * Warren Gelhaus * Jim Gemma * Phillip Giardina * Nancy Griffith * Sr. Joan Hackett * Linda Heelan * June Hesler * Christine Hoff * Richard Holliday * Mary Jane Kedenburg * Linda Kralick * Peter Lattanzi * John Martino * Arthur Michael * Barbara Murphy * Regina Negrycz * Jim Norris * Carolyn O'Loughin * Anthony Romano * Johanna Sandy * Robert Schweitzer * Jack Stahling * Armand Tarantelli * Rita Trenz * Mark Waldron
We would like to thank the Municipal Archives for their assistance in this project.