25 April 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday: Death Certificate for Sarah Myers Morris

I have not purchased many death certificates of more recent vintage. By "recent vintage" I mean after 1948. New York State law restricts access to death certificates that are less than 50 years old. The 50-year restriction may be waived for direct line descendants (such as, in this case, me). Of course this death certificate from 9 August 1956 is now more than 57 years old. 

Bronx County, New York, Certificate of Death, Number 156-56-207636 (09 August 1956), 
Sarah Morris, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, 
New York.
Pre-1949 death certificates for New York City deaths have been archived at the New York City Municipal Archives and microfilmed by the Family History Library. They have also been indexed by the Italian Genealogy Group

Access is easy for family historians. One may purchase a record from the Municipal Archives for $15. Or, one may either order the FHL microfilm on FamilySearch.org to see the record or order a copy of the record, itself, via the FamilySearch Photoduplication Department. I explained this ordering process previously here, here, and here.

For some reason, starting with 1949 records, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has not turned over death certificates to the Municipal Archives after fifty year restrictions have expired. They have, instead, kept the records in their care. These death records have not been made available for indexing or microfilming (Correction: they have not been microfilmed, they have been indexed through 1965. The index is available on microfilm through the Family History Library. See my next post.). One must contact them to purchase copies. This makes it difficult to find records and costly to purchase them.

I finally decided I wanted this one (and one for my grandmother, Sarah's daughter Dora) and ordered it. It wasn't particularly difficult because, as a result of knowing where Sarah was buried, I also knew her death date.
My last post was about Sarah and Isidore Morris and featured their tombstone in the Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, New York. Isidore passed away in 1947. After that, Sarah continued living in the Bronx. She died at home (627 Manida Street, Bronx, New York) and was approximately 80 years old. Her youngest daughter, Esther Blatt was the informant on her death certificate.

Sarah had continued living at the home on Manida Street after her husband, Isidore's death in 1947. They had moved there after several years in a more rural setting in Perrineville, New Jersey.

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