Is it State-Level or Records Removed to State Archives?

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spencebucfan's picture
Is it State-Level or Records Removed to State Archives?


I recently requested an 1894 marriage license from the New York State archives in Albany, NY. I just received the record, and it says "Certificate of Marriage, City of Syracuse, County of Onondaga, State of New York" in the document header (printed in official looking font). 

In terms of Evidence style, is this a State Level Record? Or Local Records, Files Moved to State Archives?


EE's picture

Spence, a "state-level" record is one that is created by an agency at the state-level of governance. The "state archives" in the various states can be the repository for older records of agencies at both the state-level and local-level (county or town).  I am not personally experienced with ordering New York marriage records through the State Archives. However, a perusal of its website's discussion of records tell us:

"Researchers can determine if the New York State Department of Health (DOH) holds vital records of interest by using the vital records microfiche index.   ...

Researchers seeking copies of actual certificates may complete an application in the Research Room [of the State Archives], attach required fee, and the Archives will forward it to DOH for processing."

Drilling down at the website, you can find other discussions that will help you better understand the record you are using.

Meanwhile, the answer to your specific question is that the record supplied to you should be the record created by the state agency (the DOH).  It would have been created from whatever data the county or city submitted to it, but if the Archives obtained it from the DOH, it should be the state-level version of the original local registration. Across time and place, the different versions are often not the same—hence our need to identify which version we are using.


The Editor