Local Death Certificate

Curious how to handle a citation for this one. A few years ago I order a certified Death Certificate from the NYC Municipal Archives. The certificate is dated 1901 and labeled at the top "State of New York, Certificate and Record of Death". However, this is a local-level certificate. The death took place at the Soldiers and Sailors home in New Brighton, New York which is located in the borough of Staten Island. That said the certificate does not show that it was filed locally and no where do I see a label for Staten Island - although there is an illegible stamp at the top.

Would it be acceptable to put the Borough of Staten Island in square brackets at the beginning of the citation?

[Borough of Staten Island], death certificate (certified) no. 186 (1901) for Joe Jones; Municipal Archives, New York City. 

Submitted byEEon Mon, 07/19/2021 - 22:34

TheCount, this issue of local-office certificates that carry a header "State of ..." is one that comes up frequently. Have you seen these discussions?






Submitted byTheCounton Tue, 07/20/2021 - 08:38

Thanks for the quick response.

Yes, in fact one of them I posted myself. In most of the examples the certificates were clearly stamped or indicated somewhere that it was filed with the local clerk, but in the case I am trying to cite it is not.

Although this is a bit different than my example, (https://www.evidenceexplained.com/node/1707#comment-4345) if I understand you correctly I can just explain what I have. I suppose I could add a statement at the end doing so if that makes sense.




Submitted byEEon Tue, 07/20/2021 - 10:04

TheCount, yes. If we ordered the certificate ourselves from the local office, then we know that it is a locally held certificate. Therefore, we cite it as such, even if there is no wording on the certificate that identifies the specific local office. If we feel that the situation may not be clear to others—or clear to ourselves at a later date after our recollection of this record acquisition has gone cold—then adding an explanation is always wise.