Brooklyn Birth Certificate

Good evening,

My mother no longer has her 'original' birth certificate. She has two others, both of which are in my possession and I am having difficulty citing them.

The first one was issued in 1965, I believe she needed it to get married. The original didn't survive, so what I have is a photocopy. Complicating matters is that she was born in Brooklyn, her original birth record was filed in Brooklyn and this certificate was issued by the City of New York.

I have so so many questions...

1. Should I put this together as an artifact or as a local certificate?

2. If I put it together as an artifact - do I use something similar to the model on pg. 105, or something like a local certificate with a layer stating its provenance?

3. Is this a county or city certificate? And what do I use - City of New York,  Kings County or Borough of Brooklyn?

I'm guessing its an artifact and City of New York -  so this is what I have and I am hoping its close to being right.

Mother's Name birth certifcate no. 00000 (short-form),  issued 1965, New York City, citing birth on 17 September 1947; privately held by Hendrickson [address private] city, state. This document is a photocopy of a certificate formerly held by Mother's Name and passed to her daughter, Hendrickson.

The second is a newer certificate, also short form, that she got in 2013, but it provides the name of her parents. She ordered 2 copies and I just recieved one. So again my question is this an artifiact or a city or county certificate?

In case its a local cert. I've put this together, but I don't know if I have it right, since I am unsure of jurisdiction is the city or county level.

New York City, birth certificate no. 00000, Mother's name; Office of Vital Records, Department of Health and Mental Hygeine, City of New York.

I have attached the first one removing any identifying info so you can see.

Submitted byEEon Wed, 05/27/2020 - 09:57

Hendrickson, if you did not order these documents yourself so that you know exactly where they came from and under what circumstances—if these came to you as a "family artifact" from your mother—then cite them as a family artifact. You might also want to note that the 1965 document is a "short form" certification of birth rather than an image of the "long form" original certificate. (EE 9.30 and 9.40)

Submitted byHendricksonon Wed, 05/27/2020 - 16:30
Thank you for your quick response. I did not obtain them myself, but its not a stretch to figure out where the second one came from. As far as the first one is concerned, did I get the citation correct? I had labeled it as short form but since you mentioned it I am thinking perhaps I didn't do it correctly. And was inserting City of New York the right thing here? If so - this will probably take care of 90% of the certificates I have at home - I have many. But I worry about the jurisdiction because I have some certificates from Brooklyn that I got myself. Most of which are labeled at the top or bottom with Bureau of Records, Department of Health and City of New York. In addition they are also labeled with "County of Kings", "Borough of Brooklyn" and/ or stamped as "Bureau of Records, Department of Health, Borough of Brooklyn". So I wonder in those cases if I prepare them as city-level certificates or are they instead county or borough-level certificates and label them with Kings County or Borough of Brooklyn instead. Its all a little confusing. Sorry for all the questions - I am still new at this and after reading the book sections over and over I am still not clear on how to address this.

Submitted byEEon Thu, 05/28/2020 - 18:00

Hendrickson, my apologies for the "short form" comment. Somehow I missed that part of your reference amid all the other details.

Regarding your latter questions about jurisdictions within New York, that's a complicated issue--and also one reason why it is best to not try to guess at the location a certificate came from. If you ordered it yourself, you would know the office that provided it. If not, you might surmise wrong. Since you say that you ordered them yourself, your decision about whether to consider them county-level or borough-level would depend upon the office from which you ordered them and received them.

Submitted byJohn Hanniganon Mon, 06/01/2020 - 09:55

I would like to make sure that I understand this process of providing proper documentation of BMD items.

If the document has a raised seal on it indicating it came for a registry, the source would be the registry listed on the document (i.e., NYC DORIS).

If the document is a copy (photo/xerox/etc.) of a document (even if there is the visibility in the copy of the raised seal, the source is a family artifact.

If the document is available for download online, the source is the service (, myheritage, findmypast) that provides the image. This would also apply to the transcript of a document available online in transcript form. 

Is this correct?

Thank you for your help.