and New York Municipal Archive release slew of records

ancestry users can look up vital records of their New York ancestors for free.

Genealogy website has partnered with the New York Municipal Archive to release a collection of New York vital records. The records are from across five boroughs and include more than 80 years of birth, marriage and death records.

Users around the world will be able to search for information on their ancestors in New York and order official copies of documents from the New York Municipal Archive. The collection of nearly 10.5 million records spans from 1878 to 1909 for birth certificates, 1866 to 1939 for marriage records and 1862 to 1949 for death certificates. also now hosts an expanded New York Census Collection, which includes the complete 1855 and 1875 New York State censuses. The collections were previously only available on the New York Municipal Archive’s website, and the partnership with has given the site much more exposure. “Teaming up with Ancestry is a very big deal because it pushes out our index to a worldwide audience,” said Eileen Flannelly, commissioner of the Department of Records. Flannelly added that one condition the Department of Records made with was that the index would be free to use; copies of certificates cost $15.

Quinton Atkinson, director of content at, said the records shed light on a pivotal period in American history. “We know millions of people came to New York City, mostly through Ellis Island, and spent their entire lives in New York City and used the city as a transition location,” he said. “They’d come and stay for a few years and slowly move westward, and while they were in New York, some important events happened in their lives — deaths and marriages of family members — so it’s a widely important collection. With 10 million records, that’s a significant collection in one of the most important cities for tracing history.”

The federal censuses are also useful for amateur genealogists looking for information on their ancestors. Atkinson pointed out that users will be able to not just determine the occupations and former addresses of ancestors, but also find out more about related family members. “You can find a family member in that census and see who was living with them at that time,” said Atkinson. “Quite often, family members in the household included nephews, nieces, aunts and uncles who came to the U.S. and stayed with them for a few fears, so if you can identify an ancestor you’ve hit a goldmine of information.”

Atkinson also pointed out that making that information widely available was an important tool for people who can’t make the trip to New York to visit the municipal archives in person. Flannelly agreed, saying, “This simplifies things for users: They go to Ancestry, and the site connects them to our website, and in addition to finding a lot of records they now see that we have 400 years of history under our umbrella on our site.”

Flannelly said her department has already seen an influx in orders. “We saw a very large spike in our orders, but that’s not a bad complaint,” she said. We’re very happy. We had a lot of calls in from overseas — it’s amazing the reach of where we get these orders from.”


Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.


Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.


OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…


Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."


Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."


'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…


Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.


Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.


Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…


Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…


VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.


#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.