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Old 03-29-2018, 07:49 AM
 
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I know, it's kind of morbid, but has anyone ordered a death certificate for an ancestor? What's on it?

I am trying to trace my great-greats back to Eastern Europe. (So DOBs in the mid-to-late 1800s to early 1900s). They all spent their lives in or near NYC. I can't find their city of birth anywhere, and even the country of origin changes in the different censuses to reflect the changing European borders. I contacted the cemeteries where they're buried, and was told that the death certificate may have the city of birth. It's expensive to order old records. Does anyone know if the death cert will definitely include the city of birth?
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Old 03-29-2018, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Death certificates do not always include a city or town of birth - it depends on the period time and location.
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Old 03-29-2018, 03:57 PM
 
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DC's not the best source of accurate info due to it being second hand info, and people make mistakes when answering questions at a time of intense stress.


That being said, they are a source used often by genealogists.


Try this site: https://stevemorse.org/
It has portals to many helpful sites, i.e. NYC vital indices. Some NYC death, marriage records have had some data transcribed at Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org (portals to these are at stevemorse.org)


WW1 draft cards (some, not all) asked for town of birth. Find those at www.familysearch.org


You can search for their passenger manifests. The later they came the more detailed the data you will find on the manifest. EIDB portal at stevemorse.org


Use www.familysearch.org


Use www.ancestry.com (this is a subscription site, but is offered for free on many public library computers.)


We can give you more search tips if you can tell us a bit more about which countries you think they came from.
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Old 03-29-2018, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Lincroft
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I would recommend that you try to locate their ship manifest or naturalization certificates. The stephenmorse site mentioned above is a good start for ship manifests.

For NY naturalization certificate, I would start with the following:

Naturalizations - Records Search
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Old 03-29-2018, 07:56 PM
 
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I have ordered lots of death certificates. Often they disappoint-- they don't have this information or they have wrong information about birth locations and even names of parents. Still I think it's worth a shot. If you have other genealogists in the family ask them if they have already ordered them.
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Old 04-02-2018, 05:46 AM
 
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If they came to the USA via NYC I would also try the Ellis Island online passenger ship manifests website.
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:48 AM
 
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I am in the same situation. I have Eastern European relatives who came to Ellis Island but the country of origin varies from Croatia, Yugoslavia, and a couple others. Even one record stated Italy as the origin but I haven't found any evidence of Italian ancestry.
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Old 04-05-2018, 09:23 AM
 
Location: 5,400 feet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chava61 View Post
If they came to the USA via NYC I would also try the Ellis Island online passenger ship manifests website.
Ellis Island began about 1892. Immigrants who came through NYC prior to that may be listed at castlegarden.org .
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Old 04-06-2018, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Lincroft
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJones17 View Post
I am in the same situation. I have Eastern European relatives who came to Ellis Island but the country of origin varies from Croatia, Yugoslavia, and a couple others. Even one record stated Italy as the origin but I haven't found any evidence of Italian ancestry.

I really do not give much credence to country on these documents as this region has gone through significant changes over the years as illustrated in this video (
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGt1EUrwwpc).

The best information is the village name as the borders have moved extensively.
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stickman07738 View Post
I really do not give much credence to country on these documents as this region has gone through significant changes over the years
That's true but it doesn't mean you shouldn't give any credence to what the documents say. Often, certain documents asked that the country name be used as it was at the time the document was recorded so that can be a vital clue to narrowing down the region. For example, one of my ancestors was born in Alsace-Lorraine but I didn't know that. Different censuses said she was alternately born in Germany or France. It wasn't until her son's 1930 census said his mother was born in Alsace-Lorraine that it clicked, but when I looked back over the other censuses, they were all consistent with what country owned Alsace-Lorraine at those times.
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