Vital Records Lookups, Update to the Update

This morning the Onondaga County Public Library (OCPL) sent a request that I post some additional information regarding their offer to do Free Lookups.

“OCPL will do limited lookups – a 5-year span on births, deaths and marriages. Questions are answered in order and often may take several days. Please be aware that many fiche are difficult to read, and while staff tries to be as accurate as possible any information stated is as it appears.

The index begins in 1880 and while NY State passed a law that year requiring the filing of these records, they still weren’t uniformly or consistently filed until well into the 1900′s. For more information about the index and what it covers:

Read the first article in this series by going to this link:  How to obtain copies of Vital Records for Genealogical Purposes in Upstate New York.

Read the second article in this series by going to this link:  New York State Vital Records Microfiche Indexes Update

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10 Responses to “Vital Records Lookups, Update to the Update”

  • Anonymous:

    As a person involved with the set of indexes here in Rochester, I can inform readers that we will NOT be able to offer this service.

    Our best wishes to Syracuse!

  • unyg:

    Thank you for letting us know.


  • Anonymous:

    H. Sammons was extremely efficient in getting back to me regarding the confirmation of two death dates. The information I needed was for two of my Williams’ ancestors from Tompkins County, NY in the early 1900s.
    Well done and thank you!

  • unyg:


    That is excellent news. Thanks for letting us know.


  • Pam:

    Thank you for putting me in touch with the Onondaga County Public Library. The librarian, Holly Sammons found my great-grandmother’s marriage date and husband’s name.


  • unyg:

    That is so exciting when you are able to locate those oh so important bits of information. The Vital Records Index is just filled with such details. Thank you for letting us know of your success.

  • New York State Vital Records Microfiche Indexes Update | UNYG Blog:

    [...] Assumption Church Marriage Records – Germans – Irish – French of Upstate New York Vital Records Lookups, Update to the Update [...]

  • eala:

    I’m just making sure I’ve understood correctly. They do the look up of indexes for free? Then, if I want the record, I can apply and pay 22$? eala

  • Jo:

    I ordered two records from a local authority before I understood they would be transcripts and not photocopies of the originals. One of the transcripts (wife d.1883) had several errors on it, sending me on a wild goose chase for quite a while until I ordered the actual photocopies from the state. The surname was completely wrong…on the transcript the place of birth (Lancaster) had been recorded as the surname! Unfortunately, I’ve been told the other person (husband d.1887) isn’t listed in the state index by several people, including the librarian at Onondaga County Public Library (OCPL). I contacted the state directly and they said they won’t even look for an actual certificate on the microfilm if the person is not listed in the index. I *know* people have been left off of indexes before so this response completely flabbergasted me! I don’t know what to do now, but knowing the one transcript was so wrong, I really want a photocopy of the other original. The person in question was James Harrison, who died 15 Jun 1887 in Amsterdam, Montgomery, New York. In NJ, we can access the microfilms ourselves for records this old and look for certs. I’ve even sent corrections to the State Archives for their death index based on originals from the microfilm and they’ve updated it. NY is very backwards in this regard.

  • nygenes1:

    Well said, but do not expect anything to change soon.

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