Birth and Death Certificates
The Town of Seneca Falls has on file, only those births and deaths which occurred in the Town of Seneca Falls.
- Birth Records are on file beginning with the July, 1881;
- Death and Marriage records are on file beginning with the year July 1881; and
- Original records of births and marriages for the entire state begin with 1881; deaths begin with 1880, except for records filed in Albany, Buffalo and Yonkers prior to 1914. Applications for these cities should be made directly to the local office.
Confidentiality and Security of Records
Birth and death certificates contain highly confidential information about the persons to whom they relate. The local registrar is required to maintain the highest level of vital records security to protect the privacy of those individuals.
Birth certificates, death certificates and the indexes related to birth and death certificates are not subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and are NOT open to public inspection. Access to vital records maintained by local registrars is subject to Public Health Law 4173 and 4174 and the Health Commissioner’s Administrative Rules and Regulations.
Who May Obtain A Birth Record?
A certified copy or a certified transcript of a birth certificate may be issued only:
- To a person with a New York State Court Order;
- To the person named on the birth certificate, if 18 years of age or older;
- To the parents of the person named on the birth certificate;
- To the lawful representative of the person named or the parents of the person named on the birth certificate;
- To the Commissioner of Health, or
- To a municipal, state or federal agency when needed for official purposes.
A certification of birth may be issued:
- To the person named on the birth certificate, if under 18 years of age;
- To a person over 18 years of age, if a certification is what they prefer; or
- To a person who can demonstrate the record is required for a judicial or other proper purpose.
A request from a qualified applicant may be accepted in writing on a signed application or a letter under the following conditions:
- The applicant provides the name;
- Date of birth, place of birth; and
- Father’s first and last names and mother’s first and maiden names of the person named on the birth certificate.
The request may be accepted from a qualified applicant if the following conditions are satisfied:
- The applicant completes and signs the application form provided by the Department of Health;
- The applicant presents his/her driver’s license; and
- The applicant is eligible to receive the copy
Requests for Death Records
The applicant must provide the decedent’s name and date of death, along with any additional information required by the local registrar. The letter or application form must be signed. If the request is made by someone other than the spouse, parent or child of the deceased, the application or letter must be accompanied by supporting documents establishing a legal right or claim to obtain a certified copy or transcript, or a judicial or other proper purpose to obtain a certificate.
A certified copy or certified transcript of a death certificate may be issued:
- To a person with a New York State Court Order issued on a showing of necessity
- To the spouse, parent or child of the deceased
- To the lawful representative of the spouse, parent or child of the deceased
- To a person requiring the record for a documented legal right or claim
- To a person requiring the record for a documented medical need, or
- To a municipal, state or federal agency when needed for official purposes
Legal Right or Claim – A legal right or claim is established on the basis of documentation demonstrating that the requestor has a legal need requiring a copy of the death certificate. Some examples follow:
- Letter from the bank of the surviving joint account owner requesting proof of the death of the deceased account owner
- Letters Testamentary from a person claiming to be the executor or executrix of the estate
- Insurance policy showing the requestor is a beneficiary.
Uncertified copies or abstracts from records of birth, death and marriage may be provided for genealogical research purposes subject to the restrictions specified. All requests must be submitted in writing and include payment of the applicable statutory fee. The applicant shall be required to pay the specified fee for the time spent for the search and uncertified copy of notification of no record.
Who Is Authorized To Do The Searching?
Record searches shall be conducted only by the following persons in the files maintained by their respective agencies:
- Authorized employees of the State Department of Health
- A local registrar, deputy registrar, or an authorized employee of the registrar
- A town or city clerk, deputy clerk or an authorized employee of the town or city clerk
What Records Are Available for a Genealogical Search?
- No information shall be released from a record of birth which has been placed in a confidential file pursuant to Public Health Law Section 4138.
- No information shall be released from a record of birth unless the record has been on file for at least 75 years and the person to whom the record relates is known to the applicant to be deceased.
- No information shall be released from a record of death unless the record has been on file for at least 50 years.
- No information shall be released from a record of marriage unless the record has been on file for at least 50 years and the parties to the marriage are known to the applicant to be deceased.
- The time periods specified in (b), (c) and (d) are waived if the applicant is a descendant or has been designated to act on behalf of a descendant of the person whose record is being requested. A descendant is a person in the direct line of descent. The applicant shall provide documentation of descendancy prior to the release of information in those instances where a waiver of the waiting period is requested. A party acting on behalf of a descendant shall further provide documentation that the descendant authorized the party to make such application.
- All uncertified copies, abstracts, or information issued for genealogical research purposes shall be clearly marked with the statement “For Genealogical Purposes Only.”
Genealogy Fee Schedule
Fee schedule per one spelling of name. Fee varies depending on requested number of years to be searched.
- 1 – 3 years – $11.00
- 4 – 10 years – $21.00
- 11 – 20 years – $31.00
- 21 – 30 years – $41.00
- 31 – 40 years – $51.00
- 41 – 50 years – $61.00
- 51 – 60 years – $71.00
- 61 – 70 years – $81.00
Click on the link below to open the form in a PDF format. Once the form is completed, you may remit it by mail to the Town Clerk or by fax.
Requests to New York State Department of Health
To request a copy of a record directly to the New York State Department of Health, mail your written request along with the necessary documentation to:
New York State Department of Health
Vital Records Section, Genealogy Unit
Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12237-0023
Mail-in Application for Copy of Birth Certificate: NYS DOH-4380
Mail-in Application for Copy of Death Certificate: NYS DOH-4376
For information to obtain an original (Pre-adoption) Birth Certificate for Adoptees, read: NYS DOH – Original Pre-Adoption Certificates.
|Nicaletta Greer||Town Clerk, Tax Receiver, Registrar & Records Management Officer|
|Kathleen Lankford||Deputy Town Clerk & Deputy Registrar|
|Linda Marzan||Deputy Town Clerk & Deputy Tax Receiver|
|Melissa Howell||Deputy Town Clerk|