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Tony Goring
08 May 2005, 07:05 PM
Researching my wife's forebears (and being a longtime Reunion user) I have discovered little about an aunt of her father's, but am intrigued to the extent that I want to know more. Until today all I knew was that the lady was born in the 1870s, almost certainly in Wiesbaden, Germany. She married a painter whose work was sufficiently well-known for his name to be recognised recently by a London auction house. Hitherto the only documentary reference I have for her is in her brother's 1939 will, in which a Belgium address is quoted. But today, glancing through some old papers of my late father-in-law I learned that she died 12 Dec 1961 in New York State.
I have never had occasion before to embark on any US research so don't know whether this bald fact is likely to produce useful info about her, and if it is, where I should start making enquiries. Can anyone tell me whether I can get anywhere with just a death date in NY State, and if I can, could they also kindly point me in the right direction.

Dennis J. Cunniff
08 May 2005, 10:09 PM
the lady was born in the 1870s, almost certainly in Wiesbaden, Germany. She married a painter... she died 12 Dec 1961 in New York State....I have never had occasion before to embark on any US research so don't know whether this bald fact is likely to produce useful info about her, and if it is, where I should start making enquiries. Can anyone tell me whether I can get anywhere with just a death date in NY State, and if I can, could they also kindly point me in the right direction.With a death date and state of death (and presumably her name!) you could look in the SSDI (Social Security Death Index), which would probably give you a birth date (if you want to supply her name I'll happily look for you) - if she was in the U.S. long enough to qualify for Social Security. You can also certainly obtain her death certificate from the New York Department of Health - this should cost roughly $15 (

LarryN
09 May 2005, 11:02 PM
Where in NY state? I work for a genealogical library here, so if you post where (and a 1961 death date is AFTER the 50 year holdback period, so you cannot get a cert from the state), maybe we can help

ljirwin42
09 May 2005, 11:58 PM
...I learned that she died 12 Dec 1961 in New York State...Can anyone tell me whether I can get anywhere with just a death date in NY State, and if I can, could they also kindly point me in the right direction.Tony, You should check the website of the NY State Dept. of Health Vital Records Office at <http://www.health.state.ny.us/vital_records/genealogy.htm>.
There you will find conditions for ordering a copy of a death certificate. Normally they provide information on records that are 50 years old, but you might get an exception. (See info on the website.) If they agree to search and copy the record, be prepared to wait a couple of months for a reply!

Lee James Irwin
Falls Church, VA

Tony Goring
11 May 2005, 01:06 PM
Thank you for the suggestions and help received (no trace SSDI unfortunately). I'm afraid the document in question just reads New York State so I can't help with the exact location at the moment. Perhaps an approach to the Dept. of Health Vital Records Office might be worth a try, on the grounds that they might be more willing to waive the rules for overseas applicants. Or is that expecting too much?
Tony

LarryN
11 May 2005, 10:28 PM
Those are good ideas - as your mail indicates you are onl the othe side of the pond, the stalwarts in Albany may make an exception. Patrons tell us that they get answers anywhere from 3 weeks to 18 months after submiting their requests, so if it does take a long time, that would not be unusual. By the way, if the lady in question were in belgium in the 30's and died in NYS in the early 60's - she MIGHT be listed in the immigration index films availble on microfilm, soundexed to, I believe, 1954. That's a long shot, but those might give a hint of where she died.