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Q. My grandmother died in 1930 in New York City, in a Catholic hospital that no longer exists. I’ve contacted a hospital that should have the records, but no luck. How can I locate these records?
A. The number of Catholic hospitals in New York City has declined dramatically, with eight hospitals in 2007 and only one a year later. What happened to their patient records, which may be of genealogical interest? While some were transferred as institutions merged, other surviving records may have been sent to various archives. You should check the New York State Archives as a number of hospital collections have been archived there.
You also can check with the Archives of the Archdiocese of New York; although hospital records are unlikely to be in its collection, the archives may be able to tell you where your grandmother’s records did end up. Keep in mind that medical records may remain confidential even after the person’s death, and you might have to prove your relationship to access them.
If what you’re really after is more information about your grandmother’s death, the free NYC Death Records Index covers 1891 to 1936—more than 2.76 million death certificates. You can use the information you find to order a complete death certificate.
From the September 2015 Family Tree Magazine