Examinations and Indices of Information
about Lechovichers in Death Certificates

Death Certificate Indices and Death Registers
By Deborah Glassman, copyright 2008

The chronological lists rely entirely on the hard work of the Italian Genealogy group of NYC, which created an index to NYC deaths. The webmaster organized a chronological list of those buried in Lechovicher plots in NYC and sought the names of those in the death index between 1893 and 1933. Then Tina Levine, an awesome volunteer, went to the NYC Municipal Archives and found all of those that appeared in this list in actual death certificates. Her collected data was organized into a Death Certificate Database and indexed further to allow us to search for parents and spouses named in the records. Tina has arduously sought out and found almost all of the ones listed between 1893 and 1933, but we need the help of individuals who are willing to purchase copies of their relatives' records from New York state for the later period.

Extractions from NYC Death Certificates
for those buried in Lechovicher Plots in NYC - 1893-1943
Extraction by Tina LevineTable creation by Deborah Glassman, copyright 2008 and update copyright 2009

General abbreviations and Usages:

(See the Vital Death Records NYC tab in the Complete Lyakhovichi Records Catalog to use this information.)

  • NC - Not collected. The goals of the database have changed a couple of times so the same information may not have been sought consistently, and on some of the material contributed the contributors were unable to supply the information on material collected over long periods of time.

  • Decedent - this is the name as reported in the Death Certificate

  • Age - as reported in the death certificate

  • Marital Status = MarStat: W = widow or widower; M = married; S = Single; na = not applicable (usually children). When the certificate elaborated "housewife" "married two years" or other that is moved to "miscellaneous"

  • Father - as given including with notes in original as to where the father was born

  • Mother - as given including with notes in original as to where the mother was born

  • Death Date - as given in death certificate

  • Residence = Res: When it doesn't indicate "Street" or "Avenue" or other road designation, the default is Street.

  • Informant = Inform: Mostly the informants were the doctor who is named on the certificate. When the informant is a family member I have stated that but moved the informant's name and relationship info to the Miscellany column.

  • When the informant is a coroner:

    • Cor#1 = Ed.W.Hart, Coroner

    • Cor#2 = Wm. O’Gorman, Coroner

    • Cor#3 = MJH Jackson, Coroner

    • Cor#4 = Geo. F. Shrady Jr.,Coroner.

    • Cor#5 = James E. Winterbiten, Coroner

    • Cor#6 = Timothy Healy, Coroner

  • Cemeteries = Cem: WC = Washington Cemetery; MJ = MtJudah; BDH-SI = Baron De Hirsch, Staten Island; BD = Beth David; Additional cemeteries to be added, will have an asterisk directing you to this list.

  • Funeral Director = FunDir: AG = A. Gutterman, 42 Orchard St; BRG = B.R. Gutterman, 42 Orchard St; AR = A. Rosenbloom, 47-53 Chrystie St.

  • Doctor = D: cited in death certificate and the address given in the record.

  • Miscellaneous - this information varies widely always including cause of death but sometimes including birthdates, length of US and NYC stay, occupations, info on parents, other

The Index to Decedents (column is Surname in the Complete Lyakhovichi Records Catalog) is very straight-forward. This is the list of names as they appear in the death certificate. The bracketed "ng" in any table, means that the name was not given. A name in brackets is one posited from the information in the actual death certificate or from other records related to this family. So Neche Brando, who died as an infant, is noted in brackets as the Braude which her father had also used prior to adopting the American spelling of Brody.

The index to Fathers of Decedents gives the father's first name just as it appears in the death certificate. There is a great probability that fathers who did not come to the US are not represented properly in their first names. A father who was known by his Yiddish name of Leib, may be reported as Louis, a common "equivalent" for Leib used by Americans. But the name chosen to represent the reality can also be a valuable genealogical clue to the original name. If a person who has a son named Max is reported with a father named Max, the family may be indicating that these two people shared a common Hebrew or Yiddish name. So determining if the younger generation was a Mendel, Motel, or Mikhel, may tell you the grandfather's name as well. The surname of fathers in the index does not follow the same procedures as the original death certificates. It was the custom to fill in death certificates so that the father's surname was not separately listed if it was identical to the deceased. So almost no male on this list has a father listed with a surname. Young children, both male and female, also appear without a separate notation of father's surname. Throughout this index, you will find that the webmaster has entered the surname as the document assumed it - that is father's surnames are given as identical to male decedents and young children. Sometimes the document's assumption is incorrect. There are men who shortened their surnames and did not bear the same name as their father i.e. Kuntz and Kuntzevitsky. There are men who changed their name in this country whose fathers did not emigrate and never used that form of the name i.e. the family of David Cohen (ne Kirshner). The webmaster has therefore added another list, which is still being developed, the name of the father if different than the name given on the death certificate, or a likely variant by which we may yet find other records. All indices extracting the names of Fathers, Mothers, Spouses, and Informants appear on the tab Vital Records Deaths NYC in the catalog.

The Index to Mothers of Decedents has some of the same problems just described for fathers, with additional ones peculiar to those searching for clear data on women. The same problems include referring to women who never emigrated by an American first name, i.e Lena, Dora, Fannie. Another problem is that even when the record required the informant to supply the maiden name of the mother, this was often met simply with the mother's first name. When the law had been fully accepted to seek out a maiden name, doctor informants and other non-relatives often mistook the two part given names of women as a first name and a last name rather than more accurately as a double first name. See the mother of Sam Leffschitz who is reported as Ida Ruchil. Another confusion arose on the forms of married women when it came to report their mothers' names. It seems that some of those deceased married women are not listed with a maiden name but their mothers are. The likelier event - please send us your findings that verify or contradict this statement is that the mother's "maiden name" is the mother's married name and so the maiden name of the deceased.

The Index to Spouses: There are only a handful of records that specify a spouse's name. They do not list the maiden name of the spouse. But we can see in the period between 1933 and 1943, the number of spouses cited, while still small, is reported in greater numbers. Three appear between 1893 and 1933 - eleven more appear in the next decade by 1943.

Informants are listed under comments. In the ten years between 1933 and 1943, fourteen family members are cited as the informant for the death certificate. The relationships are sons, daughters, spouses, fathers, brothers, and in one case, Ike Berger is the reporter for a cousin, Nathan Spofsky or Snofsky.

Extrapolating “married by date”: The names of the parents are listed in most of the records and with the announced age of the decedent, a list of dates by which their parents would likely have been married. I actually am using this list to search in other records for the parents of the deceased and you may find it a useful tool for your searches on a similar basis. But the "married-by" date for the parents, makes assumptions that require you to be vigilant in finding and sharing evidence. The first assumption is that the death age approaches accuracy. This is in many cases, not supported by other indications. A death certificate age and the age mentioned on a gravestone may be greatly divergent, and I would incline to accept the report of the family member ordering the matseva over the death certificate.

You can find other data extracted from these records in the Complete Lyakhovichi Records Catalog under Vital Records Death NYC. We need your participation to acquire and index these records. Donate your family member's records and we will soon double the size of this collection!