Sunday, February 2, 2014

Delayed Birth Certificates

New Jersey has an interesting collection of Delayed Births 1848-1900 at the Archives.  Because everyone did not record a birth with the local registrar, and this birth may or may not have been recorded at the state level, some people had to request that a birth certificate be created- years after the event.  The accuracy of a record made years later is suspect.  These applications for a delayed birth certificate required information and documentation not required for the original birth certificate.  You can use the information to locate additional records.

Delayed birth certificate for Henry Bossett, born in Newark, New Jersey on February 3, 1896.

This is a birth certificate created years later; in this situation, 46 years later.  The helpful information contains an address at the time of birth as well as full names of the baby and parents.  We get a signature of the father as he attests that the birth occurred at the specified date and place, as well as his current address.

But that's not all.  The applications for the delayed birth certificate are also filmed.

Application of Henry Bossett to issue a delayed birth certificate

The application asks for:
--Date and place of marriage of parents.
--Names, dates, and places of birth for other children of this union.  (Some forms ask only for children born earlier than the person now requesting a birth certificate.)
--Name, date, and place of marriage of the applicant.
--Street address used in the 1905 and 1915 New Jersey state census!

While this information is great, you need to consider the information provided in light of other records.  By the 1940s, when this record was created, this family was spelling their last name with two Ts:  Bossett.  In 1896, the spelling was Bossert or Bosset.

One other sibling, Mary, is listed on the application.  This couple had three children, the first born in 1894.  The omission of this first sibling perhaps indicates that the surviving children did not know about this first child.

Delayed birth certificate for George Cowenhoven Duryee, born in Hudson County October 23, 1899
George Cowenhoven Duryee attested to his own birth.  Documentation, which is not on the microfilm, was a baptismal certificate from a church.  You can use this information to possibly locate church records for this family.  (Several members of this branch are buried at the cemetery for this church.)  We get the full names and towns of birth of the parents.

Application of George Cowenhoven Duryee for a delayed birth certificate
The application for the delayed birth certificate shows us that this family's records lie in both New Jersey and New York.

I would also like to point out some of these place names.  Union Hill existed in 1894, but along with West Hoboken, had become Union City before this record was created in 1943.  These locations are in Hudson County, not Union County.  North Bergen is in Hudson County, not Bergen County.  "Town of Union" in Hudson County is where we can go astray.  By 1899, this town had been broken up and morphed into other other towns, some of which were later annexed into other towns and/or changed names.  Hudson Heights is currently a neighborhood of North Bergen.  So most of these locations are challenging to pinpoint given the border changes, name changes, and non-contemporaneous record making.

Next for review is the delayed birth certificate for someone who already had a birth certificate.

This is the birth certificate of Anna Augusta "Gussie" Lutter made at the time of her birth in Newark on April 29, 1892.

Yet Augusta filed for a delayed birth certificate.

Delayed birth certificate for Anna Augusta Luther, 1892

It looks like Augusta thought she was born in Harrison in Hudson County on April 30, 1892.  She had the wrong city and county and was off by one day.  In addition, she was spelling the surname as "Luther," which was a spelling used by the family, but Augusta's original birth certificate appeared in the index as "Lutter."  We would know to look under both spellings, but without a first name at birth, Augusta may have been told that her original birth certificate did not exist.

Index to New Jersey births, 1890-1900
Available at New Jersey State Archives and (microfilm)


  1. Where do I get the form for a delayed record of birth, My father was born in West Hoboken in 1920, which joined with Union Hill to become Union City. Somewhere in the transfer my fathers birth record is lost. However I have a copy of the Original birth record from West Hoboken. I requested from Union City and The State of NJ, neither one can find it even when I sent a copy. I need it quick for Dual Citizenship Help me please

    1. Lou, you need to return the State's "No Record" certificate with a letter requesting that the birth be recorded at the State level. The New Jersey Department of Health/Office of Vital Statistics will send you a letter detailing the necessary documentation.

  2. Fabulous information, Jody! Many a genealogist needs to tune into your work.

  3. Hello - do you know where I could find a delayed birth certificate for someone born in Jersey City in 1905? I have been unable to find a birth certificate so thought maybe the individual filed for a delayed birth certificate at some point.

    1. On the website of Delayed Birth Certificates . . . 1901 – 1918 are being microfilmed.