The massive amounts of people who came to what are now the five boroughs of New York City (NYC) are staggering. Many stayed for generations, others stayed for a little while only to move somewhere else. In either case, this makes the records of NYC of the utmost importance to your research.
For anybody who has tried to plow through the records of The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island, you know it can be time consuming and frustrating. There is now assistance. This comes in the form of two websites which you will probably miss if you are not told about them.
The Italian Genealogical Group: www.italiangen.org and the German Genealogy Group: www.germangenealogygroup.com have mirror database indexes to NYC vitals, naturalizations, naturalizations, some military records. These are incredible indexes which can shave off hours of research time looking through the microfilm. In regards to the Irish, these databases indexed EVERYBODY in the original indexes, not just Italians or Germans.
If you know the borough your ancestors lived, then you can narrow the search by that locality. Sometimes it is wise to do a general search to just make sure your ancestors hadn’t moved to another borough for a period of time.
These are computerized indexes of the paper indexes. They are not the actual records themselves. For those you either have to write or use the Family History Library microfilm: www.familysearch.orgEither way, you are armed with the exact reference, making obtaining a certificate easy.
If you are using the ItalianGen website in a public library, be aware the site is keyed to Italian music. It helps to know where the mute button is on the computer before you start!