New York State Office has birth records from 1880. But its counties and cities like Albany, Buffalo and Yonkers have birth records even before 1880. For older city birth records one needs to write to Registrar of Vital Statistics in the city where the birth had taken place. In New York the issuance of birth certificate is decentralized. Instead of New York State Health Department, five boroughs - Manhattan, Kings, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island issue copies of birth certificates.