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Guide to Bronx County New York genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, military, immigration and naturalization records. This page describes sources of genealogical data about Bronx County, New York families, including links to smaller localities in the county. New York-related pages show useful statewide sources. United States pages explain the terminology and contents of genealogical records.

link=http://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/New York_Online_Genealogy_Records New York
Online Records

Coordinates: 40.8373°0′N 73.886°0′W / 40.8373°N 73.886°W / 40.8373; -73.886

Bronx County, New York
Map
Map of New York highlighting Bronx County
Location in the state of New York
Map of the U.S. highlighting New York
Location of New York in the U.S.
Facts
Founded January 1, 1914
County Seat New York City
Courthouse
Ny-bronx-ch.png
Address Office of Bronx Borough President
851 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10451
Bronx Website

Contents

New York City map with the Bronx highlighted in yellow.

Bronx County New York Historical Facts

The Bronx does not have a county government. Officially, the Borough of Bronx is one of five boroughs of greater New York City since 1914. The county is coterminous with the Borough of Bronx (meaning they have identical borders.)

Start dates for major Bronx County, New York records
Birth
Marriage
Death
Census
Land
Probate
1914
1914
1914
1915
1914
1914
For earlier records, see also . . .
Bronx Church Records | NY Emigration & Immigration | NY Directories | Bronx Cemeteries

Parent county: In 1914 The Bronx was created as a separate borough of New York City  mostly from the mainland part of New York (Manhattan) County. [1] [2]

Neighboring counties: New York (Manhattan) | Nassau | Queens | Westchester | NJ: Bergen[3]

Boundary Changes

For animated maps illustrating New York County boundary changes, "Rotating Formation New York County Boundary Maps" (1683-1915) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

1664 Yorkshire became the first large government unit (not actually a county) organized by New York after the English took control from the Netherlands. It was divided into three ridings including North Riding (Westchester, Bronx, New York (Manhattan), Nassau and part of Queens counties).[2] [4]
1683 New York extinguished Yorkshire. What later became the Bronx was then created part of Westchester County from part of Yorkshire.[2] [4]
1874 The West Bronx was annexed to New York County.[2] [5]
1895 Areas east of the Bronx River were annexed to New York County.[2] [5]
1898 What became the five boroughs were consolidated into New York City, and her county governments were dissolved. The Bronx joined New York City attached to Manhattan.[5]
1914 Bronx was separated from Manhattan. Bronx borough/county borders are the same.[2] [5]

Record Loss

For a list of record loss in New York Counties see: New York Counties with Burned Courthouses

Bronx County New York Genealogy Resources

Bible Records

  • 1581–1917 New York, Family Bible Records at Ancestry– ($); Index. Database is a collection of genealogically important records taken from the Bibles of colony and state residents. Reveals the Bible's original owner, brief record of descendants,and a particular event such as birth or marriage as recorded in Bible.

Biography

Business Records and Commerce

Cemeteries

Cemetery records often reveal birth, death, relationship, military, and religious information.

Online Grave Transcripts Published Grave Transcripts County Cemetery Directories
Findagrave.com* Family History Library* Findagrave.com*
Interment.net* WorldCat* Tombstone Transcription Project*
Cemetery Site*   NYGenWeb Cemeteries*
New York Gravestones*   epodunk*
NYGenWeb Cemeteries*   Billion Graves*
Billion Graves*   Names in Stone*
Names in Stone*    
Linkpendium*    
Ancestry*    
   *See the New York Cemeteries page for details about each site.

Census

For information and tips on using and accessing online census records, see New York Census.

  • The 1890 Census is lost. For a substitute, see Directories.
  • 1698 - Randolph, Howard S.F. "The Census of 1698 for Mamaroneck, Morrisania, and New Rochelle, Westchester County, New York," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 59, No. 2 (Apr. 1928):103-107. Digital version at New York Family History ($); FHL Book 974.7 B2n v. 59.
Federal

Before the annexation, see Westchester County.

U.S. Census Mortality Schedules for New York, 1850-1880:

  • Available online at Ancestry ($).
  • Deaths are included for the 12 months prior to the census, 1849-50, 1859-60, 1869-70, and 1879-80 beginning 1 June and ending 31 May of the census year.[6]
  • Basic contents of the records include: Name, sex, age, color, marital status, place of birth, month of death, occupation, and cause of death. 1870 also has parents' birthplace. 1880 lists how long a resident of the county.
  • Also on FHL Films 1415128–42 which can be ordered through any Family History Center.
State
Source 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1892 1905 1915 1925
Ancestry.com - - - - - - - - Yes Yes
Family History Library film - - - - - - - Yes Yes Yes
FamilySearch image - - - - - - - Yes Yes Yes
New York State Library film - - - - - - - - Yes Yes

Church Records

Church records are good substitutes for birth, marriage, and death information and are most often found on a local city/town or county level.  Published and manuscript church records can be found at public, university, and private libraries.

For a brief general history of denominations and a guide to finding various New York denomination's records, see New York Church Records Wiki page.

Ann Mensch's Local Catholic Church and Family History & Genealogical Research Guide is a free online resource that identifies the parishes of the Bronx, years when parishes were created, contact information, as well as links to online records and research tips. Parishes in the Bronx fall under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of New York.

  • Records of Burials in the Dutch Church, New York. New York, USA: Reformed Dutch Church, 1899. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • 1838-1918 West Farms Reformed Church FHL film 960993-960994 Minutes of consistory meetings, lists of members, records of marriages and baptisms, 1838-1866, Minutes of consistory meetings, 1866-1918
  • 1886-1925 Zion German Presbyterian Church FHL film 960995 Contains minutes of meetings, lists of officers and members, records of baptisms, marriages and deaths. Text in German and English.

Church Histories

  • Frederick L. Attwood, History of Fordham Manor Reformed Church: 2703 Reservoir Avenue, Bronx, New York, 1696-1946 (Bronx, N.Y.?: The Church?, 1946). Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • John Campbell, History of the Church of the Mediator: Kingsbridge, New York (New York: unknown, 1990). Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Atley W. Henry, Fordham Manor Reformed Church: 2703 Reservoir Avenue, New York 63, New York: 250th Anniversary Historical Pageant (Bronx, N.Y.?: The Church?, 1991). Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • 250th Anniversary Services Celebrating the Foundation of Fordham Manor Reformed Church: 2703 Reservoir Avenue, New York 63, New York : November 17, through November 24, 1946 (Bronx, N.Y.?: The Church?, 1991). Digital version at Ancestry ($).

Additional Church Records

Additional church records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Bronx County, New York Church Records  in online catalogs like:

Court Records

Ancestors may have also been involved in municipal, state, or federal court cases. See also New York Court Records and United States Court Records.

Crime and Criminals

Directories

Ethnic, Political or Religious Groups

Gazetteers

Genealogy

  • Rootsweb message board for Bronx County, New York has many information threads about families that resided in that county. There is a search engine that allows you to search by surname and topic.

History

Origins and name of the Bronx

  • The Bronx was called Rananchqua by the native Siwanoy band of Lenape ("the Delawares" to Europeans), while other Native Americans knew the Bronx as Keskeskeck. It was divided by the Aquahung River.
  • Jonas Bronck (died 1643), a Dutch sea-captain born in Sweden (about 1600), entering New Netherland in 1639, became the first recorded European settler in the area. He leased land from the Dutch West India Company on the neck of the mainland immediately north of the Dutch settlement in Harlem, and bought additional tracts from the local tribes. He eventually accumulated 500 acres (about 200 hectares, 2 square km, or 3/4 of a square mile) between the Harlem River and the Aquahung, which became known as Bronck's River, or "the Bronx". Dutch and English settlers referred to the area as Bronck's Land.
  • The Bronx is referred to, both legally, and colloquially, with a definite article, as The Bronx. (The name of the coterminous Bronx County, or more formally the County of Bronx, does not include a the, nor does the United States Postal Service in its database of Bronx addresses.) The name for this region, apparently after the Bronx River, first appeared in the Annexed District of the Bronx created in 1874 out of part of Westchester County and was continued in the Borough of the Bronx, which included a larger annexation from Westchester County in 1898. The use of the definite article is attributed to the style of referring to rivers. Another explanation for the use of the definite article in the borough's name is that the original form of the name was possessive: The Bronck’s or The Broncks’ (referring to the family).

Before 1914

  • The development of the Bronx is directly connected to its strategic location between New England and New York (Manhattan). Control over the bridges across the Harlem River plagued the period of British colonial rule. Kingsbridge, built in 1693 where Broadway reached the Spuyten Duyvil Creek, was a possession of the lords of Philipse Manor. The tolls they charged were resented by Bronx farmers with crops and cattle to sell in New York. It was angry farmers who built a "free bridge" across the Harlem River which led to the abandonment of tolls altogether.
  • The territory now contained within Bronx County was originally part of Westchester County, one of the 12 original counties of the English Province of New York. The present Bronx County was contained in the town of Westchester and parts of the towns of Yonkers, Eastchester, and Pelham. In 1846, a new town, West Farms, was created by division of Westchester; in turn, in 1855, the town of Morrisania was created from West Farms. In 1873, the town of Kingsbridge (roughly corresponding to the modern Bronx neighborhoods of Kingsbridge, Riverdale, and Woodlawn) was established within the former borders of Yonkers.
  • The consolidation of the Bronx into New York City proceeded in two stages. In 1873, the state legislature annexed Kingsbridge, West Farms and Morrisania to New York, effective in 1874; the three towns were abolished in the process.[20][21] In 1895, three years before New York's consolidation with Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, the whole of the territory east of the Bronx River, including the Town of Westchester (which had voted in 1894 against consolidation) and portions of Eastchester and Pelham, were annexed to the city. City Island, a nautical community, voted to join the city in 1896.
  • 1 January 1898: The consolidated City of New York was born, including the Bronx as one of the five distinct Boroughs. (At the same time the Bronx's territory moved from Westchester County into New York County, which already contained Manhattan and the rest of pre-1874 New York City.)
  • 19 April 1912: Those parts of New York County which had been annexed from Westchester County in the past decades were newly constituted as Bronx County, the 62nd and last county to be created by the state, effective in 1914. Bronx County's courts opened for business on January 2, 1914 (the same day that John P. Mitchel started work as Mayor of New York City). Source:Bronx_County, New York

Jewish Records

The Museum of Family History has compiled a list of synagogues that operated in the Bronx. Synagogue names, addresses, and town associations (nationalities) are included.[7]

Land and Property

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See New York Land and Property for more details, especially about the papers generated in New York State by large speculative land companies.

Original land records in Bronx County, New York began in [?dateyear?]. These records are housed at the [?repository?] in [?town?].

Online

Microforms

  • 1657-1895 Certified copies of Westchester County (now Bronx County) deeds, 1657-1895 FHL film 1413001 (first of 90 films - Index included: Grantees and grantors 1667 - 1895. One needs to search the indexes first since the libers (volumes) in the FamilySearch Catalog do not list years. When using the indexes be sure to record liber and page numbers from the New York column. The records include "general and referees' deeds, leases, easements, reservations and other instruments except mortgages, affecting the right, title and interest in real property, showing names of grantor, grantee, witness or other principal parties ... Arr. chron. by date of certification."
  • 1874-1890 Conveyances of land originally in New York County (now Bronx County), New York, 1874-1890 FHL film 1413005 (first of 23 films - Grantee and Grantor indexes included: 1874 - 1890. Deeds are organized according to New York liber numbers and "original page numbers" rather than Bronx liber and page numbers. When using indexes be sure to record liber and page numbers from the New York column. Records include "Certified copies of general and referees' deeds, leases, easements, reservations, and other instruments except mortgages, affecting the right, title and interest to real property located in sections 9-13 and recorded in the New York County register's office ... Arr. chron. by date instrument recorded in New York County register's office."

Books

Additional land records can sometimes be found using these catalogs:

Additional resources

Additional resources for Bronx County, New York land records may be found in the Bronx County, New York – Land Records topic page of the FamilySearch Catalog . Copies of records on FHL microfilm and microfiche can be ordered for viewing at Family History Centers. Copies of books found in the FamilySearch Catalog may be found in WorldCat catalog and ordered from your local library through interlibrary loan. Explore how to search the FamilySearch Catalog and the Worldcat Online Catalog.

Maps

Nybronx.jpg

Migration

Early migration routes to and from Bronx County for European settlers included:

Military Records

Civil War

Civil War service men in Bronx County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county.

- 5th Regiment, New York Infantry (Duryee Zouaves), Company F.
- 6th Regiment, New York Heavy Artillery, Companies C, H and K.
- 17th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company C.
- 20th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company H.
- 78th Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies A, B and C. 
-135th Regiment, New York Infantry

Naturalization and Citizenship

Indexes

The Family History Library has also acquired this comprehensive index for the years 1792 through 1906 on microfilm: FHL Film 1419807 (1st of 294 films). The courts this index covers are:

  • City Court of Brooklyn, 1836-1894
  • Kings County Court, 1806-1906
  • New York City Marine Court, 1806-1849
  • New York County Common Pleas Court, 1792-1895
  • New York County Superior Court, 1828-1895
  • New York City and County Supreme Court, 1868-1906
  • Queens County Court, 1799-1906
  • Queens County Surrogate Court, 1888-1898
  • Richmond County Court, 1869-1906
  • U.S. Circuit Court Southern District, 1846-1876
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District, (Kings, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties), 1865-1906
  • U.S. District Court Southern Court Southern District, (New York, Bronx and also Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Richmond, Rockland, Sullivan and Westchester counties), 1824-1906[8]

Newspapers

Obituaries

Periodicals

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

Probate Records

West Bronx (west of the Bronx River)

East Bronx (east of the Bronx River)

No online probate indexes or records are available yet for the Bronx, nor are any on microfilm.

Repositories

See also a List of New York Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical & Genealogical Societies

Cornell University, Guide to Historical Resources in Bronx County, New York Repositories. ([Ithaca, New York]: New York Historical Resources Center, Olin Library, Cornell University, 1988). ExLibris digital copy - free; At various libraries; FHL Book 974.7275 A3g Includes index. Includes references to some family histories and genealogies.

Archives, Libraries, and Museums

City Island Historical Society and Nautical Museum[9] 190 Fordham Street
P.O. Box 82
Bronx, New York 10464
Phone: 718-885-0008
Email: CIHS@cityislandmuseum.org

  • Focuses on nautical, marine, sailing, boat-building history and City Island families.

Kingsbridge Historical Society[9]
426 West 259th Street
Bronx, New York 10471
Phone: 718-796-1195

Lehman College Library of the City[9]
University of New York
250 Bedford Park Blvd, West
Bronx, New York 10468-1589
Phone: 718-960-8577 and 718-960-7766
Email: libref@lehman.cuny.edu

Bronx Library Center
New York Public Library
310 East Kingsbridge Road
Bronx, New York 10458
Phone: 718-579-4244

Borough Historian

Official Bronx Historian[9]
3309 Bainbridge Avenue
Bronx, New York 10467
Phone: 718-881-8901

Borough Registrar

New York City Registrar
Borough of the Bronx[9]
Bronx Business Center
1932 Arthur Avenue, Third Floor
Bronx, New York 10457
Phone: 718-579-6820

  • Official record of real estate and personal property transfers, recording deeds and mortgages
City Clerk's Office

City Clerk's Office[9]
Bronx Office
Supreme Court Building
851 Grand Concourse
Bronx, New York 10451
Phone: 718-590-5307

  • Marriages from 1866 to 1907
  • After 1907 if bride's residence or licenses of nonresidents was obtained in the Bronx
County Historian's Office

Dr. Lloyd Ultan[10]
3309 Bainbridge Avenue
Bronx, New York 10467
Phone: 718-881-8901

The County Historian may provide access to obituaries, vital records, church records, maps, and family files or journals. Some historians provide search services for their office records and others may refer you to local genealogists who research in the area.

Courthouses

The County Clerk's office has marriage, divorce, court and naturalization records. For further information about where the records for Bronx County are held, see the Bronx County Courthouses page.

Family History Centers

Family History Centers (FHCs) are branches of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and are located all over the world. Their goal is to provide resources for family history research.

The main FHC for Bronx County, New York is the Bronx New York Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.

Societies

The Bronx County Historical Society

Administration Office
3309 Bainbridge Avenue
The Bronx, NY 10467
Phone: (718) 881-8900
Fax: (718) 881-4827
Email: administration@bronxhistoricalsociety.org
Hours: Monday - Friday 9 am - 5 pm
Research Library
3309 Bainbridge Avenue
The Bronx, NY 10467
Hours: Tuesday - Thursday 9 am - 5 pm by appointment only
To book an appointment or for general questions, contact the librarian at (718) 881-8900
Email: librarian@bronxhistoricalsociety.org
The Bronx County Archives
Hours: Monday - Friday 9 am - 5 pm by appointment only
To book an appointment, contact the archivist via email at archivist@bronxhistoricalsociety.org

Social Groups Online

Taxation

Town Records

Town records in New York may include early births, marriages, deaths, divorces, local histories, selected military records, and town meeting minutes. For further details, try the links to individual town Wiki pages found in Places. See also:

  • Gordon L. Remington, New York Towns, Villages, and Cities: A Guide to Genealogical Sources (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2002). NEHGS online edition; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.7 D27r. Alphabetical list including date founded, if a town history exists, church and cemetery sources, and if a Civil War register (TCR) exists.


Vital Records

Birth

Birth records from 1898 to 1909 are held at the New York City Municipal Archives. They are also available on microfilm at the Family History Library. A digital version of the Family History Library's guide to New York City birth records is available at FamilySearch Books Online. Birth records from 1909 to the present can be obtained from the New York City Department of Health ($).

Birth Substitutes

  • See Town Clerks' Registers of Men who Served in the Civil War in the Civil War section of Military for birth information.
Marriage

Marriage records from 1898 to 1937 are held at the New York City Municipal Archives. They are also available on microfilm at the Family History Library. A digital version of the Family History Library's guide to New York City marriages is available at FamilySearch Books Online. Marriage records from 1929 to the present can be obtained from the City Clerk of New York City ($).

Marriage Substitutes

  • 1800–1855 New York Marriage Notices at Ancestry– ($); Index. This database is a collection of marriage notices published in newspapers around the state. Contains name of bride and groom, marriage date, marriage location, residence, and newspaper found in.
Divorce

Pre–1787

All divorces were granted by the governor or legislature and were very rare.

1787–1847

All divorces were granted by the court of chancery. These records are found in the New York State Archives or for the New York City area at the New York County Clerk's office.These divorces were granted only on the grounds of adultery.

1847–present

All divorces are handled by the county Supreme Court where the divorce was granted. Divorce files in New York are sealed for 100 years. Contact the County Clerk for information about divorce records.

Divorce judgment papers often include date and place of the marriage and the names and birthdates of any children. Local newspapers may publish notices of divorce actions.

Death

Death records from 1898 to 1948 are held at the New York City Municipal Archives. They are also available on microfilm at the Family History Library. A digital version of the Family History Library's guide to New York City death records is available at FamilySearch Books Online. Death records from 1948 to the present can be obtained from the New York City Department of Health ($).

  • 1892-1902 Deaths Reported in the City of New York. New York: Department of Health. Digital version at Ancestry ($).

Death Substitutes

  • See Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War in the Civil War section of Military for death information.
  • 1849-50, 1859-60, 1869-70, 1879-80 See Mortality Schedule information in the Federal Census section of Census for death information.

Additional Resources

Additional resources for Bronx County births, marriages and deaths may be found in the New York, Bronx– Vital Records topic page of the FamilySearch Catalog . Copies of records on FHL microfilm and microfiche can be ordered for viewing at Family History Centers. Copies of books found in the FamilySearch Catalog may be found in WorldCat catalog and ordered from your local library through interlibrary loan. Explore how to search the FamilySearch Catalog and the Worldcat Online Catalog.

Voting Registers

Places


Bronx County New York Genealogy Websites

References

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 488. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Kathryn Ford Thorne, New York Atlas of Historical County Boundaries (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993), 33, 118-19, and 207-209. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.7 E7t.
  3. Handybook, 478.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Wikipedia contributors, "York Shire (Province of New York)" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/York_Shire_(Province_of_New_York) (accessed 16 December 2011).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Wikipedia contributors , "The Bronx" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bronx (accessed 4 January 2012).
  6. Arlene Eakle, and Johni Cerni, The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1984), 103. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27ts.
  7. "Former Synagogues of NYC," UpFront with NGS: Blog of the National Genealogical Society, http://upfront.ngsgenealogy.org/2011/12/former-synagogues-of-nyc.html, accessed 29 December 2011.
  8. FamilySearch Catalog, FamilySearch, accessed 6 December 2011, http://www.familysearch.org.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Elizabeth Petty Bentley, Genealogist's Address Book: State and Local Resources, with Special Resources Including Ethnic and Religious Organizations, 6th ed. (Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Pub., 2009), 375. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D24ben 2009.
  10. Elizabeth Petty Bentley, Genealogist's Address Book: State and Local Resources, with Special Resources Including Ethnic and Religious Organizations, 6th ed. (Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Pub., 2009), 375. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D24ben 2009.


 

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  • This page was last modified on 19 July 2014, at 00:24.
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