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Guide to Schenectady County, New York ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.

This page describes sources of genealogical data about Schenectady 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


Schenectady County, New York
Map
Map of New York highlighting Schenectady 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 1809
County Seat Schenectady
Courthouse
Schenectady County Courthouse.jpg
Photo courtesy of Jimmy Emerson
Address 105 Jay Street
Schenectady, NY 12305
Schenectady County Website

Contents

Schenectady County New York Historical Facts

Parent County

Schenectady County was created 7 March 1809 from Albany County.[1]

Neighboring Counties

Albany · Montgomery · Saratoga · Schoharie[2]

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.

Record Loss

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

Schenectady 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.

Federal

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.[3]
  • 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 Yes - Yes Yes
Family History Library Films - Yes - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
FamilySearch Images - - - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
New York State Library Films - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

New York State 1865 and 1875 Census Marriage, Mortality; and 1865 Soldier Mortality records:

  • Images available online at New York State Census, 1865 and New York State Census, 1875. Click on the link to go to the page, then click on the ‘Browse through images’ link and select your county, then select an ancestor's town and browse to the end of the population schedule until you find the Marriage, Mortality, and 1865 soldier mortality schedules.
  • Includes marriages and deaths for the 12 months prior to the census, ending 1 June of the census year.
  • Marriage entry content: Husband's name, wife's name, ages and previous marital status, month and day and place of marriage, and church or civil ceremony.
  • Death entry content: Name, age, sex, color, marital status, month and day of death, native state or country, occupation and cause of death.
  • 1865 deaths of officers and enlisted men entry content: Name, age, marital status, citizenship status, enlistment date, original regiment, original rank, regiment at death, rank at death, promotions, death date and place, manner of death, surviving associates, and burial place.
  • Also on microfilm. See the Family History Library line in the above State Census Chart. These can be ordered through any Family History Center.

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 and Genealogical Research Guide is a free online resource that identifies the parishes of Schenectady County, years parishes were created, contact information, as well as links to online records and research tips. Schenectady County parishes fall under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Albany.

A variety of local church records and histories from the Baptist, Christian, Dutch, Episcopal, Greek Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Reformed, and Roman Catholic faiths are available online at NYGenWeb.

Additional Church Records

Additional church records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Schenectady 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

  • 1864 - Schenectady City and County Directory ... 1864-5. Digital version at Don's List - free.

Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups

Gazetteers

  • 1870-71 Child, Hamilton. Gazetteer and business directory of Albany and Schenectady Co., N. Y. for 1870-71. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms International - Books on Demand, 1989. At various libraries(WorldCat); FHL fiche 6072149

Genealogy

  • Rootsweb message board for Schenectady 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

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 Schenectady County, New York began in 1809. These records are housed at the Schenectady County Courthouse in Schenectady, New York.

Online

Microforms

Books

Additional land records can sometimes be found using these catalogs:

The Schenectady County Clerk has put a deed index online.

A guide at NYGenWeb explains how to use this database:

For more recent sales, a subscription site can help: NYDeeds.com ($).

Additional resources

Additional resources for Schenectady County, New York land records may be found in the Schenectady 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

Nyschenectady.jpg

Migration

Early migration routes to and from Schenectady County for European settlers included:[4]

Military

Civil War

Town registers. The New York town clerks kept a bound register of all soldiers from their town serving in the Civil War 1861-1865. Registers are arranged by county, and town. Some town registers are missing. The registers include an index at the start of each town.

Content. Many register entries include full name, residence, date and place of birth, parents names, marital status, date of enlistment and muster and rank, discharges, death, or promotion.

Access. The original registers are at the New York State Archives in Albany, New York. Microfilm copies are found at the Family History Library (FHL Film 1993401-37) and can be ordered for viewing at your local Family History Center. They are also indexed and available at Ancestry.com ($).

Available towns. Registers are available for: Duanesburg · Glenville · Niskayuna · Rotterdam .

Regiments. Service men in Albany County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county.[5]

- 7th Regiment, New York Cavalry, Company C.
- 18th Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies A and E.
- 18th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company E.
- 25th Regiment, New York Cavalry, Companies D, L and M.
- 30th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company C.
- 43rd Regiment, New York Infantry, Company G.
- 91st Regiment, New York Infantry, Company G.
- 134th Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies A, B, F, H and I.
- 175th Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies D and E.
- 177th Regiment, New York Infantry
- 192nd Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies D, E, F, G, H and I.

Newspapers

The Library of Congress U.S. Newspaper Directory shows 100 newspapers published in the county since settlement.

Obituaries

Periodicals

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

Probate Records

Probate records including original estates and wills for New York are held in the office of the Schenectady County, New York County Surrogate Court beginning in 1787, or when the county was formed. Prior to 1787, most are housed at the New York State Archives. See New York Probate Records for more information about using probate records.
Content:  Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.
Record types:  Wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distribution.

Probate Petitions

In 1830, state law required the Surrogate Court clerk to issue a probate petition for a deceased individual with property. This petition, unique to New York, usually lists the deceased's death date. It also lists the heirs, their relationship to the deceased, and their residence. [6] [7]

These petitions are often found in the estate files and can be obtained from the Schenectady County Surrogate Court.

Online Abstracts and Indexes


Online Probate Records

Original county-by-county New York, Probate Records, 1629-1971 are available free online at FamilySearch. To access these records, click Historical Records below, then click "Browse through 1,630,900 images". Then select the county name, and then the probate records and time of interest.

  • Historical Records - Schenectady County: Administration bonds 1890-1901; Dower records, Minutes 1817-1858; General index 1809-1916; Guardianship bonds 1890-1929; Letters of administration 1809-1921; Letters of guardianship 1809-1907; Letters of testamentary 1839-1918; Probate records 1871-1917; Will and letter index 1809-1830; Wills 1806-1917

Probate Records on Microfilm
Probate records found at Historical Records and described in Online Probate Records above are also found on microfilm as follows:

  • 1809–1929 Probate Records: Administration bonds 1890-1901; General index 1809-1916; Guardianship bonds 1890-1929; Letters of administration 1809-1921; Letters of guardianship 1809-1907; Letters of testamentary 1839-1918; Probate records 1871-1917; Will and letter index 1809-1830; Wills 1806-1917. FHL Film 503213 (38 films)

Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

Additional probate indexes or abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Schenectady County, New York probate wills in online catalogs like:

Repositories

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

Cornell University, Guide to Historical Resources in Schenectady County, New York Repositories. ([Ithaca, New York]: New York Historical Resources Center, Olin Library, Cornell University, 1983). At various libraries; FHL Book 974.744 A3g. Includes index. Includes references to some family histories and genealogies.

Archives, Libraries and Museums
Grems-Doolittle Library and Archives[9]
32 Washington Ave.
Schenectady, NY 12305
Housed at the Schenectady County Historical Society. Collection includes Almshouse records, Bibles, City Directories, County Histories, Deeds, Newspapers, Wills, and more. The Library also accepts Research Requests.
Schenectady County Public Library System[10]
Central Library
99 Clinton St.
Schenectady, NY 12305
Phone: 588.318.4500
Includes ten branch libraries throughout Schenectady County. Also hosts Schenectady Digital History Archive and holds subscriptions to major genealogical websites.The Schenectady County Public Library is part of the Mohawk Valley Library System, a "a public library system serving 14 member libraries" in Fulton, Montgomery, Schenectady, and Schoharie Counties. Highlights from the historical and genealogical collections can also be found on The Documentarian
Schaffer Libary[11]
Union College
807 Union St.
Schenectady, NY
Phone: 518.388.6620
The Special Collections and The College Archives are housed on the third floor of the library. Resources include local history and manuscript collections.
Schenectady Museum[12]
15 Nott Terrace Heights
Schenectady, NY 12308
Phone: 518.382.7890
In addition to housing records related to GE, the Museum's Archives and Research section holds a "growing collection of materials related to Schenectady" including a large photograph collection, documents of early Schenectady businesses, and High School newspapers.
County Historian's Office

Schenectady County Historian[13]
c/o County Manager's Office
620 State Street
Schenectady, NY 12305
E-mail: historian@schenectadycounty.com

Genealogical Resources: 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 Schenectady County Clerk's office has marriage, divorce, court and land records as well as maps and city directories. The Surrogate Court has probate records. For further information about where the records for Schenectady County are held, see the Schenectady 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 Schenectady County, New York is the Albany New York Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.

Societies
Capital District Genealogical Society[14]
Empire State Plaza Station
PO Box 2175
Albany, NY 12220-0175
Holds a monthly meeting, willing to publish non-member queries in their newsletter for $3. Society also staffs a genealogy support desk at the Town of Colonie Library.
(Counties served include Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Washington.)
Central New York Genealogical Society[15]
Box 104, Calvin Station
Syracuse, New York 13205
E-mail: CNYSG@yahoo.com
Member queries; surname research list; online resources; six meetings/year; publishes Tree Talks At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.7 B2t quarterly with annual index. (Counties served include Albany, Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Oreleans, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Washington, Wayne, Warren, Wyoming, and Yates.)
Schenectady County Historical Society[16]
32 Washington Avenue
Schenectady, NY 12305
Phone: 518.374.0263
Facebook
The Historical Society also houses and maintains the Grems- Doolittle Library and Archives, the Maybee Farm Historic Site, the Schenectady County Historical Society Museum and more.
Schenectada Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution
[17]
Email: B1093@citlink.net

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

Vital records of birth, marriage or death were first recorded at the local level in the village clerk, town clerk, or city clerk’s ledger book. If you know where a birth, marriage or death took place, a copy of the certificate or record may be obtained by writing to the town, village or city clerk. See also How to order New York Vital Records or order electronically online.

See the heading Places on this wiki page for links to local community wiki pages and their available records. See New York Vital Records for a discussion about beginning dates and availability of vital records in New York.

Use substitute records for birth, marriage, and death information. These substitute records include Bible Records, Cemeteries, Church Records, Newspapers, and Probate Records.

Birth

Early births were recorded on the town level and the years vary by town. (List of towns) The New York State Department of Health (state level) began recording births in 1881. Births were not recorded on the county level.

Birth Substitutes

  • 1808–1850 Fred Q.Bowman, 7000 Hudson-Mohawk Valley, (NY), Vital Records, 1808-1850 (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1997). At various libraries; FHL Book 974.7 V2bo. Abstracts from newspapers filed at the New York State Library in Albany.
  • See Town Clerks' Registers of Men who Served in the Civil War in the Civil War section of Military for birth information.
Marriage

Early marriages were sometimes recorded on the town level and the years vary by town. (List of towns) In 1880, town clerks were to record the marriage and a copy was sent to the New York State Department of Health (state level). Town clerks continue to record marriages. Marriages were recorded by the Schenectady County, New York clerk starting in 1908 and go until 1930.[18]

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.
  • 1808–1850 Fred Q.Bowman, 7000 Hudson-Mohawk Valley, (NY), Vital Records, 1808-1850 (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1997). At various libraries; FHL Book 974.7 V2bo. Abstracts from newspapers filed at the New York State Library in Albany.
  • 1864-5, 1874-5 See Marriage Schedule information in the State Census section of Census for marriage information for 1864-5, and 1874-5.
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

Early deaths were recorded on the town level and the years vary by town. (List of towns) The New York State Department of Health (state level) began recording deaths in 1881. Deaths were not recorded on the county level.

Death Substitutes

  • 1808–1850 Fred Q.Bowman, 7000 Hudson-Mohawk Valley, (NY), Vital Records, 1808-1850 (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1997). At various libraries; FHL Book 974.7 V2bo. Abstracts from newspapers filed at the New York State Library in Albany.
  • 1810–1843 Marie Hall Cormack, Transcript of books 118-121 of old records in the County Clerk's Office : ca. 1810-1843 (1939–1940). FHL Book 974.744 P2c v. 1–2.
  • 1849-50, 1859-60, 1869-70, 1879-80 See Mortality Schedule information in the Federal Census section of Census for death information.
  • See Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War in the Civil War section of Military for death information.
  • 1864-5, 1874-5 See Mortality Schedule information in the State Census section of Census for death information for 1864-5, and 1874-5.

Additional Resources

Additional resources for Schenectady County births, marriages and deaths may be found in the New York, Schenectady– 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

Schenectady County New York Genealogy Websites

Schenectady County New York Places

Schenectady County New York Genealogy References

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 491. [At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Handybook, 478.
  3. 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.
  4. Handybook, 847-61.
  5. Frederick Phisterer, New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. (Albany, N.Y.: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912). Internet Archive digital copy; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Film 1486494-96; Fiche 6083559-64; Book 974.7 M2p.
  6. Alice Eichholz, Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Pub., 2004), 479. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004.
  7. Henry B. Hoff, "Navigating New York Probate," American Ancestors 12 (Fall 2011): 57.
  8. About Abstracts of Wills, Admins. and Guardianships in NY State, 1787-1835 at New York Ancestors, accessed 8 December 2011, http://newyorkancestors.org/.
  9. Schenectady County Historical Society Library (Online site) at http://www.schenectadyhistory.net/library (accessed 9 December 2011).
  10. Schenectady County Public Library (Online site) at http://www.scpl.org/index.html (accessed 9 December 2011)
  11. Union College: Welcome to Schaffer Library at http://www.union.edu/library/index.php# (accessed 9 December 2011).
  12. Schenectady Museum and Suits-Bueche Planetarium at http://www.schenectadymuseum.org/info/info.html (accessed 9 December 2011)
  13. 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), 470. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D24ben 2009.
  14. Capital District Genealogical Society (Internet site) at http://www.capitaldistrictgenealogicalsociety.org/index.html (accessed 31 October 2011).
  15. Central New York Genealogical Society at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nycnygs/index.htm (accessed 1 November 2011).
  16. Schenectady County Historical Society (Internet site) at http://www.schist.org/default.htm (accessed 9 December 2011).
  17. Schenectada Chapter at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nyschdar/ (accessed 9 December 2011)
  18. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 488-493. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.


 

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  • This page was last modified on 11 December 2014, at 20:34.
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