Columbia County, New York

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Revision as of 01:37, 18 January 2014

United States go to New York go to Columbia County

Guide to Columbia 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 Columbia 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: 42.25°0′N 73.63°0′W / 42.25°N 73.63°W / 42.25; -73.63

Columbia County, New York
Map
Map of New York highlighting Columbia 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 1786
County Seat Hudson
Courthouse
Columbia County Courthouse.jpg
Photo courtesy joseph a's photostream
Address 401 State St.
Hudson, NY 12534
Columbia County Website

Contents

Columbia County New York Historical Facts

Parent County

Created 4 April 1786 from Albany County.[1]

Neighboring Counties

Albany · Dutchess · Greene · Rensselaer · Ulster · Connecticut county: Litchfield · Massachusetts county: Berkshire[2]

Boundary Changes

No changes

Record Loss

Columbia 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.
  • The 1890 Census is lost. For a substitute, see directories.
State
Source 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1892 1905 1915 1925
Ancestry.com - - - Yes - Yes - - Yes Yes
Family History Library - - - Yes Yes Yes - Yes Yes Yes
FamilySearch images - - - Yes Yes Yes - Yes Yes Yes
New York State Library - - 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.

Dutch Reformed

The Dutch Reformed Church at Claverack has records dating from the 1720s.

Latter-day Saints (Mormons)
  • 1930-1941 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Hudson District. FHL film 1962 Items 1-2 Records of members could include vital information, baptisms, and other church-related data.
Catholic

Ann Mensch's Local Catholic Church and Family History & Genealogical Research Guide is a free online resource that identifies the parishes of Columbia County, years parishes were created, contact information, as well as links to online records and research tips. Columbia County parishes fall under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Albany.

Additional Church Records

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

Directories

Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups

Gazetteers

Hudson-Athens lighthouse.jpg
 

Genealogy

  • Rootsweb message board for Columbia 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

Additional Resources:

USGenNet - Columbia County

Genealogical Resources: Click on the town pages. Brief histories for some of the towns are given. This is based on a 1878 history by Captain Franklin Ellis.

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

Online

Microforms

Books

Additional land records can sometimes be found using these catalogs:

Additional resources

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

Maps

Nycolumbia.jpg

Migration

Early migration routes to and from Columbia 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: Ancram · Austerlitz · Canaan · Chatham · Claverack · Clermont · Copake · Germantown · Ghent · Greenport · Hillsdale · Kinderhook · Livingston · New Lebanon · Stockport · STuyvesant · Taghkanic.

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

- 6th Independent Battery, New York Light Artillery, Company M.
- 6th Regiment, New York Cavalry, Company M.
- 12th Regiment, New York Cavalry, Companies B, C and G.
- 14th Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies I and K.
- 20th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company H.
- 62nd Regiment, New York Infantry
- 65th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company B.
- 91st Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies E, H and I.
- 128th Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies A, D, E, F, G and K.
- 156th Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies H, I and K.
- 159th Regiment, New York Infantry, 2nd Company G.
- 159th Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies A, C, D, E, G and I.

New York in the Civil War

USGenNet - Columbia County

Genealogical Resources: Click on the town pages and then the Civil War Section. Lists men from that community that served in the Civil War. This is based on a 1878 history by Captain Franklin Ellis.

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

Old Fulton NY Post Cards has the largest online collection of 400 New York 1795-2007 newspapers. The instructions for this quirky site are needed to get the most out of it.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards has the following Columbia County, New York newspaper images:

  • Chatham NY Courier 1867-1967
  • Chatham NY Republican 1886-1898
  • Hudson NY Evening Register 1867-1944

Newspaperarchive.com ($) has historical newspapers for Pittsfield, Massachusetts newspapers (1858-1977) and North Adams, Massachusetts newspapers (1895-1977) covering local news that included Columbia County residents.

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 Columbia 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 Columbia County Surrogate Court.
The petitions for Columbia County, New York are also available on microfilm at the Family History Library and its centers:

Online Probate Indexes

Probate Records on Microfilm

  • 1786-1920 Will books and index, 1786-1904; decrees on settlements of accounts, 1880-1901; letters testamentary and administrations, 1830-1904; letters of administration, 1787-1903; records of bonds, guardians, trustees, administrators, and executors, 1890-1903; minutes of proceedings, 1831-1920 FHL Film 479108 (125 films).
  • 1830-1880 Administration papers FHL Film 479417 (37 films).
  • early-1880 Guardian papers FHL Film 479386 (29 films).

Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

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

Repositories

Cornell University, Guide to Historical Resources in Columbia County, New York Repositories. ([Ithaca, New York]: New York Historical Resources Center, Olin Library, Cornell University, 1987). At various libraries; FHL Book 974.739 A3. Includes index. Includes references to some family histories and genealogies.

Columbia County Historian
Mary J. Howell
490 County Route 10
Germantown, New York 12526
518-828-3442; 518-828-2969(fax)

Archives, Libraries and Museums

ARCHIVES

Columbia County, NY On-Line History
On-Line Historical Archives
This is a growing collection of transcripts, indexes, and photographs related to the history of Columbia County, NY. It includes oral histories and folklore, several gazetteers, federal and state censuses, early probates, deeds, private papers, and more.

PUBLIC LIBRARIES

There are twelve public libraries in Columbia County New York, one of which is a Branch Library. They belong to the Mid-Hudson Library System that serves the communities of Columbia, Duchess, Greene, Putnam, and Ulster Counties. They share a catalog that includes a sizable collection of Genealogical materials. The shared catalog is found on the library systems main page. For information on the individual libraries in Columbia County, click here.

County Historian's Office

Mary Howell, Historian
490 County Route 10
Germantown, NY 12526
Also:
610 State Street
Hudson, NY 12534
Phone: (518) 828-3442
Fax: (518) 828-2969
E-mail: mhowell@govt.co.columbia.ny.us

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.

First Columbia County courthouse, Claverack, NY.jpg
Courthouses

The Columbia County Clerk's office has marriage, court, land and naturalization records. The Surrogate court has probate records. For further information about where the records for Columbia County are held, see the Columbia County Courthouse page.

Family History Center

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 Columbia County, New York is the Kingston New York Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.

Societies

Columbia County Historical Society - digital collections
5 Albany Ave.
PO Box 311
Kinderhook, NY 12106.
Telephone(518) 758-9265
Hours: Monday, Thursday, Friday, & Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm, Sundays by appointment

The Columbia County Historical Society is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the history of Columbia County, NY. The Society owns and operates three historic properties and a museum, open year-round. They include the Columbia County Museum, the James Vanderpoel House, and the Luykas Van Alen House.

  • Columbia County Museum
    5 Albany Avenue
    Kinderhook, NY 12106
    The Columbia County Museum houses the Columbia County Historical Society offices, research library, collections storage and exhibit space. It appears to be the only museum belonging to the historical society with collections for genealogical research.

Capital District Genealogical Society[9]
Empire State Plaza Station
PO Box 2175
Albany, NY 12220-0175

Counties served: Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Washington.
$3 for non-member queries in their newsletter. Monthly meetings. They staff a genealogy support desk at the Town of Colonie Library.

Central New York Genealogical Society[10]
Box 104, Calvin Station
Syracuse, New York 13205
E-mail: CNYSG@yahoo.com

Member queries; surname research list; online resources; six meetings/year; publication: Tree Talks (At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.7 B2t) quarterly with annual index.
Counties served: 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.

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

  • 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 Columbia County, New York clerk starting in 1908 and go until 1934.[11]

Marriage Substitutes

  • 1800–1855 New York Marriage Notices at Ancestry– ($); Index. This database is a collection of marriage notices published in newspapers around the state. Contains name of bride and groom, marriage date, marriage location, residence, and newspaper found in.
  • 1804–1850 Fred Q. Bowman, 8000 More Vital Records of Eastern New York State, 1804-1850 (Rhinebeck, New York: Kinship Books, 1991). At various libraries; FHL Book 974.7 V2bfqa. Abstracts of newspaper marriage and death columns.
  • 1824-1851Marriages from the Rural Repository Published in Hudson, N.Y. 4 vols. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • 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

  • 1804–1850 Fred Q. Bowman, 8000 More Vital Records of Eastern New York State, 1804-1850 (Rhinebeck, New York: Kinship Books, 1991). At various libraries; FHL Book 974.7 V2bfqa. Abstracts of newspaper marriage and death columns.
  • 1823-1828 Wiles, Harriett M. Marriages and Deaths from the Northern Whig. Published in Hudson, N.Y., 1823-1828. 1952. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • 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 Columbia County births, marriages and deaths may be found in the New York, Columbia– Vital Records topic page of the Family History Library Catalog (FHLC). Copies of records on FHL microfilm and microfiche can be ordered for viewing at Family History Centers. Copies of books found in the FHLC may be found in WorldCat catalog and ordered from your local library through interlibrary loan. Explore how to search the Family History Library Catalog and the Worldcat Online Catalog.

Voting Registers

Columbia County New York Places

Columbia County New York Genealogy Websites

Columbia County New York Genealogy 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. 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. Capital District Genealogical Society (Internet site) at http://www.capitaldistrictgenealogicalsociety.org/index.html (accessed 31 October 2011).
  10. Central New York Genealogical Society at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nycnygs/index.htm (accessed 1 November 2011).
  11. 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.