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United States New York Genealogy
Most archives, historical societies, and genealogical societies have special collections and indexes of genealogical value. Some of the major collections are described below.
Sources at the Family History Library
- Ancestral File. Ancestral File is a FamilySearch™ computer file that contains family history information linked into family groups and pedigrees. The file contains millions of names, including a growing number of New York families.
Ancestral File is a growing file of completed research, depending largely on contributions of ancestral information from organizations and individuals. Entries to the Ancestral File are no longer being accepted, but Pedigree Resource File has taken its place. To contribute to the Pedigree Resource File, go to www.familysearch.org and under "Preserve and Share Your Family History," click on Share Your Family Tree, and follow the instructions given. Contributions of genealogies are welcome and encouraged.
- International Genealogical Index. Available on both microfiche and as a FamilySearch™ computer file. The International Genealogical Index provides names and vital information for millions of deceased persons, dating back to the mid-1600s. Most of the names were submitted by researchers or copied from church records.
- Old Surname Index File. The Family History Library has a surname index of some manuscripts, periodicals, books, and films collected before 1964. It is especially useful for New York research and is found under The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Genealogical Department, Library Division, Old Surname Index File (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1976; FHL films 1058446–85).
- Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Collection. Since the 1910s, the DAR has collected genealogical information by transcribing previously unpublished records. They include Bible, cemetery, church, marriage, death, obituary, and will records. This collection is now called the Genealogical Records Committee (GRC) Reports. A portion of these reports regarding New York State have been microfilmed and divided into two parts:
- Daughters of the American Revolution (New York). Cemetery, Church and Town Records. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1970–1971. FHL film 836756 (first of 86); 6331439-47 ) The records are at the New York State Library, New York Public Library, and the DAR Library in Washington, D.C. The Family History Library has microfilms of the first 388 volumes and many additional unnumbered volumes on microfilms. Volumes 528–536 are on microfiche.
- Daughters of the American Revolution (New York). Bible, Family and Miscellaneous Records from New York State. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1971. (On 33 Family History Library films and 155 fiche, starting with FHL film 862793 (first of 33); fiche 6331487 (first of 155). Includes an index for the first 40 volumes.) The original records are at the Daughters of the American Revolution Library in Washington, D.C.
Individual volumes in the DAR collection are generally arranged by county, and many volumes have individual indexes.
- Before 2001, the DAR began indexing these GRC reports and created a searchable online index. At this time 2.2 million names have been indexed for New York State and information is added continually. Go to this website to search this index: http://grc.dar.org/dar/darnet/grc/grc.cfm?Action=New_Search
As of yet, this index is not complete for New York and should be used in conjunction with three other indexes that index a large portion of this collection:
- In both Whitacre indexes the letter "V" before the volume and page refers to Cemetery, Church and Town Records; the letter "B" refers to the Bible, Family and Miscellaneous Records.
- Whitacre, Constance M. and Elsie Trotter. Master Index New York State DAR Genealogical Records. New York, New York: Daughters of the American Revolution, 1972. FHL film 1206452 item 13; fiche 6051491; book 974.7 D22;
- Whitacre, Constance M. Master Index Supplement 1972–1978: Records and Corrections. N.p., 1978. FHL film 1206452 item 14; book 975.7 D22 Supp.
- New York State Library (Albany, New York). Vital Records Card File. Albany, New York: New York State Library, 1979. FHL fiche 6332544
- Holland Society of New York Collections. This lineage society collects information about the early Dutch settlers and their descendants. Many of their church record transcripts and published yearbooks are at the Family History Library. The library has microfilms of Compiled Genealogies (Family History Library 47 films), Manuscript Historical and Genealogical Collection (FHL 41 films), and Membership Records (FHL 76 films). The film numbers are listed in the Family History Library Catalog Place Search under:
NEW YORK - GENEALOGY.
- New York State Library (Albany, New York). Vital Records Card File. Albany, New York: New York State Library, 1979. FHL fiche 6332544
- Rider, Fremont, ed. American Genealogical- Biographical Index. Vols. 1–186+. (Middletown, Connecticut: Godfrey Memorial Library, 1952–.) FHL film 1698167 items 1-3 (first of 41); book 973 D22am ser. 2 This is a continuing series. An earlier version of 48 volumes was published as The American Genealogical Index, 1942–1951. The index contains over 4 million brief citations (name, date, and source) to manuscripts, periodicals, and books. The earlier version indexed 350 sources. The second version includes the original 350 sources and an additional 800 sources.
- To help you understand the source citations and to locate the original sources, use the colored pages in some volumes of:
Clark, Patricia L. and Dorothy Huntsman, eds. American Genealogical Biographical Key Title Index. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1990.) FHL 1698167 item 4; fiche 6088377; book 973 D22am index Lists the sources that are at the Family History Library and their call numbers.
- To access genealogy records available through the Family History Library Catalogy, use the Place-names Search for:
- NEW YORK - GENEALOGY
- NEW YORK, [County] - GENEALOGY
Manuscript Collections at Other Repositories
The Colonial Albany Social History Project. This project, begun in 1980, is an attempt to compile a detailed biographical profile of all 16,000 persons who lived in the city of Albany before 1800. The information comes from all available published and manuscript sources and includes birth, marriage and death data for each person; information on all members of the household; and information concerning residency, migration, education, religion, wealth, politics, and military service. For more information, contact:
Colonial Albany Social History Project
Stefan Bielinski, Director
New York State Museum
3093 Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY 12230
Examples of important published genealogies include:
Bailey, Rosalie Fellows. Pre-Revolutionary Dutch Houses and Families in Northern New Jersey and Southern New York. 1936. Reprint. (New York, New York: Dover, 1968.) FHL film 1421882 item 3; book 974 D2bp Digitized version available through FHL catalog entry. Thousands of names with birth, marriage, death, children, and often place of origin.
Bergen, Teunis G. Register in Alphabetical Order of the Early Settlers of Kings County, Long Island, New York from Its First Settlement by Europeans to 1700. 1881. (Reprint, Cottonport, Louisiana: Polyanthos, 1973.) FHL film 982133; book 974.723 D2b 1973. Thousands of names with birth, marriage, death, children, residence, and often place of origin.
Cutter, William Richard. Genealogical and Family History of Central New York. 3 vols. (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing, 1912.) FHL film 1000226; fiche 6051122; book 974.7 D2cu.Index in volume 3. May show four to ten generations including birth, marriage, death, and place of origin.
Cutter, William Richard. Genealogical and Family History of Northern New York. 3 vols. (New York, New York: Lewis Historical Publishing, 1910.) FHL film 1000225; fiche 6051252; book 974.75 D2cut Has information about families in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties. May show four to ten generations including birth, marriage, death, and place of origin.
Cutter, William Richard. Genealogical and Family History of Western New York. 3 vols. (New York, New York: Lewis Historical Publishing, 1912.) FHL film 1000228; fiche 6046620; book 974.7 D2c. The above volumes by Cutter have been indexed by Norma Olin Ireland and Winifred Irving, Cutter Index: A Consolidated Index of Cutter's 9 Genealogy Series (Fallbrook, California: Ireland Indexing Service, ca. 1970; Family History Library book 974 D2ci; film 1036507 item 6; fiche 6046737.) Index in volume 3. May show four to ten generations including birth, marriage, death, and place of origin.
Davis, Norman C. Westchester Patriarchs: A Genealogical Dictionary of Westchester County, New York Families Prior to 1755. (Bowie, Maryland.: Heritage Books, 1988)FHL book 974.7277 D3d
Hoff, Henry Bainbridge., ed. Genealogies of Long Island Families from The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. 2 vols. (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1987) FHL book 974.721 D2g.)
Pearson, Jonathan. Contributions for the Genealogies of the First Settlers of the Ancient County of Albany, from 1630 to 1800. 1872. (Reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1978, 1984) FHL film 1036122; book 974.742 D2p; Digitized version available through FHL catalog entry. Pearson's original manuscript has material not in the book (Family History Library films 1304637–38.)
Pearson, Jonathan. Contributions for the Genealogies of the Descendants of the First Settlers of the Patent and City of Schenectady from 1662 to 1800. 1873. (Reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1976, 1978.) FHL film 1036211 item 2; book 974.744 D2p Pearson's original manuscript FHL film 1304636 item 3–1304637.) Has material not in the book.
Reynolds, Cuyler. Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley. 3 vols. (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing, 1914.) FHL film 1000227; fiche 6046616; book 974.7 D3r Digitized version available through FHL catalog entry.
Reynolds, Cuyler. Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs; A Record of Achievement of the People of the Hudson Mohawk Valleys in N.Y. State, Included within the Present Counties of Albany, Rensselaer, Washington, Saratoga, Montgomery, Fulton, Schenectady, Columbia & Greene. 4 vols. (New York, New York: Lewis Historical Publishing, 1911.) FHL 1000229; book 974.74 D3r
Reynolds, Helen Wilkinson. Dutch Houses in the Hudson Valley Before 1776. 1929. (Reprint, New York, New York: Dover Publications, 1965.) FHL film 982401 item 4; book 974.7 H2r May show historical, birth, marriage, or death information about several generations of a family.
Riker, James, Jr. Revised History of Harlem (City of New York), Its Origin and Early Annals. Revised with the assistance of Henry Pennington Toler. (New York, New York: New Harlem Publishing, 1904.) FHL film 1035904 item 3; book 974.71 H2r The revised edition has an extensive genealogical appendix.
Seversmith, Herbert Furman. Colonial Families of Long Island, New York and Connecticut. 5 vols in 6. (Washington, D.C.: H.F. Seversmith, 1939–58.) FHL films 525304–306; book 929.273 Se835s These volumes primarily cover surnames A–L, except volume 5 which covers A–W. The rest of Seversmith's notes for surnames after L are at the Easthampton Free Library and on microfilm as The Seversmith Manuscripts FHL films 569823–24 Contains about 140 families showing multi-generation genealogical sketches about five to twenty pages long.
Western New York Genealogical Society, Inc. Ancestors of WNYGS Members. (Hamburg, New York: WNYGS, 1993–). FHL book 974.79 D2a Gives name, birth year and state, marriage year and state, and relatives' names for eight western counties.
Published Collections of Records
The following books are genealogical compilations obtained from original source records:
Hoff, Henry Bainbridge, ed. Long Island Source Records from The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1987.) FHL book 974.721 H29L
Mather, Frederic Gregory. The Refugees of 1776 from Long Island to Connecticut. 1913. (Reprint, Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, 1990.) FHL film 164690; book 974.6 H2m This book mentions thousands of patriot families, both those that fled from Suffolk County to Connecticut in 1776 and those that remained during the Revolution.
Penrose, Maryly Barton. Mohawk Valley in the Revolution: Committee of Safety Papers & Genealogical Compendium. (Franklin Park, New Jersey: Liberty Bell Associates, 1978.) FHL book 974.76 H2p Book I, committee papers, includes petitions, declarations, and elections. It is indexed and helps determine residence. Book II, the compendium, cites 33 documents used to compile about 600 alphabetical family groups which may show birth, marriage, death, spouses, children parents, and Revolutionary War service.
Stillwell, John E. Historical and Genealogical Miscellany: Data Relating to the Settlement and Settlers of New York and New Jersey. 6 vols. 1903–1932. (Reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1970.) FHL book 974.D2sa; fiche 6045846; vols. 1 and 3 on film 908775; vol. 2 on 397793; vol. 4 on 844968 item 2; vol. 5 on 908776; vol. 6 on 1036561 item 8 Digitized version available through FHL catalog entry. These books contain transcripts primarily for Monmouth and Burlington counties, New Jersey, and for Staten Island, New York. Some volumes also include compiled family genealogies.
Scott, Kenneth. "Early New Yorkers and Their Ages," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 57 (1969):274-297; Vol. 61 (1973):181-182; Vol. 62 (1974):276-281; Vol. 63 (1975):48-49; Vol. 64 (1976):132; Vol. 65 (1977):113; Vol. 66 (1978):151. FHL Book 973 B2ng v. 57 (1969), 61 (1973)-66 (1978). Scott published a series of record abstracts that identify the ages of New York colonists.
Writing and Sharing Your Family History
Sharing your own family history is valuable for several reasons:
- It helps you see gaps in your own research and raises opportunities to find new information.
- It helps other researchers progress in researching ancestors you share in common.
- It draws other researchers to you who already have information about your family that you do not yet possess.
- It draws together researchers with common interests, sparking collaboration opportunities. For instance, researchers in various localities might choose to do lookups for each other in remote repositories. Your readers may also share photos of your ancestors that you have never seen before.
- See also: