Friday, September 6, 2013

Some Great New York Resources

These are probably not new to anyone but I just thought it would be worth listing some of the resources I use on a regular basis in my NY research. Of course, ancestry.com is one of the top but is so popular I do not see a need to type about it.

  • Fulton History- This is without a doubt the best site for NY newspapers out there. A good search option that I ran across for this site. go to google and type in your search then site:fultonhistory.com (i.e. Bennem site:fultonhistory.com). It works wonders! You can do this search with any site you want but I find it most helpful here.

  • Family Search- I love this site! They currently have 32 databases specifically about New York. Not all are searchable so will not come up when you do name searches. The most important databases for me are the land and probate records, both browse only. They do have indexes to most counties but some of the indexes are only chronological by first letter of surname. So Beware, it can take a while to find what you are looking for. Along with the 1892 and 1905 state censuses you can search the 1915 and 1925 and chose to go view the image at ancestry.com. They have "New York, County Marriages, 1908-1935" that is searchable but not 100% complete and does not include NY City.

  •  The Municipal Archives- This resource is not online yet as I am typing this post. They house a lot of important collections for genealogists based in the NY City area. One of those is the jury census for NY City for 1816, 1819 and 1821. The surviving schedules are: 1816 (wards 1-3, 5, 8, 10) and the 1819 (wards 1, 2, 4-6, 8-10). Information included  is as follows: Name, house number, street name, occupation, freeholder value, personal estate value, age, reason for jury exemption (see below), total number of eligible jurors in house and number of inhabitants. People who were exempt from service were also included. These were: women, people of color, aliens, the aged, military personnel, journeymen, firemen and professionals - such as lawyers. These records are invaluable if you have NY City ancestors from this time period as they include more information than can be obtained from the 1810 and 1820 Federal censuses. For more information about the censuses you can view them at the Municipal Archives website. As you can see if you are able to it is definitely worth paying them a visit. I could spend days lost in records!

  • This last resource may take a while to explain. I have used this to answer a LOT of questions about my family and it even helped correct a previously posted erroneous portion of a book written that included one of my families. The New York State Bible Records housed at both the Schwarzman branch of the NYPL and the DAR library in Washington DC. I haven't viewed the collection in Washington so I am not sure how it is kept. It is a collection of unpublished Bible Records transcripts, many of which more than likely no longer exist. The NYPL has a main index but not an every name one. The DAR does have an every name index you can search through their site. Here's how: go to http://www.dar.org/ and click on genealogy, once there on the left chose the online research tab and click grc search overview, in the new window click the GRC at the top of the topic to go to the search page. put in your information and chose New York for the state. From the search results you are looking for unpublished Bible records or unpublished bible and family records. It will say "NY DAR GRC Report" for title. The volume and page numbers are the same as the one you are looking for at NYPL. The only issue I have run into with it is it is only for Bible Records obtained in NY. So a family from NY whose Bible Record was obtained by DAR from another state will not be included in this collection. The DAR library does have records from other states but the NYPL does not. The great thing about this collection is it does not only include DAR eligible people. It was anyone willing to let them transcribe a Family Bible they had in their possession. I even found mention of an ancestor who worked for the British Army while they occupied New York during the Revolution.

This doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of records available in the area. It is just a few I believe are worth noting at the moment.