Tag Archives: Genealogy

NYG&B Expands Member Website


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The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society has announced that it has replaced its website with a new one that is hoped to be easier to use and includes expanded content for members.

All collections in the eLibrary may now be viewed in a browsable format, which allows the reader to easily scroll through documents and print multiple pages. Numerous unique records and digital publications have been added to the eLibrary.

For Example: The complete run of The New York Researcher and its predecessor publication The NYG&B Newsletter, which was first published in 1990. New guides to using newspapers, maps, and other resources have been created. Dozens of Research Aid articles have been brought up to date by the original authors. Individual guides to genealogical research in New York counties are in production; thirteen of a projected 62 guides are now online.

Additions to the eLibrary include:

* The family records contained in the American Bible Society Collection and an index to more than 8,000 names

* The complete set of over 500 NYG&B Member Biographies from the early 20th century

* 32 digitized books, including many volumes originally published as part of the series Collections of The NYG&B Society and several entries in the WPA’s Public Archives Inventory, Church Archives Inventory, and Guide to Vital Statistics series for New York City.

* Book two of the 1855 New York State Census for Manhattan’s Ward 17.

The cornerstone of the eLibrary is the full run of The NYG&B Record, which has been published quarterly since 1870 and forms the largest single collection of published material on families that lived in New York State. The collection is every-word searchable and is accompanied by a search engine based on an index to more than 1,000,000 names from the pages of The Record.

While access to the full digital resources of the website is available only to NYG&B members, there are several features available to both members and non-members:

* News You Can Use is updated frequently and references new resources and information pertinent to New York research.

* There are free guides on the following subjects: Getting Started on Your Family History; Finding New York Vital Records; Genealogical and Historical Societies in the New York Region; Heraldry; Heritage and Lineage Societies; and Hiring Professional Genealogical Researchers.

* The Genealogical Exchange allows anyone to submit a specific query about a genealogical question related to New York.

* Information about upcoming programs offered by the NYG&B and the New York Family History School is also available; tickets may be purchased through the website.

Ellis Island Museum Unveils New Galleries


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The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and the National Park Service have opened the first phase of the Peopling of America Center, a major expansion of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, which will explore arrivals before the Ellis Island Era. This 10,000 square foot experience focuses on the history of immigration from the Colonial Era to the opening of Ellis Island in 1892.

Interpretative graphics and poignant audio stories tell first-hand accounts of the immigrant’s journey—from making the trip and arriving in the United States to their struggle and survival after they arrived and efforts to build communities and ultimately a nation.

“Until now, our exhibits have centered on the years when Ellis Island was open,” said Stephen A. Briganti, the Foundation’s President and CEO. “Of course the history of migration to America goes back to our nation’s beginnings right up to today, so there were many people whose stories weren’t told. The Peopling of America Center will fill an enormous gap in America’s understanding of its past, present, and future.”

Also recently unveiled was the American Flag of Faces, a large interactive video installation filled with a montage of images submitted by individuals of their families, their ancestors, or even themselves which illustrates the ever-changing American mosaic. A living exhibit, Flag of Faces accepts photo submissions and can also be viewed at www.FlagofFaces.org.

The Center’s second phase, which will open in Spring 2013, will present a series of interactive multi-media exhibits that focus on the immigration experience from the closing of Ellis Island in 1954 to the present day, including a dynamic radiant globe that illustrates migration patterns throughout human history. The Peopling of America Center was designed by ESI Design and fabricated by Hadley Exhibits, Inc.

Genealogy Day at Schenectady Co Historical


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The Schenectady County Historical Society (SCHS) will be hosting a Genealogy Day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 29, 2011 at SCHS, 32 Washington Avenue, Schenectady. Participants in Genealogy Day at the Schenectady County Historical Society will explore many possible ways to uncover your family history.

Genealogy Day will feature four speakers. The morning speakers, Phyllis Budka and Alan Horbal, will focus on their experiences in researching Polish and Polish-American genealogy. Genealogist Nancy Curran will discuss using New York State vital records in tracing your genealogy. Chris Hunter, Curator at the Schenectady Museum & Suits-Bueche Planetarium, will speak about the resources available for researching your GE ancestor.

The afternoon portion of Genealogy Day offers participants the opportunity to explore the resources available at the Grems-Doolittle Library. The Librarian and library volunteers will be on hand to field questions, assist researchers, help participants get started in their genealogy research, or brainstorm strategies to overcome “brick wall” genealogical research problems that appear too difficult to solve.

Pre-registration for Genealogy Day is suggested, due to limited seating. The cost of admission for the day is $5.00; admission is free for members of the Schenectady County Historical Society. Attendees are asked to bring their own bag lunch. Beverages and desserts will be provided by Grems-Doolittle Library volunteers.

Genealogy Day Schedule for Saturday, October 29

9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Pieces of Me
Speaker: Phyllis Budka

“To me it is a mystery why I must study history” – Those cheeky words form the opening line of Phyllis’ poem that appeared in “The Watchtower,” the Mont Pleasant High School student newspaper, over 50 years ago. Her recent research in family genealogy has awakened her interest in European history and she suddenly feels like a human archeological dig. Phyllis Rita Zych Budka was born in Schenectady and attended St. Adalbert’s School, McKinley Junior High and Mont Pleasant High School. She received a degree in Russian Language from the University of Rochester. In 1964, she married Alfred Budka, also a native Schenectadian. Phyllis earned a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Union College in 1982. Phyllis and Al owned a welding supplies firm at that time. In 1991, Phyllis became a GE employee and retired in 2008. She has three children and seven grandchildren.

10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Research in Southern Poland and Hints for You in Doing Research in Poland
Speaker: Alan Horbal

Alan Horbal will share his experience in doing genealogical research in Poland and present strategies and tips for learning about your ancestors from Poland. He has worked as a volunteer at the National Archives and Record Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts since 2001, where he instructs users on how to use government records in their research. He has also taught courses on genealogy research at Williams College.

11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Vital Records in New York State
Speaker: Nancy Johnsen Curran

This talk will concentrate on the valuable Department of Health vital records indexes at the NYS Archives in Albany. Nancy Johnsen Curran is an experienced genealogist who focuses on the capital region of New York State. Her research takes her to the NYS Library and Archives in Albany as well as to repositories such as courthouses, historical societies and cemeteries in the area. In the fall 2011 semester Curran will teach a course on genealogy research at Schenectady County Community College. Curran is a member of the board of trustees of the New Netherland Institute and has served on the board of the Schenectady County Historical Society.

12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Lunch Break – Please bring your own bag lunch; drinks and desserts will be provided.

12:45 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Using the GE Archives for Genealogy Research
Speaker: Chris Hunter

Learn about the variety of resources that are available for researching your GE ancestor, and about digital initiatives that will improve accessibility to valuable sources like the GE Schenectady Works News employee newsletters. Chris Hunter is Curator at the Schenectady Museum & Suits-Bueche Planetarium, and has overseen the Museum’s industrial history archive since 2000.

1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Q&A in the Library and Open Research Time with Library Volunteers

Explore the resources available in Schenectady County Historical Society’s Grems-Doolittle Library, including family files, photographs, family genealogies and lineages, church records, cemetery records, vital records indexes, wills, deeds, local and New York State histories, maps, collections of personal papers and organizational records, genealogy publications, and more. The librarian and library volunteers will be on hand to assist researchers and answer questions.

For more information about Genealogy Day, or to pre-register, contact Melissa Tacke, Librarian/Archivist at the Schenectady County Historical Society, by phone at 518-374-0263, option “3”, or by email at librarian@schist.org. The Schenectady County Historical Society is wheelchair accessible, with off-street parking behind the building and overflow parking next door at the YWCA.

1871 Canadian Census Now Online


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Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter is reporting that Library and Archives Canada has placed the 1871 census online. 1871 marked the first regularly scheduled collection of national statistics. The information covers the four provinces that were part of the Dominion of Canada in 1871: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec.

The online database provides digitized images of original census returns featuring the name, age, country or province of birth, nationality, religion, and occupation of Canada’s residents at the time. The database is searchable by nominal information such as Name, Given Name (s) and Age, and/or geographical information such as Province, District Name, District Number, and Sub-district Number.

The 1871 Canadian Census is available free of charge at: www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/census-1871/index-e.html

You can learn more about the 1871 census at http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/census-1871/001101-2000-e.html

NYGB Offers Cutting-Edge Genealogy Event


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On Saturday, September 24th, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society will present Dick Eastman, Ruth A. Carr, and David Kleiman in a full-day program designed to enhance your online genealogical searches. The program will take place in the South Court Auditorium of the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, New York, NY.

Dick Eastman is the publisher of “Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter,” the daily genealogy technology newsletter with more than 60,000 readers worldwide. He will deliver two lectures: Genealogy Searches on Google: Extract the Most Genealogical Information Possible from Everyone’s Favorite Search Engine and The Latest Technology for Genealogists: An In-Depth Look at Today’s Technology.

Ruth A. Carr retired in 2008 as Chief of the Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy, New York Public Library where she worked for 20 years. She will present a talk on Other Places Your Ancestors Might Be Hiding: “Non-Genealogy” Databases and Internet Resources to Explore.

A genealogist and family historian for over 35 years, David Kleiman co-founded and chairs the New York Computers and Genealogy Special Interest Group and serves on the executive council of the Jewish Genealogical Society, Inc. and on the Education Committee of the NYG&B. He will deliver two lectures: Rediscovering the Globe: Maps Online, GIS, Google Earth and Technology & Design: Looking Good in Print and on the Screen.

The program begins at 9:30 a.m. at the NYPL’s South Court Auditorium and will end at 5:00 pm; there will be a break for lunch on-your-own. Registration for NYG&B members is $60, non-members is $90. Register online at www.newyorkfamilyhistory.org. For additional information, contact Lauren Maehrlein, Director of Education, at 212-755-8532, ext. 211, or by e-mailing education@nygbs.org.

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society has been a primary resource for research on New York families since 1869. The NYG&B seeks to advance genealogical scholarship and enhance the capabilities of both new and experienced researchers of family history through a rich schedule of programs, workshops, and repository tours; through its quarterly scholarly journal The NYG&B Record and its quarterly review The New York Researcher; and through an E-Library of unique digital material on its website www.newyorkfamilyhistory.org.

Book: The Vandercook Family of Renssealer County


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A new book illuminates the life of Michael S. Vandercook, a prominent figure in the early history of Rensselaer County, New York. A Fine Commanding Presence: The Life and Legacy of Maj. Michael S. Vandercook (1774-1852) of Pittstown, Rensselaer County, New York by Vandercook’s great-great-great- grandson, Ronald D. Bachman features more than 400 pages, an in-depth bibliography and extensive genealogy and index.

A descendant of some of the earliest Dutch settlers in the Hudson Valley, Vandercook was born on the eve of the Revolution and lived to see the emergence of the regional divisions that led to the Civil War. He spent his entire life in Pittstown, where he was a merchant, farmer, militia officer, county sheriff, justice of the peace, and father of twelve children by three wives.


During his relatively long life, he crossed paths with such luminaries as Daniel Tompkins,
Henry Dearborn, Henry K. and Solomon Van Rensselaer, Joseph Bloomfield, Herman Knickerbocker, Eliphalet Nott. His second father-in-law was General Gilbert Eddy. On five occasions the Council of Appointment in Albany awarded Maj. Vandercook civil positions in addition to several military promotions. Governor Tompkins repeatedly picked him for special assignments in the militia, including inspector of a detached brigade deployed to the northern front immediately following the declaration of war in 1812. Later that same year, Maj. Vandercook was selected as one of New York’s 29 presidential electors.

He had a remarkable life but more than his share of tragedy. The final third of the book traces the descendancy of the twelve Vandercook children, all but one of whom left New York to seek their fortunes in the West. Many of them enjoyed success in journalism and politics.

The price, including shipping, is $22.50. To purchase the book, contact the author at ron.bachman2@verizon.net

Schryer Center Historical and Genealogical Research


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The Franklin County Historical & Museum Society welcomes the public for genealogy research or casual use of the reading room during the summer open hours for the Schryer Center for Historical and Genealogical Research.

The Schryer Center, now open Tuesday-Saturday, 1-4pm, is located in the renovated carriage house behind the House of History Museum on 51 Milwaukee Street, Malone.

Members of the Historical Society have free use of the Schryer Center as a benefit of membership, and non-members can use the genealogical resources of the Society for $10/day. Memberships start at $20/year and forms can be found online or picked up at the Society offices. Remote research requests for genealogical inquiry are also welcomed, at a cost of $10/half-hour.

The House of History Museum is open for tours Tuesday and Thursday, 1-4 pm and by appointment.

Visit the Society’s website or call 518-483-2750 for more information.

Library and Archives Canada Voter Finding Aid


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Library and Archives Canada has announced the launch of an updated version of its finding aid to locate electoral districts in its federal voters’ lists collection from 1935 to 1980. This updated version now provides for each of the 892 microfilm reels of the collection, the electoral year, the province, the exact name of the electoral district and the page numbers for each microfilm. This tool will facilitate the frequent consultation and use of the federal voters’ lists collection by genealogists and family historians.

The mandate of Library and Archives Canada is to preserve the nation’s documentary heritage for present and future generations, and to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, contributing to the cultural, social and economic development of Canada. Library and Archives Canada also facilitates co-operation among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge, and represents the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions. Genealogy Services includes all on-site and online genealogical services of Library and Archives Canada. It offers information, services, advice, research tools and the opportunity to work on joint projects, in both official languages.

Nouvel instrument de recherche pour les listes électorales fédérales, 1935-1980

Bibliothèque et Archives Canada d’annoncer le lancement d’une version améliorée de son instrument de recherche pour localiser les districts électoraux dans sa collection de listes électorales fédérales de 1935 à 1980. Cette nouvelle version fournit maintenant pour chacune des 892 bobines de microfilm de la collection, l’année d’élection, la province, le nom exact du district électoral et les numéros de pages pour chaque microfilm. Cet instrument facilitera la consultation et l’usage de cette collection, très souvent consultée par les généalogistes.

Le mandat de Bibliothèque et Archives Canada est de préserver le patrimoine documentaire du pays pour les générations présentes et futures, et d’être une source de savoir permanent accessible à tous et qui contribue à l’épanouissement culturel, social et économique du Canada. En outre, Bibliothèque et Archives Canada facilite au Canada la concertation des divers milieux intéressés à l’acquisition, à la préservation et à la diffusion du savoir, et représente la mémoire permanente de l’administration fédérale et de ses institutions. Les Services de généalogie englobent tous les services généalogiques physiques et en ligne de Bibliothèque et Archives Canada. Ils offrent de l’information, des services, des conseils, des outils de recherche et la possibilité de travailler à des projets communs, et ce, dans les deux langues officielles.

Nous sommes très reconnaissants envers les nombreux membres du personnel de Bibliothèque et Archives Canada qui, grâce à leurs efforts soutenus, ont rendu possible la réalisation de ce projet. Pour de plus amples renseignements, écrivez-nous à webservices@lac-bac.gc.ca.

New Troy Genealogy Database Goes Online


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The Troy New York Daily Whig for the years 1834 to 1838 is the sixth set of newspapers recently added to the Troy Irish Genealogy Website. There are 821 reported deaths and 1,749 names on the reported marriages during this period. These records will be of great interest to genealogy researchers since the information in this data base predates the 1880 New York State law requiring the reporting of death and marriage records.

You can view these records by going to the Troy Irish Genealogy website (click on PROJECTS then THE TROY NEWSPAPER PROJECT). These records, like most of the TIGS data series, cover the general population in the area and are NOT restricted to Irish surnames.



While 492 of the marriage records showed no indication of residence, those records where the residence was reported are of interest as they show numerous cities and towns throughout New York State as well as other states and even foreign countries.

At the time of the 1840 census, Troy was the fourth wealthiest city in the USA on a per capita basis. This may account for the numerous individuals from across the United States coming to Troy to be married.

Two other transcription projects are currently being completed by the Troy Irish Genealogy Society. Over 28,000 death and marriage records reported in 40 years of the Troy Daily Whig for the years 1839 to 1878 will be added to the TIGS website in the next few months along with over 4,000 records of interment in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Troy.

New CT Legal History Research Tool Online


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The Litchfield Historical Society has announces the availability of The Ledger, a new online resource funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Council on Library and Information Resources, the Connecticut Humanities Council, and the Seherr-Thoss Foundation.

The Ledger presents the stories of the Litchfield Law School and Litchfield Female Academy and the founders and students of these institutions. In 1784 Tapping Reeve opened the first law school in America. It attracted 934 documented students from 13 states and territories to study in Litchfield. Graduates formed a network of leadership and influence that encompassed public service, business, and other areas of American life. In 1792 Sarah Pierce founded a pioneer institution of female education in America. Her innovative curriculum of academic, practical, and ornamental courses expanded the world of the estimated 3,000 girls (1681 are currently known by name) who attended the Litchfield Female Academy over its 41 year history.

The words, artwork, and personal belongings of the students and instructors are presented together with biographical and genealogical information. Some documents are displayed individually while others are presented as part of collection level descriptions which link to finding aids. Needlework, portraits, personal effects, and other items associated with the school or its students appear on the pages. The Ledger Studies section contains overviews of Litchfield during this era and histories of each school. The Society will continue to add pertinent essays to this section.

Students traveled from around the country and the world to attend these schools. Their result is that their records and artifacts are scattered across the nation in various repositories and private collections. The Society’s goal was to make this tool available to researchers as soon as possible. Staff have already identified a number of other collections of papers, portraits, needlework, and other artifacts that will be added to the database in the coming weeks and months. The Society anticipates input and suggestions for improvements, and continues to seek information about any related materials which could be included in the Ledger. For further details about the project, a complete list of students, or to submit information to be included contact the curator, Julie Frey, at curator@litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org or archivist, Linda Hocking, at archivist@litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org.

Photo: Tapping Reeve House and Law School, Litchfield, CT (Courtesy Wikipedia).

New CT Legal History Research Tool Online


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The Litchfield Historical Society has announces the availability of The Ledger, a new online resource funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Council on Library and Information Resources, the Connecticut Humanities Council, and the Seherr-Thoss Foundation.

The Ledger presents the stories of the Litchfield Law School and Litchfield Female Academy and the founders and students of these institutions. In 1784 Tapping Reeve opened the first law school in America. It attracted 934 documented students from 13 states and territories to study in Litchfield. Graduates formed a network of leadership and influence that encompassed public service, business, and other areas of American life. In 1792 Sarah Pierce founded a pioneer institution of female education in America. Her innovative curriculum of academic, practical, and ornamental courses expanded the world of the estimated 3,000 girls (1681 are currently known by name) who attended the Litchfield Female Academy over its 41 year history.

The words, artwork, and personal belongings of the students and instructors are presented together with biographical and genealogical information. Some documents are displayed individually while others are presented as part of collection level descriptions which link to finding aids. Needlework, portraits, personal effects, and other items associated with the school or its students appear on the pages. The Ledger Studies section contains overviews of Litchfield during this era and histories of each school. The Society will continue to add pertinent essays to this section.

Students traveled from around the country and the world to attend these schools. Their result is that their records and artifacts are scattered across the nation in various repositories and private collections. The Society’s goal was to make this tool available to researchers as soon as possible. Staff have already identified a number of other collections of papers, portraits, needlework, and other artifacts that will be added to the database in the coming weeks and months. The Society anticipates input and suggestions for improvements, and continues to seek information about any related materials which could be included in the Ledger. For further details about the project, a complete list of students, or to submit information to be included contact the curator, Julie Frey, at curator@litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org or archivist, Linda Hocking, at archivist@litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org.

Photo: Tapping Reeve House and Law School, Litchfield, CT (Courtesy Wikipedia).

Irish Heritage Museum Moving to Albany


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The Irish American Heritage Museum has announced that it is moving into a new home at 370 Broadway in downtown Albany, NY. The Museum is completely modernizing the ground floor of the historic 19th century Meginniss Building in what has been a gutted century-old space to transform it into a state-of-the art, year-round exhibit and educational facility that also will house its O’Dwyer Research Library.

“In celebration of our 25th year of meeting our educational goals and the vision of our late founding Chair of the Board of Trustees Joseph J. Dolan, Jr., the Museum is moving into a new year-round, multi-faceted and expansive exhibit facility that will allow us to host large numbers of visitors as well as school and public groups for exhibit viewing, lectures, and other presentations throughout the year,” stated Edward Collins, Chair of the Museum’s Board of Trustees. “Further, our new Museum facility will be more accessible to the general public and provide downtown Albany with new vitality.”

Collins said of the Museum’s decision to move into downtown Albany from its part-time, summer seasonal exhibit facility in East Durham, Greene County: “The Irish have played such a central role in the history of this great city and region, from literally building Albany – and surrounding cities, villages and towns – from the earth up to protecting these areas and their people, to leading the people in every aspect of life in Albany and the surrounding region. Name a profession, occupation, leadership position or community service, and the Irish have had a central role in Albany’s life and the lives of those throughout the great northeast. The Museum’s Trustees, especially the late Joe Dolan, value greatly this rich legacy and seek to pass it forward to new generations of New Yorkers and Americans.”

The Museum expects to formally open its new, renovated facility at 370 Broadway, Albany, in September. It will move from The Michael J. Quill Irish Cultural and Sports Centre in East Durham, Greene County, which owns the summer seasonal exhibit facility previously leased by the Museum on Rt. 145 in that hamlet; the Quill Center will assume residency in that facility. The Museum will continue to partner with the Quill Center through loans of its exhibits to the Quill Center.

Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings joined in lauding the Irish American Heritage Museum’s move to the city. In a statement, Mayor Jennings said, “This museum is an important part of our community, inspiring countless residents and visitors to discover the story and may contributions of the Irish people and their culture in America, and even learn a bit about their own heritage along the way.”

Museum to Launch New Fundraising Campaign

The Museum will be launching a new fundraising campaign to help it sustain its mission and to provide future Capital Region generations a sense of the importance of their own heritage compass – whatever their heritage legacy might be – to help guide them in their lives. “In an age when we are all connected to each other through the internet, cell phones and so many other electronic devices, we would serve younger generations well by helping them stay connected to their heritage,” Collins explained. “The Museum is committed to the basic tenet that preserving one’s heritage is vital to providing a cultural and historical foundation to future generations of Americans. To paraphrase the Pulitzer Prize winning historian David McCullough, ‘Our heritage is who we are, and why we are who we are.’“

Database: NY’s Black Loyalist Refugees


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Black Loyalist is a repository of historical data about the African American loyalist refugees who left New York between April and November 1783 and whose names are recorded in the Book of Negroes. In this first stage, the site concentrates on providing biographical and demographic information for the largest cohort, about 1000 people from Norfolk Virginia and surrounding counties.

Working on the principal that enslaved African Americans were not just a faceless, nameless, undifferentiated mass, but individuals with complex life experiences, the site seeks to provide as much biographical data as can be found for the individual people who ran away to join the British during the American Revolution and were evacuated as free people in 1783.

The project emerged from the research of Cassandra Pybus for her book Epic Journeys of Freedom: Runaway Slaves of the American Revolution and Their Global Quest for Liberty.

The site was created by Cassandra Pybus, Kit Candlin and Robin Petterd and funded as a pilot project in 2009 by the Australian Research Council.

Illustration: Certificate of freedom, 1783. Courtesy Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management.

Family Search Adds Free New York Records


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The latest additions to FamilySearch’s online collection bring the number of free historic record collections to 600, including the 1865, 1892, and 1905 New York State censuses.

You can search all of the record collections now for free at FamilySearch.org. Family Search is a non-profit community effort sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The site has been adding a steady stream of new record collections each week thanks to Family Search volunteers. You can start and stop volunteering at any time. Find out more online.

Free New York databases now available include:

Births and Christenings, 1640-1962
Deaths and Burials, 1795-1952
Marriages, 1686-1980
Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924
Passenger Lists, 1820-1891
State Census, 1865
State Census, 1892
State Census, 1905
County Marriages, 1908-1935
Eastern District Naturalization Petitions, 1865-1957
Kings County Estate Files, 1866-1923
Northern Arrival Manifests, 1902-1956
Southern District Index to Petitions for Naturalization, 1824-1941
Southern District Naturalization Index, 1917-1950
Western District, Naturalization Index, 1907-1966

Upcoming History Events in Old Saratoga


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These events and items of interest are scheduled for the public in the Old Saratoga region (Schuylerville, Saratoga, Victory and nearby) for the month of May. All events are open to the public and wheelchair accessible. For more information contact oldsaratogahappenings@gmail.com, follow them on twitter @OldSaraHappenin, on facebook Old Saratoga Happenings or on the web.

Old Saratoga Happenings is a collation to promote cultural and heritage programs in the Old Saratoga region. The collation includes Hudson Crossing Park, Old Saratoga Historical Association, Saratoga National Historical Park, Schuylerville Area Chamber of Commerce, Schuylerville Public Library and the Town of Saratoga and Village of Victory Historian’s Office.

A Gardener’s Weekend with Lilacs and Grasses on Saturday, May 7 from 9:00 am to 3 pm at the Fort Hardy Park in Schuylerville. Schuylerville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Gardener’s Weekend has become a Mother’s Day tradition with Jeff Young, “Vermont’s Mr. Lilac” and ornamental grasses expert Cathy Rogers for discussion and hands-on workshop. Area garden shops will be open all weekend, giving discounts and demonstrations. A full, fun weekend for all ages. Details are at www.schuylervillechamber.org or call 518 695-6923

Plein Aire at Saratoga Battlefield, British Encampment – “Spring Training”, and Guided Natural History Walk are all planned for Saturday, May 7 at Saratoga NHP Battlefield in Stillwater. The battlefield has a day of painting, photography, British soldiers
drilling, a court martial, and a leisurely nature walk planned. Details at For more information call 518-664-9821 ext. 224 or www.nps.gov/sara

NYS Heritage Weekend Guided Natural History Walk on Saturday, May 14 starting at 10 am at Saratoga NHP Battlefield in Stillwater. Discover an amazing array of beautiful flowers and trees in lesser-known areas of the park during this leisurely nature walk with staff and volunteer guides. This walk will include special stories of the Battlefield’s heritage.

The Genealogy Group meets on Tuesday, May 17 at 10 am in the Schuylerville Public Library

Research at Saratoga National Historical Park on Thursday, May 19 at 7:30 pm at Saratoga NHP Battlefield in Stillwater. Join the Old Saratoga Historical Association and the Stillwater Historical Society to learn about ongoing research at Saratoga National Historical Park.

The Heritage Hunters of Saratoga County has their meeting on Saratoga County Genealogy: Black Sheep in the Family Barnyard on Saturday, May 21 starts at 1 pm. at the Saratoga Town Hall. The meeting features Stephan Clarke on what to do with the family members who are socially challenged and may be something of an embarrassment.

Photo Scanning Session is planned for Tuesday, May 24 at 9:30 pm at Saratoga Town Hall. Saratoga Historian will scan photos of Saratoga, Schuylerville, or Victory and save them to CD for you and keep a digital image for the Town’s archives.

Guided Natural History Walk on Saturday, May 28 starting at 10 am at Saratoga NHP Battlefield in Stillwater.

New Troy Newspaper Project Database


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The Troy Newspaper Project has made considerable additions to their database that includes a multi-volume Index of Death and Marriage Records, transcribed from various Troy, NY newspapers.

The Troy New York Daily Post for the years 1846 to 1851 is the FIFTH set of newspapers recently added to the Troy Irish Genealogy Website. There are 2,343 reported deaths and 2,143 names on the reported marriages during this period. These records will be of great interest to genealogy researchers since the information in this data base predates the 1880 New York State law requiring the reporting of death and marriage records.

You can view these records by going to the Troy Irish Genealogy website and clicking on PROJECTS and then click on THE TROY NEWSPAPER PROJECT. These records, like most of the TIGS data series, cover the general population in the area and are NOT restricted to Irish surnames.

One of the interesting deaths reported is the one for John Jacob Astor. Johann Jacob Astor was born July 17, 1763 in Walldorf, Palatinate, Germany and died March 29, 1848 in New York City. At the time of his death he was one of the wealthiest people in America with a fortune of 20 million dollars which is equivalent to 110 billion dollars in 2006 dollars. He is buried in Trinity Churchyard in New York City.

While 1,339 of the marriage records showed no indication of residence, those records where the residence was reported are of interest as they show numerous cities and towns throughout New York State as well as other states and even foreign countries. Some specifics are:

Most of the records were for the Capital District Area. Areas with the greatest number were Albany-51 records, Troy-888 records, Lansingburgh-29 records, Watervliet-12 records, Waterford-17 records, Schaghticoke-15 records, Sand Lake-40 records, Pittstown-20 records, Greenbush-15 records, Brunswick-41 records, Cohoes-9 records, West Troy-53 records, Berlin-16
records, Grafton-15 records, Hoosick-23 records, Schenectady-7 records, and Petersburgh-12 records.

There were a sizable number of records from the neighboring states of Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut. Connecticut has 14 records, Massachusetts had 58 records including 11 from Boston and Vermont had 59 records including 32 from Bennington.

For the New York City area, there were 5 records for Brooklyn and 43 records for New York City.

Residence was also indicated from the following states and Washington, DC: Arkansas, Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Missouri, Michigan, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Of interest is the number of records for the state of Wisconsin which had 13 records. Six of the records were from the Wisconsin Territory which was prior to Wisconsin becoming a state on May 29, 1848.

Foreign countries listed as the place of residence were Ireland, Scotland and Canada.

Two other transcription projects that are currently being worked on by the Troy Irish Genealogy Society. One of the projects is another Troy Newspaper, the Troy Daily Whig, covering the years 1834 through 1878. While the data entry has already been completed on these 44 years of newspapers, the files have to be analyzed and combined before they are posted to the website.

The other project being worked on is Book 1 of the interment records for St. Mary’s Cemetery in Troy, NY. Data entry of these interments, covering the years 1900 to 1910, is almost complete.

Welcome New Genealogy Visitors!


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New York History is honored to have been named one of Family Tree Magazine’s “Family Tree 40” for 2011.

I hope you’ll take a look around the site and consider subscribing. New York History typically runs just two or three stories a day. You can subscribe
By E-Mail, through RSS and follow us on Twitter and Follow us on Facebook.

Your best bet for finding something you’re interested in is to use the search bar on the right, but you can see all our genealogy stories here.

A search for the county you are interested in will bring up post for that county, click on the county tag below to find all related. For example Rensselaer County.

March: Upcoming Events in Old Saratoga


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The following events and items of interest are scheduled for the public in the Old Saratoga region (Schuylerville, Saratoga, Victory and nearby) for the month of March.

Old Saratoga Happening presents a book discussion for Farmer Boy on Thursday, March 10 at 7:30 pm in the Schuylerville Public Library. Join the Old Saratoga Historical Association’s winter historical reading group as they discuss Laura Ingalls Wilder’s story which recounts the boyhood adventures growing up on a farm in upstate New York in the 1860s. A second discussion will take place on Tuesday, March 15 at 7:30 pm.

Glorous Art by and of Women in the 18th Century on Sunday, March 13 at 1:30 in the Saratoga NHP Battlefield Visitors Center in Stillwater. Park Ranger Eric Schnitzer brings to life these magnificent paintings that will take your breath away. Superb feminine artistic talent that was rarely publicized since being created over 200 years ago.

The Genealogy Group meets on Tuesday, March 15 at 10 am in the Schuylerville Public Library

A photo scanning session will be held on Saturday, March 19 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
at the Saratoga Town Hall in Schuylerville. Get your old photos of the Schuylerville area scanned, archived with the town, and receive a photo CD.

The Heritage Hunters of Saratoga County has their meeting on Saratoga County Genealogy: US Grant’s Last Days on Saturday, March 19 starts at 1 pm. at the Saratoga Town Hall. The meeting features Dave Hubbard, a former site manager at Grant Cottage on Mt. McGregor in Wilton. Hubbard shares a virtual tour of Grant Cottage as he talks about General Ulysses S. Grant’s last days and weeks which he spent at the Cottage in June and July, 1885.

Archive Scanning Working Session is planned for Thursday, March 24 at 4:30 pm at Saratoga Town Hall. Volunteers are needed to help the Historian’s Office to continue scanning documents and photos in the historical archive.

Saratoga Area Postcards is the topic of the Old Saratoga Historical Association meeting on Thursday, March 24 at 7:30 pm at the Saratoga Town Hall. Learn about old postcards from the Schuylerville area from historian, author and Town Supervisor Tom Wood.

All events are open to the public, wheelchair accessible and free of charge.

For more information about these events contact oldsaratogahappenings@gmail.com, follow them on twitter @OldSaraHappenin, on facebook Old Saratoga Happenings or on the web.

Old Saratoga Happenings is a collation to promote cultural and heritage programs in the Old Saratoga region. The collation includes Hudson Crossing Park, Old Saratoga Historical Association, Saratoga National Historical Park, Schuylerville Area Chamber of Commerce, Schuylerville Public Library and the Town of Saratoga and Village of
Victory Historian’s Office.

New Genealogy Tools at NY State Archives


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The New York State Archives recently announced the creation of two tools, called “pathfinders,” to help genealogists and researchers locate naturalization and probate records created throughout New York, from the colonial period to the present.

Naturalizations grant the full legal rights and privileges held by native-born individuals to someone born in another country. Legal jurisdiction over naturalization has changed repeatedly since the colonial period, so the records can be found in various locations. They may be in the county clerk’s office, the New York State Archives, the National Archives branch in New York City, or U.S. District Court clerk’s office. The pathfinder highlights books, links to indexes, and directories where researchers can find more information about an ancestor and the places that may hold these naturalization records.

Probate records include wills, estate inventories, letters of administration, and other documents relating to the administration and settlement of a deceased person’s estate. The State Archives holds probate records created or compiled by predecessor courts that had legal jurisdiction over probate matters prior to 1787. A limited number of probate records after 1787 are held by the Archives because they are filed and retained by the Surrogate’s Court in each county. For that reason, the probate pathfinder is divided into two chronological sections: before 1787 and after 1787. This pathfinder identifies collections within the State Archives as well as books and links to guides and locations that may help researchers.

The pathfinders can be found on the State Archives’ website.

Old Saratoga: Black History Month, Genealogy, More


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A number of interesting events are planned for the Old Saratoga region (Schuylerville, Saratoga, Victory and nearby) for the month of February.

Events kick off with a photo Scanning Session on Tuesday, February 8 starting at 9:30 am in the Saratoga Town Hall in Schuylerville. Get your old photos of the Schuylerville area scanned, archived with the town, and receive a photo CD.

Black History Month will be celebrated on Sunday, February 13 at 1:30 in the Saratoga National Historic Park Battlefield Visitors Center in Stillwater. Did you know that between 400 and 500 black soldiers fought at the Battles of Saratoga? Park Ranger Eric Schnitzer unveils new information about these freed and enslaved soldiers, while dispelling common myths about their service.

The local genealogy group meets on Tuesday, February 15 at 10 am in the Schuylerville Public Library.

The Heritage Hunters of Saratoga County has their meeting on Saratoga County Genealogy: Adventures in Serendipity Genealogy on Saturday, February 19 starts at 1 pm. at the Saratoga Town Hall. The program features Al Clarke explaining how his research in the Doc Lincoln House in Wilton lead to authoring two books and travels to Hawaii.

It is Junior Ranger Day on Sunday, February 20 at 1pm , 2pm, and 3pm at the Saratoga NHP Battlefield. For kids age 5-12! Enjoy one, two, or all three Junior Ranger programs, get your free badge, talk with a National Park Ranger, and see episodes of Liberty’s Kids on the big screen! Reservations required, either by e-mailing
megan_stevens@nps.gov or calling 518-664-9821 ext. 219.

Videotaping Your Reflections of Old Saratoga on Tuesday, February 2 at 9:30 am in the Victory Village Hall on Pine Street. The Village Historian will videotape your memories and stories of local people, places and events for posterity.

Archive Scanning Working Session is planned for Thursday, February 24 at 4:30 pm at Saratoga Town Hall. Volunteers are needed to help the Historian’s Office to continue scanning documents and photos in the historical archive.

Researching Old Saratoga is the topic of the Old Saratoga Historical Association meeting on Thursday, February 24 at 7:30 pm at the Saratoga Town Hall. Saratoga National Historical Park will share an on-going historical research on Old Saratoga.

For more information about these events contact oldsaratogahappenings@gmail.com or on the web.