Tag Archives: Genealogy

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.

Rensselaer County Surrogate Records Index Goes Online


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An index of 31,325 Rensselaer County Surrogate Court Records from 1786 to 1917 has now been added to the Troy Irish Genealogy (TIGS) website. These records, especially those prior to 1880 will be of great interest to genealogy researchers. The information in this data base was copied from a file in the Rensselaer County Historical Society, 57 Second Street, Troy, New York.

To view these records go to the Troy Irish Genealogy website and click on PROJECTS and then click on RENSSELAER COUNTY SURROGATE COURT INDEX. These records, like most of the TIGS data series, cover the general population in the area and are NOT restricted to Irish surnames.

For each name in the on-line index there is a Surrogate Court Record folder that may contain various original source documents such as Wills, Letters of Administration, Guardianship Papers, Invoice of Property, Depositions Concerning a Person’s Death, etc. The on-line index shows the following information for each record which may help you identify those records that will be of interest to you:

1. NAME – Last, first, middle name or initials if any, and titles like Dr., Rev., etc.

2. FILE NUMBER – Used to locate the files at the Rensselaer County Historical Society.

3. LOCATION – Gives name of city, town or state of residence.

4. DATE – May be year of death or year of legal issue.

5. INV. – Indicates when there is an inventory of household goods in the record. An invoice may be in the records EVEN if this column is not checked.

6. COMMENTS – This column will have an interesting comment for each name. Some comments may show marital status (bachelor, spinster, widow, widower), while other comments may show maiden names, occupations, name of street residence, relationships (wife, husband, mother, father, son daughter, etc.) and number of children.

Copies of any original source documents that are contained in the file folder for each name can be requested from the Rensselaer County Historical Society. The TIGS website has a PRINTABLE FORM that can be used when requesting copies from RCHS. For each request there is a $5.00 fee which will cover RCHS’s cost of locating and pulling a singular file folder from the archives. After the file folder is located, RCHS will contact the requester about the contents of the file to see which documents they want copied at a cost of .25 cents per page plus postage for mailing.

Museum Puts NY Civil War Soldiers Info Online


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As the Nation prepares to observe the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the New York State Military History Museum and Veterans Research Center is making capsule histories of 360,000 New York Civil War Soldiers available online.

The entire roster of New Yorkers who served during the Civil War Years, 1861-1865, is now available online, as well as the five annual reports issued by the Bureau of Military Statistics from 1864 to 1868 that chronicle the accomplishments of New Yorkers in battle.

The Civil War began on April 12 1861 when Confederate cannons fired on Union-occupied Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, South Caroline. On April 19 1861 the New York National Guard’s 7th Regiment was mustered into service and departed for Washington to defend the Capitol.

More than 360,000 Soldiers enlisted in New York regiments to fight for the Union during the Civil War. Capsule histories of those Soldiers military records were recorded from 1893 to 1906 in 17 volumes based on data from the New York Adjutant General’s Office and the War Department, the predecessor to today’s Department of the Army. These records have been posted in PDFformat and are searchable.

The Bureau of Military Statistics was established by the Legislature in 1863 to record the history of New York’s volunteer Soldiers by collecting newspaper clippings, artifacts, and securing the battle flags of returning units. The Bureau published five reports summarizing the information collected and detailing the contributions made by New Yorkers during the Civil War. These records are also in searchable PDF format.

That collection of printed materials, weapons, artifacts and battle flags is maintained by the Military Museum today under the control of the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs.

Visitors to the museum’s website can find out that John Hurley, the assistant surgeon of New York City’s 69th Infantry Regiment, who enlisted on Nov. 1 1862, was killed accidently in camp on April 15, 1863 near Falmouth, Virginia. Or they can learn that the towns of Onondaga County collected $8.2 million in taxes to pay bonuses to Soldiers enrolling in volunteer regiments in 1862.

The museum staff has also begun scanning in, and making available online most of the thousands of Civil War newspaper clippings that the museum has preserved since the 1860s.

“The Civil War was a critical time in the history of the United States and of New York,” said Major General Patrick Murphy, the Adjutant General of New York. “I am pleased that the New York State Military Museum has been able to make this fascinating information readily accessible to New Yorkers and all Americans.”

“With the addition of these new online resources, the Military Museum and Veterans Research Center continues to make important historical and genealogical works from its collection more easily available to the public through our website.” Michael Aikey

“Almost everybody who contacts me is amazed at how much we have been able to put online,” said museum archivist Jim Gandy. “Without fail they are thankful that it is online because some of the stuff only exists on microfilm so you can’t even get it from the library.”

The process of digitizing these historic documents began almost eight years ago and has relied heavily on volunteers willing to spend time scanning in documents, Gandy said.

The museum’s catalog of its collection of photographs, books, articles, and paintings is also being turned into digital information and is now searchable online, Gandy said.

While the museum holds vast amounts of information about the Civil War and is making that available online, other military data of interest to history and genealogy buffs is also now available online.

Thanks to the efforts of volunteers the names of all 13,025 who served as officers in the New York State Militia, the precursor to the New York National Guard, prior to 1858, have been indexed. Local high school students fulfilling the obligation to spend 20 hours volunteering did much of this work over the last year, Gandy said.

Another volunteer project involved establishing a searchable database of the 23,315 members of the New York National Guard who were awarded the New York State Long and Faithful Service Medal between its inception in 1894 and 1963.

The Military History Museum is also the custodian of New York’s Civil War Battle Flags. More than 800 flags collected when regiments returned from the war are stored. Many of those have been conserved.

Other items now available online at the New York State Military Museum website relate to the New York National Guard’s history in World War I and World War II.

Copies of two publications issued just before and during World War I, the “Rio Grande Rattler” from 1916 and the “Wadsworth Gas Attack “from 1917 are now available for download from the website.

The Rio Grande Rattler was published when the New York National Guard was mobilized and sent to the Mexican Border in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson following a raid on Columbus New Mexico by the troops of Mexican Revolutionary Poncho Villa. New York National Guardsmen guarded the border with Mexico in 1916 just as they would in 2006.

In 1917, New York’s 27th Division was mobilized for service in World War II and trained at Camp Wadsworth South Carolina.

Twenty-three years later the Guardsmen of the 27th Division were again on federal service, this time at Fort McClellan Maryland following President Franklin Roosevelt’s activation of the National Guard for one year of service following the successful German invasion of France. The yearbook published for the division’s Soldiers that year, which includes photographs of every unit and key officer, as well as pictures of the training, can be downloaded.

Key links on the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center Website:

Roster of New York Volunteers during the Civil War

Annual Reports of the Bureau of Military Statistics, 1864-1868

New York State Militia Officers Prior to 1858

List of Long and Faithful Service Medal Holders


The Wadsworth Gas Attack and Rio Grande Rattler


Photo: The painted silk regimental battle flag carried by the 125th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War.

Schenectady Digital History Archive Expands


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Bob Sullivan of the Schenectady Digital History Archive is reporting that the online archive’s obituary index now includes over 65,000 citations.

In addition to the [Schenectady] Daily Gazette and assorted historical Schenectady
newspapers, for the last several years the index has covered current issues of papers from the greater Capital District area, such as the Glens Falls Post-Star, the Gloversville Leader-Herald and the Saratogian.

Digital History Archive Adds Important Volumes


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Bob Sullivan, of the Schenectady Digital History Archive, has announced that the first two (historical) volumes of Nelson Greene’s four-volume history of Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Schenectady and Schoharie Counties, History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925 is now online.

Included are more than 300 photos and maps, and a biographical section – more than 2000 pages so far, are online. Greene’s History joins the Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, a four-volume set with more than 1300 family entries from Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren and Washington Counties.

Schenectady ‘Genealogy Day’ Event Saturday


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On Saturday November 6th the Schenectady County Historical Society will explore the many possible ways to uncover your family history during Genealogy Day, an event that will feature several speakers along with open hours in the library. Frank Taormina, a retired teacher and long-time Schenectady resident, will describe the history of the ethnic communities of Schenectady as he shows us the City’s many places of worship: churches, synagogues and mosques. Bob Sullivan, librarian at the Schenectady County Public Library and webmaster of Schenectady Digital History Archive, will explain how to mine the wealth of the Internet to locate historic newspapers on the Internet. During the lunch hour Kim Mabee, a community volunteer and tireless family researcher, will share the story of her own research on the Mabee Family of Rotterdam, NY.

The afternoon of Genealogy Day offers participants the choice of sitting in on a beginning genealogy class or exploring the resources of the Grems-Doolittle Library. Nancy Curran, a genealogical consultant, will be on hand in the library to field research questions. Curran is an experienced researcher well versed in using the New York State Department of Health vital records indexes at the New York State Archives. Katherine Chansky, librarian at the Historical Society’s Grems-Doolittle Library, will talk about ways to begin a genealogy project. She will share some tips on organizing family records, suggest Internet sites to visit, and demonstrate
Family Tree Maker software.

Reservation are recommended. Participants will be asked for a 5 dollar donation to benefit the Historical Society. Lunch is bring your own bag lunch; cold beverages and homemade desserts will be provided by Grems-Doolittle Library volunteers.

Genealogy Day Schedule Saturday Nov. 6th :

10:00 am – 10: 45 am Churches of Schenectady by Frank Taormina. This PowerPoint presentation by Schenectady resident Frank Taormina, will explore the ethnic character of the City of Schenectady’s places of worship. Taormina was a social studies teacher for ten years, a school administrator and for many years the principal of Niskayuna High School. He has been president of the Schenectady County Historical Society and is a frequent speaker at SCHS events.

11:00 am – 11:45 am Digital Newspapers Online by Robert Sullivan, reference librarian at the Schenectady County Public Library and Trustee of the Schenectady County Historical Society. Bob will give a survey of assorted Internet sites where the public can find digital historic newspaper collections. He will also discuss the wealth of information available through Newsbank and Google/Gazette.

12:00 noon to 1:30 Lunch Break Guest Speaker, Kim Mabee, Mabee/Mabie/Maybee/Maybee: Soup to Nuts. Kim Mabee has spent years adding her own genealogy research to the extensive Mabee family genealogical record. A member of the Maybee Society, she describes herself as a “professional volunteer.” Kim has taken leadership roles
in a variety of area organizations including president of the Sacandaga PTA, President of the Schenectady County Historical Society, and Volunteer registrar for the Highland Soccer Club. She has received awards for her community service and takes pride in being a life-long student and self-taught scholar. From the summer into the fall season Kim is the “butter lady” at the Historic Mabee Farm in
Rotterdam Junction, NY, teaching hundreds of school children on farm tours how to make homemade sweet butter and giving lessons in farm-based traditions of the Mohawk Valley.

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Beginning Genealogy by Katherine Chansky, Librarian/Archivist for the Grems-Doolittle Library. Katherine Chansky has been working in local history and genealogy for over 10 years. She will share suggestions on organizing your family records, setting up files in Family Tree Maker, and identify several Internet
website for the beginning genealogist.

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Library Open Hours with Nancy Johnsen Curran. Curran is a genealogist and experienced researcher. She will be available in the library to brainstorm answers to your genealogy questions.

On any project, a thorough search of the Internet may lead to intensive local research in nearby counties’ courthouses, historical societies, libraries and churches.

An important resource is the New York State Library and Archives, one of the leading repositories in the country. For 20th-century research, New York State’s vital records are familiar territory. Other holdings consulted may include colonial wills, tax records, military records and prison records, as well as the unique documents
in the Manuscript Collection. Nancy Johnsen Curran brings many years experience locating family history in these records in the Capital region. She is a member of the board of trustees of Schenectady County Historical Society and the New Netherland Institute, the membership organization in support of the New Netherland Research Center. Curran brings to genealogy research a discipline instilled by many years in print and electronic journalism. Experience as a feature writer and
columnist is called into play, as she presents factual history in readable, interesting form. Her website address is www.nancycurran.com.

The Schenectady County Historical Society is located at 32 Washington Avenue, Schenectady, NY 12305. The building is wheel chair accessible with off-street parking.

For more information contact Katherine Chansky at (518) 374-0263 or email librarian@schist.org. Find directions to SCHS at www.schist.org.

Expanded Canadian Naturalization Database Online


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Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has announced the release of a new version of the online database Canadian Naturalization 1915-1951. It now includes digitized images of the lists of names of people who applied for and obtained status as naturalized Canadians between 1932 and 1951; these lists were originally published in the Canada Gazette. This database is one of the few Canadian genealogical resources specifically designed to benefit researchers having roots other than British. The reference numbers indicated in the database can be used to request copies of the original naturalization records, which are held by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

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 is the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions. Genealogy Services (www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogy/) includes all physical 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.

For more information, please contact webservices@lac-bac.gc.ca.

Nouvelle version de la base de données Naturalisation canadienne

Bibliothèque et Archives Canada (BAC) a le plaisir d’annoncer le lancement d’une nouvelle version de la base de données en ligne, Naturalisation canadienne 1915-1951. Elle comprend maintenant les images numérisées des listes de noms de personnes qui ont demandé et obtenu le statut de citoyen naturalisé canadien entre 1932 et 1951; ces listes étaient à l’origine publiées dans la Gazette du Canada. Cette base de données constitue l’une des rares ressources généalogiques canadiennes spécialement conçues pour aider les chercheurs ayant des racines autres que britanniques. On peut se servir des numéros de référence indiqués dans la base de données pour commander des copies des dossiers originaux de naturalisation, qui sont conservés par Citoyenneté et Immigration Canada.

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 (www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/genealogie/) 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.

Pour de plus amples renseignements, écrivez-nous à webservices@lac-bac.gc.ca.