New York Genealogy

New York State Genealogy

Do you have ancestors that lived in New York State? There are a number of ways Holly can help with your New York genealogy research, including:

  • Obtaining State-Issued Vital Records (1880 to Present)
  • Obtaining Birth, Marriage & Death Records (Prior to 1880)
  • Researching Genealogical Collections in Eastern New York Libraries and Archives

Obtaining State-Issued Vital Records

Information on how and where to obtain a New York birth, marriage or death record can be very complicated. And in some cases, when you find information about a vital record through an online index, obtaining a copy of the record involves a long waiting period.

  • When and where a birth, marriage or death event occurred determines
    • If an official vital record exists
    • Whether your research will depend upon the use vital record substitutes (e.g. church records)
    • Where an original record is held
    • If a copy can be obtained for genealogical purposes

The New York State Department of Health’s website offers an overview of the official vital records that are available.

New York vital records

If you need further guidance in finding a New York birth, marriage or death record for your ancestor, Holly has extensive knowledge concerning the fine points of researching these types of records. If an official vital record does exist, you may not necessarily need to submit a request for a copy through the Health Department, which could lead to a quicker turnaround time.

Obtaining Birth, Marriage & Death Records (Prior to 1880)

In New York State, finding pre-20th century records of birth, marriage and death can be difficult. The state government did not require the recording of vital records on the town and/or county level until 1880. In some counties, the recording of vital events didn’t become consistent until some years later. Because of this, researching records that could be considered substitutes for proof of birth, marriage and death is necessary.

It is possible to learn more about your New York ancestors by researching a combination of these types of substitute records. Holly has the knowledge and experience to research collections, both online and in archives, to assist you in your research.

To learn more about finding and obtaining information on proof of birth, marriage and death for your New York State ancestors, send an e-mail inquiry to Holly by clicking the button below.

Libraries and Archives – Research Visits

genealogy research

Holly is available to conduct New York genealogy research at a number of repositories. Through her work as an archivist and a genealogist, Holly has considerable experience researching in libraries, archives, and courthouses. Visiting a repository can involve either general research or a singular, one-time request for retrieval of a specific document.

The New York State Library

The State Library in Albany has genealogy collections focusing on New York families back to the Colonial period. In addition, the library holds genealogical material for Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New England. Another valuable research tool the library maintains is an inventory of genealogy collections held by various repositories around the state.

Resources in Eastern New York State

There are numerous libraries, archives and courthouses in eastern New York where Holly is available to conduct research and retrieve records.

  • These include local resources in the counties of
    • Columbia
    • Greene
    • Rensselaer
    • Albany
    • Ulster
    • Dutchess

Types of Records

There are various kinds of non-digital records and collections in these state and local repositories that have genealogical value.

  • Examples of some of the materials that can be found include
    • Vital records
    • Family genealogies
    • Surname files
    • Church records
    • Cemetery records
    • Published county and town histories
    • Newspapers
    • City directories

To learn more about the genealogy resources available in libraries and archives in the upper Hudson Valley and Capital District area, send an e-mail inquiry to Holly by clicking the button below.

Highlights From Holly’s New York Genealogy Research

Columbia County

Webpage: Columbia County free genealogy resources

Containing links to Columbia County free genealogy resources and helpful information for your family history research.

Albany County

Holly’s genealogy projects in Albany County have involved research of 18th and 19th century collections, including newspapers, land records, marriage records and State Library manuscript collections.

Rensselaer County

Holly’s experience with Rensselaer County research has involved the use of online resources as well as examining on-site collections at the Troy Public Library’s history room and the Hart Cluett Museum, home to the largest local research facility in the county.

Warren County

Research project: Investigated digital newspaper collections to uncover details about an 1890’s murder trial in Warren County.

Blog Post: Reformed Dutch Church of Claverack, Columbia County.

Greene County

Research project: Search of Greene County probate record for families who resided in the towns of Catskill and Athens in the 19th century.

Genesee County

Research project: Investigation of War of 1812 records. Through service records and payroll lists, new research connections were made for a mid-19th century family of early Michigan settlers, back to their possible origins in Genesee County.

Jefferson County

Jefferson County New York court records

Research Project : Examined late 19th century Jefferson County, New York surrogate court records to establish evidence of family relationships through probate records.

Montgomery County

Reviewing Stone Arabia Dutch Reformed Church records for the Frey family of Palatine, Montgomery County.