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New York Records Details and Resources
Where to find New York census records, immigration records, land records, maps, vital records and more.
The state's land records have gone through numerous systems. The first Dutch owners enacted patroonship (manorial) records, which was changed to patents and surveys by the British, and finally to the more modern system of deeds and mortgages. To get a true sense of all these different records and what exists, see the Land Records section of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints New York Research Outline (see General Resources).
Probate records for New York can offer a wealth of information. Instead of just concentrating on wills -- though you certainly want to locate them -- look for probate packets, handled by the Surrogate Court in each county. Probate packets have many documents generated during the estate settlement process that can offer you insight into where heirs lived, married names of women and much more.
State census records for New York offer lots of useful information and are available from 1825 through 1855 for some counties, with many more counties available from 1865 through 1925. Those taken from 1855 to 1875 not only list where the person was born, but if they were born in the state of New York, the enumerator listed the county of birth. Some offer insight into how long the family or individual had been living in the given county. Records are available on microfilm through the Family History Library and at the New York state archives. Subscription site Ancestry.com
has information from three New York state censuses.
Vital records for New York are not as encompassing as some other states. Not until the mid-19th century did the state first attempt to enforce the keeping of vital records. In the latter 1800s, the state tried again. Towns originated the records and sent copies to the New York Department of Health. Look for vital records both on the state and the town levels, as well as on FHL microfilm. You can request copies from the Department of Health by writing to the Genealogy Unit, Vital Records Section, Box 2602, Albany, NY 12220 http://www.health.state.ny.us/vital_records/genealogy.htm
. Be prepared to be patient, as requests to this unit can take up to 10 months to process. The state suggests contacting the local town registrar if you know the exact place of birth, death, or marriage.
Vital records for New York City's boroughs are filed in the New York City Municipal Archives, 31 Chambers St., New York, NY 10007. Record availability varies from borough to borough. Many of them have been microfilmed and are available through the Family History Library.
You may need to use vital record substitutes such as tombstones, newspapers, and church records to get the dates of births, marriages or deaths.
- Early New York State Census Records. 1663-1772 by Carol M. Meyers (RAM Publishers, 1965)
- 7,000 Hudson-Mohawk Valley (NY) Vital Records, 1808-1850 by Fred Q. Bowman (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1997)
- 8,000 More Vital Records of Eastern New York State, 1804-1805 by Fred Q. Bowman (Kinship, 1991)
- 10,000 Vital Records of Central New York, 1813-1850 by Fred Q. Bowman (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986)
- 10,000 Vital Records of Eastern New York, 1777-1834 by Fred Q. Bowman (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987)
- 10,000 Vital Records of Western New York, 1809-1850 by Fred Q. Bowman (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1985)
- Directory to Collections of New York Vital Records, 1726-1989, With Rare Gazetteer by Fred Q. Bowman (Heritage Books, 1995)
- Genealogical Records; Manuscript Entries of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Taken From Family Bibles, 1581-1917 edited by Jeannie F. J. Robison and Henrietta C. Bartlett (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1972)
- Guide to Vital Statistics in the City of New York, Borough of Manhattan: Churches by the Historical Records Survey, New York City (Historical Records Survey, 1942)
- Guide to Vital Statistics Records of Churches in New York State, Exclusive of New York City prepared by the Historical Records Survey (The Survey, 1942)
- Marriages and Deaths From the New Yorker (Double Quarto Edition), 1836-1841 by Kenneth Scott (National Genealogical Society, 1980)
- Names of Persons for Whom Marriage Licences Were Issued by the Secretary of the Province of New York, Previous to 1784 by the New York Secretary of State (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1967)
- 1890 New York Census Index of Civil War Veterans or Their Widows compiled by Bryan Lee Dilts (Index Publishing, 1984)
- New York State Cemeteries Name/Location Inventory, 1995-1997, 3 vols., compiled by the Association of Municipal Historians of New York State (Heritage Books, 1999)
- New York State Cemetery Inscriptions: Albany Co., Herkimer Co., Montgomery Co., Saratoga Co., Schenectady Co. compiled by Marie Noll Cormack and Katherine Furman (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1967)
- Vital Records File by the New York State Library (New York State Library, ca. 1979)
- Calender of N.Y. Colonial Manuscripts, Indorsed Land Papers: In the Office of the Secretary of State of New York, 1643-1803 compiled by E.B. O'Callaghan (Harbor Hill Books, 1987)
- Denizations, Naturalizations, and Oaths of Allegiance in Colonial New York by Kenneth Scott and Kenn Stryker-Rodda (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1975)
- The Disposition of Loyalist Estates in the Southern District of the State of New York by Harry Beller Yoshpe (Columbia University, 1999)
- Dutch New York by Esther Singleton (B. Blom, 1968)
- Early New York Naturalizations: Abstracts of Naturalization Records From Federal, State, and Local Courts, 1792-1840 compiled by Kenneth Scott (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1981)
- Inventory of the Archives of the Holland Land Company by Wilhelmina C. Pierterse, English translation by Sytha Hart (Minicipal Print. Office, 1976)
- Patents of the State of New York, 1649-1912 by the New York Secretary of State (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973)
- Western New York Land Transactions, 1825-1835: Extracted From the Archives of the Holland Land Company by Karen E. Livsey (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1996)
- Abstracts of Albany Co., N.Y. Probate and Family Records transcribed by William Burt Cook (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1971)
- Calender of Wills on File and Recorded in the Offices of the Clerk of the Court of Appeals, of the County Clerk at Albany, and of the Secretary of State, 1626-1836 by Berthold Fernow (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1967)
- Genealogical Data From Further New York Administration Bonds, 1791-1798 abstracted by Kenneth Scott (New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, 1971)
- Genealogical Data From Inventories of New York Estates, 1666-1825 by Kenneth Scott and James A. Owre (New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, 1970)
- Genealogical Data From New York Administration Bonds, 1753-1799 and Hithero Unpublished Letters of Administration abstracted by Kenneth Scott (New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, 1969)
- Index of Wills for New York County (New York City), From 1662-1850 compiled by Ray C. Sawyer (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1941)
- Index of Wills for New York County, New York, From 1851-1875 compiled by Ray C. Sawyer (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1971)
- List of pre-1847 Court Records in the State Archives by the New York State Archives (Office of Cultural Education, New York State Education Department, 1984)
- New York Alien Residents, 1825-1848 compiled by Kenneth Scott and Rosanne Conway (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978)
- Records of the Court of Assizes for the Colony of New York, 1665-1682 edited by Peter R. Christoph and Florence A. Christoph (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983)
- The Records of New Amsterdam From 1653 to 1674 Anno Domini, 7 vols., edited by Berthold Fernow (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1976)
- Landholders of Northeastern New York, 1739-1802 by Fred Q. Bowman (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983)
- Lists of Patents of Lands, etc. to be Sold in January, 1822, for Arrears of Quit Rent by Elijah Ellsworth Brownell (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973)
- New York State -- Confiscations of Loyalists copied by H.C. Burleigh (United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada, 1970)
- The Palatine Families of New York: A Study of the German Immigrants who Arrived in
- Colonial New York in 1710, 2 vols., by Henry Z. Jones (H.Z. Jones, 1985)
- Palatine Roots: The 1710 German Settlement in New York as Experienced by Johann Peter Wagner by Nancy Wagoner Dixon (Picton Press, 1994)
- Reports of Joseph Ellicott as Chief of Survey (1797-1800): and as Agent (1800-1821) of the Holland Land Company's Purchases in Western New York, 2 vols., edited by Robert Warwick Bingham (The Buffalo Historical Society, 1937-41)
- Ship Passenger Lists, New York and New Jersey, 1600-1825 edited and indexed by Carl Boyer (C. Boyer, 1978)
- A Guide to the Revolutionary War Manuscripts in the New York State Library edited by Stefan Bielinski (New York State American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, 1976)
- A History of the 134th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the American Civil War, 1862-1865 by Charles H. Cosgrove (E. Mellen Press, 1997)
- Index of Awards on Claims of the Soldiers of the War of 1812 by the New York Adjutant General's Office (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1969)
- Inhabitants of New York, 1774-1776 by Thomas B. Wilson (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1993)
- Military Minutes of the Council of Appointment of the State of New York, 1783-1821, 4 vols., compiled and edited by Hugh Hastings (J.B. Lyon, State Printer, 1901-02)
- New York in the American Revolution: A Bibliography by Milton M. Klein (New York State American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, 1974)
- New York in the Revolution by Berthold Fernow (Polyanthos, 1972)
- New York in the Revolution as Colony and State by James A. Roberts (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1996)
- New York, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 by the US Selective Service System (National Archives, 1987-1988)
- A Record of the Commissioned Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates, of the Regiments Which Were Organized in the State of New York and Called Into the Service of the United States to Assist in Suppressing the Rebellion by the New York Adjutant General's Office (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1971)
- Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. New York edited by John H. Long and compiled by Kathryn Ford Thorne (Simon & Schuster, 1993)
- Gazetteer of the State of New York by John Homer French (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1995)
- Gazetteer of the State of New York by Thomas Francis Gordon (Printed for the Author, 1836)
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