Big news out of the New York State Family History Conference

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society made several major announcements earlier this month - read on to make sure you didn’t miss any of these exciting updates.

Thanks to all attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, speakers
and volunteers - we couldn't have done it without you! 

From September 13 - 15, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society hosted the latest installment of our biennial event, the New York State Family History Conference in Tarrytown, New York.

Over five hundred genealogy enthusiasts joined us for two and a half days of learning from experts, sharing tips, connecting with old friends, and making new ones.

We are so thankful for our conference attendees, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors, and our amazing team of volunteers - we couldn’t have made it such a successful conference without you!

For those of you who were not able to attend, we want to make sure you didn’t miss any of the big news that came out of the conference.

NYG&B President D. Joshua Taylor shared several thrilling updates at the conference Plenary Session Friday morning.


NYG&B’s 150th anniversary celebration kicks off in 2019

Did you know the NYG&B turns 150 in 2019? Originally founded in 1869, our society will have been helping researchers everywhere preserve, document, and share their New York family history for a century and a half!

Commemorative events and special digital content will celebrate 150 years of New York genealogy by looking back at our history and looking forward to the next 150 years of work.

Stay tuned for the special events schedule and more news related to this year-long celebration.


Read all about NY land records in the latest
issue of the New York Researcher

One of the largest NY indexing efforts ever: The New York Land Records Project

We’re thrilled to unveil the largest-ever volunteer effort to index New York’s state records: The New York Land Records Project. We’re partnering with FamilySearch for this exciting initiative, which will rely on volunteers to index millions of digital images of land records.

These records include deeds and mortgages from various county offices covering a wide range of dates and almost all counties in the state. 

D. Joshua Taylor, NYG&B President, noted the importance of this project for genealogists, biographers, and historians: “Land records remain a crucial resource for anyone tracing the stories of New York’s past, and we are delighted to partner with FamilySearch on this extraordinary effort to bring new levels of access to these important records.”

Researchers can currently access this collection on FamilySearch, but it is unindexed at the moment, meaning you cannot perform a name-based search.

These records can still be used, however - for those interested, Robert Raymond of FamilySearch presented a webinar for the NYG&B on using FamilySearch’s unindexed collections - his presentation used the New York Land Records collection as the prime example. NYG&B members can watch Hidden Treasure from Family Search in the webinar library.

When complete, this index will allow researchers everywhere to make efficient use of these important records. As they are completed, indexes for individual counties will appear on the NYG&B’s website, and elsewhere.  

Volunteers from across the country can participate in this exciting project using FamilySearch’s indexing web-based indexing tool. Indexers will capture the name and date of recorded transactions and other information to allow for the eventual linkage of these records with original materials. The NYG&B will also be reaching out to societies across the United States to join this important effort.

To learn more, visit the New York Land Records Project


Attendees were the first to hear several exciting announcements from
NYG&B President D. Joshua Taylor at the Plenary Session. 

A new eLibrary is in the works

We are extremely excited to announce an upcoming change that will positively affect all New York researchers – we are actively building our very own eLibrary platform for our online records, and it will be released in 2019. Your many comments and inquiries are being listened to and have given the team great suggestions.

This new platform will be a permanent home for all of the NYG&B’s current digital record collections and will also see the addition of many new digital record sets in 2019 and beyond. NYG&B members will still have special access to records on Findmypast after this new platform has launched. We aim to make this online platform the premiere hub for accessing New York records online.

We’ll be updating with more information as soon as it’s available.


The NYG&B Board of Trustees Challenge: New donations matched!  

The NYG&B’s Board of Trustees is so supportive of these initiatives that they are participating in a Challenge Match for the 2018 Annual Fund.

Board members are pledging a dollar-for-dollar match for all new and increased giving until the end of the year, so your donation will go twice as far!

Our Board is fervently committed to the work of the NYG&B, and they are willing to increase their own giving in order to encourage our constituents to give more as we prepare for our anniversary year in 2019.

Your new and increased giving will be doubled, providing twice the support for the Land Records project, the new eLibrary, and all of our other programming! Every single donation counts, no matter how small - if you have never donated before, or are able to increase your annual gift this year, this is the perfect time to double your new impact.

And thank you to all who contributed their conference NYSFHC Note – that jump start to the Challenge Match set a terrific precedent.

Learn more about how your gift supports the NYG&B


The New York State Archives and Library are must-visit repositories
for anyone researching family in New York.

NYSFHC returns in 2020 and comes to Albany

Even though the 2018 New York State Family History Conference just concluded, we’re already setting our sights on the next conference, which will take place from September 10 - 12, 2020.

We’re thrilled to announce the conference will take place in New York’s state capitol, Albany. Albany is home to several crucial repositories that hold records for locations all over New York State, which will give researchers the opportunity to make some amazing discoveries while attending the conference.

Don’t forget, we have begun work on a guide to the New York State Archives, designed specifically for researchers. This book is planned for release in 2019, making it the perfect resource to bring with you in 2020.


Announcing an NYG&B Heritage Tour: The Netherlands and Amsterdam

Finally, we announced a brand new offering from the NYG&B: The chance to visit Amsterdam, Leiden, Rotterdam, and The Hague with the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society on our exclusive, guided tour of the Netherlands in 2019.

Aided by onsite experts and anchored in Amsterdam, follow in the pathways of New York’s past as we explore and learn through a week of private tours, educational events, and sightseeing. Highlights include lectures relating to trade networks between New Amsterdam and the Netherlands, the pilgrim tradition, private canal cruises of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, visits to the Historic Amsterdam Museum and Mauritshuis museum, and other unique experiences.

This tour includes an exclusive private guide for the five-day tour, hotel and breakfast each day, travel to attractions, and museum tickets. You’ll also have time to explore on your own.

For more details or to sign up, please email Jennifer Davis at, or call 212-755-8532 x208


Miss out on NYSFHC classes? Watch a recorded webinar!

If you didn’t get the chance to attend our conference earlier this month, don’t fret! We have plenty of online resources for our members around the country and globe.

Our webinar library is full of dozens of useful presentations featuring many topics similar to those covered in conference sessions. NYG&B members can watch these presentations and download the syllabi on demand, from the comfort of their homes.


More Genealogy Reading


About the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society is 
a registered 501(c)(3) organization devoted to 
preserving, documenting, and sharing the history of
New York State families. Read more about our mission.  

Since 1869, our mission has been to help our thousands of worldwide members discover their family's New York story, and there has never been a better time to join.

The cost of an Individual Annual Membership is less than six dollars a month, and includes the following benefits: 

  • Access to over 50 exclusive digital record sets covering the entire state of New York, including the fully searchable archives of The Record
  • A complimentary subscription to all of Findmypast's North American records, as well as U.K. and Irish Census records.
  • Access to hundreds of expert-authored Knowledge Base articles and webinars to help you navigate the tricky New York research landscape. 
  • Exclusive discounts and advanced access to conferences, seminars, workshops and lectures to learn more about researching people and places across New York State. 

To learn more or join us, please visit our member benefits page