We're excited to announce the addition of over 100,000 new images to the NYG&B eLibrary!
Our new digital records include New York State religious records (1639 - 1914), the New York State death index (1880 - 1955), and New York City marriage announcements (1833 - 1836). We also added a recent issue of the Record (vol. 148, no. 3) to our fully searchable archive of past issues.
Read on for a brief overview of these collections, which NYG&B members can access immediately. If you're not an NYG&B member, join today for immediate access to our 50+ eLibrary record sets and many other benefits.
New York State Religious Records (1639 - 1914)
This collection now contains transcriptions of religious records from various denominations throughout New York State. Over 120 congregations from 22 counties are included, and the NYG&B eLibrary is the only place to access these records online.
Most of the transcriptions were done by NYG&B Historian and Archivist Royden Woodward Vosburgh in the early twentieth century. Mr. Vosburgh painstakingly captured every detail and was incredibly thorough - read our blog post about his work and methods. For most of the volumes he created, he also included
- The history of the church
- The history of the congregation
- In some cases the history of the denomination in that area of New York State
Religious records are very important to New York researchers for several reasons. In general, records from the 1700s and early 1800s are few and far between - for centuries, many municipalities in New York State viewed the collection of birth, marriage, and death information to be a function of the church, not the state.
For this reason, civil vital records can be difficult to find before the 1900s in many locations, making religious records the only available resource for this information. Read our blog post about using religious records as vital record substitutes to learn more.
Depending on the type of record you are looking at, you can discover the following information:
- Full names
- Dates of baptisms, marriages, or deaths/burials
- Parents’ and witnesses’ names
- Church name and denomination
- Lists of church members
Visit the Religious Records, New York State (1716 - 1916) collection page in our eLibrary to learn more about this record set. This page also contains a table that lists all congregations included in this record set, including their county, denomination, and dates covered.
Make sure to read our blog on using the NYG&B's religious records to make sure you get the most out of this record set.
Thanks to all of our donors and members - your support helps us digitize, index and put more valuable New York records online. Click here to support the NYG&B
Marriage Announcements, New York City (1833-1836)
This volume, created by Frank A. Biebel, contains transcriptions of marriage announcements found in two significant New York City newspapers, The Sun and the New York Transcript.
As mentioned above, marriage records can be difficult to find for the time period covered by this record set, and newspaper announcements serve as a satisfactory substitute.
The years covered by this work are significant, as the 1830s saw the first "penny press" newspapers, which greatly increased readership and circulation beyond the upper and financial classes in New York.
Researchers can hope to find announcements from the general public, which may not have been contained in newspapers established before this time period.
You can expect to find the following information for each entry:
- Name of the groom
- Name of the bride
- Name of the minister (each record contains a number, which corresponds to the name of a minister in a separate table within the book)
- Marriage date and place (other information if available)
- The newspaper and date for an entry
Click here to visit the collection page in our eLibrary, where you will find links to search or browse the volume.
New York State Death Index (1880 - 1955)
This record set includes images of the official New York State death index from the Department of Health. These images have been digitized recently and were previously only available to view on microfilm at a handful of repositories throughout New York State. The index was digitized and made available thanks to the work of the organization Reclaim the Records.
This record set is not searchable, but the images can be easily browsed and are organized by year, with names arranged alphabetically by the first letter of the last name.
While this index covers the entire state of New York, certain municipalities are not included. More information about finding vital records for your ancestors from New York City, Albany, Buffalo, or Yonkers, can be found on the record set page in the eLibrary.
The images in this collection will often provide the following details:
- Name of decedent
- Place of death
- Date of death
- Certificate number – with the certificate number, you can order the original death certificate.
Once you locate an ancestor's certificate number, you can obtain the certificate from the Department of Health. Read our New York Vital Records Guide for more information.
As always, all 148 years of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record are available to search or browse in our eLibrary. We just added vol. 148, no. 3 (July 2017) to the full archive, so your searches will now query content from that issue along with all others.
The Record is an amazing source for information on New York State families and genealogy. Click here to learn more about the Record and how you can use it to find your New York family.
The most recent issues are always available for NYG&B members available to read online as well.
About the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society
Since 1869, the NYG&B's 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