1869 Circle

Your Gift Helps to Find, Preserve, and Share the Stories of New York's past.

The 1869 Circle recognizes those friends who have expressed their commitment to the NYG&B’s future through an intended bequest or other planned gift.

Individuals who commit to leaving such a lasting legacy will receive a certificate of recognition, an invitation to an annual reception with the Board of Trustees, and an annual listing in the New York Researcher. Participation may also be anonymous if preferred.

We want to thank you now for your forethought and generosity. For more information, please contact D. Joshua Taylor at 212-755-8532 ext. 204 or president@nygbs.org

A Legacy of Giving

Since its founding in 1869, the NYG&B has been fortunate to be the beneficiary of many bequests made by friends and supporters who wanted their support to endure. 

For example, a $20,000 bequest from Elizabeth Underhill Coles made it possible for the Society to purchase its first permanent home in 1896, which was named Genealogical Hall.  The famed banker and philanthropist John Pierpont Morgan, Sr. was a Life Member of the NYG&B for 27 years when he made a $10,000 challenge grant, which stimulated more than $55,000 in additional gifts.

Highlighted Members of the 1869 Circle

Genevieve Evelyn Randall Lanyon

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society is grateful to be the recipient of a generous bequest from the late Genevieve Evelyn Randall Lanyon, who first joined the NYG&B in 1978.

A prodigious researcher, Mrs. Lanyon co-authored A Randall Family of Long Island New York, 1667-1989, which documents the descendants of Samuel Randall of Ridge, New York and was published in 1989 by the Randall Association.

The 268-page book is indexed and illustrated; it is in the NYG&B collection at the New York Public Library and at other selected repositories.

Mrs. Lanyon died at her home in Westhampton Beach, New York, on February 20, 2016 at the age of 97. She was predeceased by her parents, Ellsworth Hawkins Randall and Ella Hawkins Randall, and her sister, Ella Randall Hulse.

A graduate of New Paltz State Teachers College, New York University, and Columbia University, Mrs. Lanyon was an instructor and supervisor of student teachers at the East Stroudsburg Teacher's College prior to her marriage to Dr. William Liel Lanyon in 1949. A past president of the Genealogy Section of the Suffolk County Historical Society,  Mrs. Lanyon was an enthusiastic member of several patriotic and lineage groups. She was also a competitive golfer and croquet player. Mrs. Lanyon is interred at Union Cemetery in Middle Island, New York.

John Lane Young, Ph.D.

Dr. John Lane Young joined the NYG&B as a life member in 1972 and was an active user of its library.  Following his death in March 2009 the Society learned that he had made a generous bequest.

Dr. Young’s support has assisted the NYG&B to help members enrich their knowledge and research skills and enjoy the many rewards that come through the study of family history.

John Lane Young wrote his first family history when he was 16 and would go on to publish thirteen books on genealogy.  Born in 1930, he lived in South Ardmore, Pennsylvania before moving to Edinburgh, Texas with his parents and one of his brothers in 1939.  Throughout his life he interviewed relatives from all over through correspondence and travel, and eventually he made a map of his widespread family. 

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Divinity from the University of Chicago, he studied at Columbia University where he received a Master’s degree in Library Science and a Ph.D. in History.  A reference librarian at the Union Theological Seminary, he was a founder of the Morningside Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.  Dr. Young became a professor of history with an expertise in Latin America and taught for many years at Jersey City State College.

Dr. Young’s many interests included classical music, weather, astronomy, and anthropology.

His niece Lois Hinski remembers him as “the coolest person.  When my sisters and I were kids we were playing jump rope one day and he got out of his car and jumped right in. When he was in the service he would write letters on adding machine tape and roll it into a film canister and mail it to us.  He had a great sense of humor and was so dear to me. Uncle John was a smart guy, thoughtful, tolerant, and open minded; he gave a lot to charities, he led a simple life, his actions spoke loudly.”

Muriel Talbot French

Muriel Talbot French, a life member and longtime donor who died on September 19, 2010 at her home in San Francisco, made a generous bequest to the NYG&B. Miss French was a lifelong resident of San Francisco where she was born on September 14, 1920 to W.H. French and Clara T. French.

A graduate of the Katherine Delmar Burke School, Miss French was a supporter of numerous charities in her hometown and elsewhere.  Her devotion to genealogy led to her involvement at the NYG&B, where she was a frequent visitor when in New York, as well as other genealogical and historical societies around the country.

Miss French’s enduring support has helped the NYG&B to enhance its services to members beyond New York’s boundaries through its publications, its website, and its education programs.