1882 Membership Roll of the Association of Exempt Firemen of the City of New York

Collection Category: Directories, Occupations, Digitize New York|Collection Type: Indexed|Location: New York City

This summary was provided by the donor of the records, W. Scott Fisher:

In 1882, George W. Sheldon published his iconic “The Story of the Volunteer Fire Department of the City of New York.” (Harper & Brothers, Franklin Square, New York. Available online through Google Books.) In it, the author painted a word picture of the stories and glory of the old volunteer department that had been converted into a paid department just seventeen years earlier, in 1865. In an appendix, from pages 542 to 546, Sheldon published the names of all the old firefighters who then belonged to the Association of Exempt Firemen. The “Exempts” were the men who had served in the volunteer department for designated minimum periods of time. Originally, in 1816, the state of New York set that term at ten years. In 1830 it was cut to seven years. Then in 1847 it was further reduced to five.

Sheldon provided not only more than 600 names, but also the company in which they primarily served and the date of their admittance into the Association. This searchable database includes names and company information. 

This list does not name all of the qualified “Exempts” living in 1882. These are only those who chose to belong to the Association.