Ulster County Clerk's Office, Old Dutch & English Records

Collection Category: Colonial | Collection Type: Text | Location: Ulster County

Before the publication of this survey of microfilm in 2011, Donald C. Lockhart was trying to investigate the life of an ancestor named Reijnier van der Coelen. This ancestor was a “distiller and grain dealer whose misdeed dot the pages of colonial-era records.” Coelen called Kingston, New York home between 1666 until 1674 when he decided to go to New Castle, Delaware “leaving a trail of debts in his wake.”

In doing this research, Lockhart had to use microfilm from the Ulster Country Clerk’s Office where “four microfilm rolls were for sale.” He went through great lengths to transcribe this material, much of which is in Dutch. Lockhart did not want to keep all of this information to himself and decided to make these documents available. The Old Dutch and English Records Held by the Ulster County Clerk’s Office in Kingston, New York’s four microfilm rolls contain eight volumes of court records (1661-1712), five volumes of secretary papers (1664-1681), church deacons’ accounts (1683-1719), and Lutheran church ordinances from 1735.

These volumes are text searchable – searches entered will query this volume. The images can also be browsed by clicking the links below, which will take you to the beginning of the section you are interested in reading.

Included are:

These microfilm rolls have recorded marriages from the Old Dutch and early English colonial era of Kingston, New York. These are important to preserve because, as Lockhart expresses, these manuscripts have gone through a lot over the years. They are not only over 300 years old, but they “disappeared for two decades” at one point. This explains why the “manuscripts vary in quality.” A number of them are “badly faded” and “[o]thers, particularly the deacon’s accounts, suffer from ink bleed-through.” But for the most part, these documents are in decent shape despite its age and provenance.

The recorded marriages available are organized by the date of the marriage and the names of the bride and groom. Under each marriage, there is a statement regarding any property that needs to be noted and whether or not any exchanges of said property would occur as a result of the marriage.

This is incredibly helpful to researchers, for these documents were not readily available prior to 2011. Thanks to Donald C. Lockhart, we can detail the lives of old Dutch and early English colonial Kingston, which is made possible by his efforts.

After this section, the author investigates the provenance of these court records that have exchanged hands multiple times over the course of three hundred years. Here Lockhart writes a historical narrative about this. At the very end, Lockhart created an index of where the marriage records could be found on the microfilm.

 

Suggested citation for this collection:

New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, “Old Dutch and English Records Held by the Ulster County Clerk's Office in Kingston, New York” digital images, New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, (www.newyorkfamilyhistory.org), 2019.