Thursday, November 1, 2012

Albany Research Day 1

Today was the introduction to the New York State Archives and Library by the helpful staff.

I concentrated on vital records indexes.  New York City records are kept in New York City.  Beginning in 1881, the rest of the counties were supposed to report births, marriages, and deaths to the State.  Compliance was spotty at first, so I did not find a lot of records.  At least I was able to look for myself to make sure.

Indexes to New York State vital records.  Microfiche.

Each calendar year contains an alphabetical listing of names.
Counties are combined.
These are deaths for the year 1900 reported to the State of New York.
The number in the right column is the certificate number.

Once you have located a potential record of interest in the index, you cannot readily obtain the corresponding record.  You need to submit a completed application and $22 to the New York State Department of Health and wait for the certificate to come in the mail.  This costs time, money, and effectively prohibits you from exploring common names.  As an alternative, you can try the registrar of the county or the town where the event took place and see if they can provide the record faster or at a lower cost. 

If you cannot find a record at the state level, you will want to try the local registrar anyway.  Not all counties and cities reported events to the state in any particular year.

This is a nifty paper I saw hanging.
The genealogy of New York Counties.  Great resource.

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