- For anyone begining to study their family history, the place to
start is with your relatives. Get all the information from them that
you can, but especially where & when. Next, you can go to the US
Censuses. These surveys can provide a wealth of information about your
family. If your family lived in New York State, you are doubly
fortunate that New York State also took a series of censuses in years
between the Federal Censuses. These censuses are described on the Monroe County GenWeb page.
- Researchers in Albany County are fortunate to have the New York State Library
located in the City of Albany. There is an extensive geneology section
with full time librarian and frequently scheduled volunteers to help
researchers. As would be expected, the library has microfilm of all the
New York censuses with indexes as well as microfilms of the federal
censuses & Soundex for New York. There are family histories and
city indexes for many major cities in the United States. The library
also houses such research aids as "Germans to America" and "Irish passenger lists, 1847-1871". Listings of the library's collections are available online, including the Geneology Section.
- In addition, Albany is within day trip distance of not one, but two branches of the National Archives and Records Administration.
These are the people who safely store the nation's important documents.
For geneologists, of course, the NARA is a source of the federal
censuses. For information on this indispensible tool for researching
family history, go to the Geneology and Family History page.
I have personally visited the Pittsfield, MA site several times and
always found the staff and volunteers very helpful. I can report that
Pittsfield has censuses for the entire country, as well as
naturalization information for New England. For more information on
exactly what is available, how to access it, and directions to the
nearest center, try their main page. For specific information on their holdings, try the Research Room tab at the top of the page.
- MAKING OF AMERICA, CORNELL UNIVERSITY
is a great site for looking at old books, newspapers, etc. It contains
scans of many out of copyright documents such as "The History of
Cohoes, NY, From its Earliest Settlement To the Present Time", 1877 and
"Boyd's New York State Directory, Together With ... History of the
States and Territories and Brief Sketches of the Principal Places
Contained In The Directory...", 1872, 73, 74. Using the search page
gives you a list of publications containing the search string and the
number of times that work or phrase appears in each publication. The
search is quite speedy.
- There is a web page for the New Netherlands Project,
which is a group dedicated to studying the Dutch in Colonial America.
There is a promise of scans of documents in the future: "Researchers will find here the source documents used by the New
Netherland Project, their transcriptions, and translations. The first
of these is the Peter Schaghen letter concerning the purchase of
Manhattan island. Others will follow." The site also contains
information on seminars & publications by the society. In addition
there are copies of back issues of their newsletter "The Marcurius" which looks very interresting.
- The Colonial Albany Social History Project
Website contains information on the History of the City of Albany. It
includes biographies of famous Albanians, maps of the city at various
dates, pictures. There are also links to articles on family names being
studied by the Colonial Albany Project.
- If any of your ancestors arrived in America ca. 1892 to 1924, the Ellis Island
web site is a great place to look. The database contains information on
people who entered the United States through the Port of New York and
Ellis Island in this time period. There is information about
immigration in general, family histories, photos and a great deal more.
- A history of wealthy Americans and how they influenced the development of the United States is available at A Classification of American Wealth.
The site includes biograpies and information about such Albany families
as the VanRensselaers and the Livingstons under the topic Colonial and Mercantile America.
This is a work in progress and some information is reserved for paid
subscribers. However there is a great deal of free information to
be found and I found the site very interesting.
- Links to maps of New York State can be found here.
- Links to transcripts of censuses found on the Rootsweb/GenWeb Albany County web page.
- The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society
has an amazing amount of information on their Research Aids page (go to
the tab at the top of the page that reads 'Research Aids'. If you go to
the link for Census Records, you will find a number of articles about
the various censuses available for New York State. I haven't
investigated, but paid members can also purchase researches such as
biographical or geneological queries. See the web page for
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This page was last updated Monday, 20-Feb-2006 13:39:27 CST