IMG_3006The NYG&B is at the New England Regional Genealogical Conference 2015, Navigating the Past: Sailing into the Future. The NYG&B is a sponsoring society of the conference, and has sponsored a wonderful lecture by Terry Koch-Bostic on the astonishing records of the US Sanitary Commission, recently cataloged and made available to researchers at the New York Public Library.

Sanitary Commission Lodge, Washington, D.C. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and  Photographs Division

Sanitary Commission Lodge, Washington, D.C.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

The US Sanitary Commission was a civilian organization commissioned by the US government during the Civil War to provide sanitary and medical assistance to soldiers. However, the scope of the group grew tremendously during the war and after. Nearly one third of the collection deals with records of claims filed by the US Sanitary Commission on behalf of soldiers and their families for back pay, bounty, and pension claims, records which contain a wealth of genealogical information for researchers. To read more about the US Sanitary Commission, visit the NYPL website here.


Please stop by our table and say hello. Members, remember to get your membership ribbons! We will also be selling copies of our new book, the New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer, as well as many other publications.

A Major New Research Resource: The Astonishing Records of the U.S. Sanitary Commission

Next week at the New England Regional Genealogical Conference (NERGC), the NYG&B is sponsoring a lecture by Terry Koch-Bostic on the records of the U.S. Sanitary Commission, which provided sanitary and medical assistance to Union volunteer forces during the Civil War. This extraordinary collection is rich in genealogical material covering the period 1861–1878 and is held by the Manuscripts and Archives division of the New York Public Library. A large portion of the records consist of back pay, bounty, and pension claims. The NYPL’s detailed guide to the collection may be accessed here. An article by NYPL archivist Susan Waide focusing on how to use the collection for genealogical research was featured in the winter 2014 issue of the New York Researcher, vol. 25, no. 4.

USSC members

More New York Records added to FamilySearch.org

FamilySearch.org has added millions of New York records to its free website, including detailed abstracts of New York City vital records that allow searching by family relationship, as well as place, date, and subject name;  passenger and crew lists; Canada/New York border crossings; and National Guard service cards. A list of all New York collections on FamilySearch.org, which can be sorted by the most recently updated, is here.

World War I Research

Megan Smolenyak’s article, “War Numbers: Counting the Irish-born Dead in WWI,” includes data gleaned from the New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917-1919 database on Ancestry.com. She reports that 514,859 New Yorkers were “called to arms,” 9,751 of whom were Irish-born, and she also describes her related New Jersey research. The article appears in the April / May 2015 issue of Irish America.

From NYG&B summer intern to historian

The prestigious quarterly of the Westchester County Historical Society, the Westchester Historian, has published an article by former NYG&B summer intern Madeline Bourque Kearin in its winter 2015 issue. The thoroughly researched article  “The Spencer Optical Works in Mount Kisco: The LIfe and Death of a Westchester County Factory Town” makes engrossing reading. Madeline is currently the co-director of Archeological excvavation at St. George’s/St. Mark’s Site in Mount Kisco. Information about the NYG&B summer intern program may be found here.

The importance of good footnotes

A footnote by NYG&B Record author Donn Devine inspired “Ten-Minute Methodology: Proof in a Footnote” posted in SpringBoard, the blog of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®. The BCG monthly series helps genealogists better understand the Genealogy Standards through examples of best practice. Read the footnote (#67 pp. 12–13) or the full article: Donn Devine, “The European Origin of George Falk (1823–1900), Brooklyn Watchmaker,” The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 112 (January 2013): 5–16.

The Early Bird Deadline for NERGC 2015 is February 28

Layout 1The NYG&B is a sponsoring organization of NERGC 2015, the 13th biennial New England Regional Genealogical Conference, which will take place in Providence, Rhode Island, Wednesday-Saturday, April 15-18, 2015. Register by the Early Bird Deadline of February 28 to save $30 on the full conference and another $10 on Tech Day. The 2015 NERGC registration brochure and online registration are available at www.NERGC.org.