New Probate Collections on

Two new probate collections are available on The first is titled New York, Wills and Probate Records, 1659-1999 and includes at least some records for 59 counties. The second is titled New York County, New York, Wills and Probate Records, 1658-1880 (NYSA), is browsable, but not indexed. Both collections include descriptions of the source material. Researchers are advised that these records may not be complete and additional research may be necessary.*2|1*35&

FamilySearch Makes 2.7 Million Historic Records from the 1915 New Jersey State Census Freely Searchable Online

FamilySearchFamilySearch International has added more than 2.7 million searchable historical records from the 1915 New Jersey State Census to its free online collections. New Jersey records are highly sought after by family historians because the state was a popular settling point for millions of immigrants during the heyday of US immigration from 1892 to 1924. The 1885 and 1905 New Jersey State Censuses are also available, making these three online collections invaluable for researchers. You can search the 1915 New Jersey Census collection and more than 5.8 billion other free historical records at

State censuses were typically taken mid-point between federal censuses. The 1915 New Jersey Census is halfway between the 1910 and 1920 federal censuses—a peak period of US immigration where millions of immigrants settled in the northeastern states to create their new homes and pursue their hopes and dreams in America. New Jersey took state censuses every 10 years from 1855 to 1915 to allocate the number of state legislators. The 1915 New Jersey State Census includes the names of each member of the household, location, gender, birth date (month and year) and birthplace. These state censuses can help researchers discover additional family members, migration patterns, and other important information.

The 1915 New Jersey collection contains 2,785,000 records spread across 21 counties and 565 municipalities. It was taken roughly two years before the US entered World War I and contains information about thousands of residents shortly before they went to war. The population of New Jersey was growing rapidly during this time, so this new index includes over 600,000 additional records compared to the 1905 state census.

German Genealogy Group Adds New Databases

The busy volunteers at the German Genealogy Group have added several new databases to their website,  All the databases are freely accessible to the public.

Brooklyn Naval Hospital (1831–1984)

This database contains the complete transcription of the information in the hospital’s Death Register for the period. The register includes the person’s name, age, rank, date of death, where died, where buried, and miscellaneous remarks. The original register is held by the National Archives and Records Administration at New York City (NARA-NYC). Each record is a complete transcription. Go directly to the database with this link:

Civil War Veterans (Suffolk County)

This database is an index to records compiled by Robert Farrell. If a subject of interest is found in the database, researchers may contact Bob Farrell for additional information. Go directly to the database with this link:

Brookhaven Veterans (WWII and Korean War)

After World War II the Town of Brookhaven (Long Island) sent a form to veterans and their families that requested a variety of information about each veteran. These forms requested birth date and place, parents’ names, current address and the veteran’s service record. Some of the files include photos and/or newspaper clippings. The database contains an index of the returned forms.

The database also contains an index to veterans of the Korean War for which newspaper clippers are found in the Town Historian’s office.

Researchers are welcome to view original records by appointment with the Town Historian, Barbara M. Russell.Go directly to the database with this link:


This database was updated with 3,178 additional records. The index contains events published in the Amityville Record, e.g. notices of births, marriage, engagements, baptisms, deaths, major anniversaries (birthdays and marriages) and occasional divorce. It covers the years 1904 through 1968 (except, temporarily, 1958 and 1959). Go directly to the database with this link:

Filling the Gaps with PERSI, a Findmypast webinar on August 26


NYG&B members who have registered for their free Findmypast account are invited to enjoy a free monthly webinar and other benefits offered through the Findmypast First program.

On Wednesday, August 26, Findmypast family historian Jen Baldwin will present a live webinar at 1:00 pm EST (6:00 pm BST) on “Filling the Gaps with PERSI: The PERiodical Source Index.” The Periodical Source Index contains over 2.5 million entries from thousands of periodicals that focus on genealogy and history. PERSI is an outstanding tool for searching the content of the NYG&B Record and other periodicals on Findmypast. The webinar will include a Q and A.  Two hours following the live webinar, it will be available on demand at To register for the webinar, sign in to Findmypast and go to

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Upcoming Event: Jewish Genetic Genealogy, A Study in Endogamy

Join JewishGen and the Jewish Genealogical Society of NY on Tuesday, September 1st, at 5:30 p.m., for a special lecture by Israel Pickholtz on “Jewish Genetic Genealogy, A Study in Endogamy,” which is based on his recently published book Endogamy: One Family, One People and will discuss the intersection and connection between Jewish Genealogy and DNA. In addition to his lecture, Mr. Pickholz will be available to sell and sign copies of his book. (

This event is being co-sponsored by JewishGen and the Jewish Genealogical Society of NY, and is offered at no charge. It will take place at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, in lower Manhattan. (36 Battery Pl, New York, NY 10280 –

Space may be limited for this event; please RSVP by August 13th to Joy Kestenbaum at

Escaping Poland Before the Holocaust

“He never spoke about it,” my grandfather told me on a car ride home from Vassar College in October of 2013. He was talking about his father, Irving, and his escape from Poland just before the Holocaust. He, his brother and sister all escaped before the atrocity claimed the lives of their parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, who I had just learned were victims. Growing up, I learned about the Holocaust in Hebrew school and grade school history classes beginning at age eleven, yet this was the first time I had any knowledge that my family was directly affected by it. The topic only came up because I was taking a German history class at time and brought up what I was learning about in the very long, traffic-filled ride home that Fall. Learning that my family was directly affected by the Holocaust at age nineteen was troubling to me, because like many Jewish parents, mine had always told me to remember the Holocaust and make sure that my future children remember it too. I grew up with the Holocaust as a part of my culture. In my town on Long Island with a sizable population of Jews, the Holocaust was acknowledged and learned about in school. I had to wonder, why have I just found out about this familial connection to the tragedy? Did anyone else on my great grandfather’s side of the family know anything more? Who even comprises that side of the family? It was then that I realized just how little I actually knew about my family. This sparked an interest in my own genealogy—an interest that eventually lead me here—to the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society as summer intern. The goal for my individual research: simply to find more out about my great grandfather Irving’s side of the family. Maybe if I was lucky, I’d be able to find out exactly what happened to his family back in Poland, and if there are any living relatives I don’t know about. As previously mentioned, Irving was silent on the subject of his family back in Poland so my grandfather, his son, knows very little about it. I had a few details to go on, and began my search.

Most of my research thus far has been online, on,,, and even just plain old I have also been speaking to my grandfather a lot on the subject, pressing him for any detail he can muster up. In a few short weeks with a few short details, I have already found more information online than I expected. The internet is truly an incredible place. With the information my grandfather provided me, I was able to find death, marriage, and census records for my great grandfather and his two siblings: a brother, Jacob and sister, Rose. I continued building my family tree with the last set of names my grandfather could remember on that side, Abraham and Ruth, his aunt Rose’s kids. I realized—I hoped—they must have kids, and those kids might have kids that might be around my age. Suddenly I had living family members I’d never known existed. I had to find them. I did—and they live just under 30 minutes away from me.

The next part of my genealogical journey will focus on continuing to fill in the blanks on Irving’s side of the family. I am still working on finding a way to expand the tree above my great grandfather to find out more information about my relatives that lived in Poland. I feel so lucky to have the resources and guidance of the NYG&B in pursuing this individual project. They have fostered and encouraged my passion for genealogy and history in general. I can’t wait to continue this project during and after my time here.


Brielle Brook is a rising senior history major at Vassar College.