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#GivingTuesday: Help Support New York Genealogy

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

On this Giving Tuesday, we ask you to consider choosing the NYG&B for your charitable donations.

Click here to donate

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Slideshow: Knickerbocker DAR Chapter and NYG&B Joint Luncheon

Earlier this month, the Knickerbocker Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution co-hosted a special luncheon with the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. The event took place at Sarabeth’s Park Avenue South.

Thelma Adams – author of the recently published Last Woman Standinga historical novel written from the perspective of Josephine Earp, a New York Jew who moved out west and married famed lawman Wyatt Earp – was the featured speaker at the event.

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“TOMORROW IS RAGAMUFFIN DAY”

“New York children will appear in fantastic garb. Will beg on the street. Pedestrians who do not give will be swatted with stockings full of flour and missiles of all kinds.”

So wrote the Logansport Reporter (including the bold headline) on November 25, 1908 – the day before Thanksgiving.

The article – understandably puzzling to the modern reader – is referring to an old New York City tradition that many have forgotten: Thanksgiving Masking, also known as “Ragamuffin Day.”

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The affidavit from the marriage license of Frank Mindlin and Ruth Goldberg of Brooklyn, June 1942, which includes their occupations and their parent’s names and birthplaces.

New York City Marriage Licenses 1930–1949 now open for research at the NYC Municipal Archives

The New York City Municipal Archives (31 Chambers Street, Room 103) has received the 1930–1949 marriage licenses from the New York City Clerk’s Marriage Bureau. As of today, these important materials are available to the public in the reference room.

Previously researchers were required to request these records from the Marriage Bureau on Worth Street.

The marriage license records can contain a wealth of information as described by Leslie Corn in her article, “City Clerk’s Marriage Licenses, New York City, 1908–1937: One of 20th Century Genealogy’s Best Primary Sources.” NYG&B Newsletter (now New York Researcher), Spring 1999. Members can view an updated version (2003) published as a Research Aid article on the NYG&B website.

Can’t visit the New York City Municipal Archives in person? The NYG&B’s Mini-Search service can help! Discover how to access these records through the NYG&B Mini-Search.

Looking to learn more about the records at the New York City Municipal Archives? Check out the NYG&B’s latest research guide series, New York City Municipal Archives: An Authorized Guide for Family Historians.

Happy Researching!

Unnatural Death in New York City: Coroner’s Reports & Proceedings

Evidence of an ancestor’s death can be located in numerous types of genealogical sources – newspaper obituaries, municipal or religious death records, tombstones and more. One overlooked source – which will be an absolute goldmine if your ancestor turns up here – are Coroner’s records.

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society holds several works in our eLibrary that capture years worth of mysterious, suspicious or otherwise unnatural deaths that were investigated by the Coroner’s Office.

For family historians, these records can solve (or create) family mysteries that will remain share-worthy stories for years. For general students of history, these documents help shed light on the dangers eighteenth and nineteenth century New Yorkers faced on a daily basis.

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From Brooklyn to the O.K. Corral: The Gripping Tale of Josephine Marcus Earp

Did you know that Wyatt Earp married a New Yorker?

Josephine Marcus is the heroine of her own Wild West tale, which is every bit as exciting as that of her husband. Born in Brooklyn to a Jewish immigrant family, she experienced the California Gold Rush, ran away from home at a young age, and became a major player in the historic Western city of Tombstone, Arizona.

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Digitizing Dutch Records at the New York State Archives

This blog post is based on an article by James D. Folts, PhD, FGBS and Monica Gray, entitled “Dutch Records at the New York State Archives and the Current Digitization Project” in the most recent issue of the New York Researcher. Members can read the full article online or in the Fall 2016 issue, which is in the mail. 

For much of its history, New York’s Dutch roots were glossed over by scholars, who focused instead on the English colonization of early America. However, beginning in the latter half of the 20th Century, scholarship on New Netherland began to increase substantially, thanks in large part to the Dutch records held in the New York State Archives.

Now, access to these remarkably complete and deep historical documents is set to increase, as expert scholarship and digital technology are coming together to put more of these Dutch records online in multiple formats.

Today, we take a look at exactly what these records contain; why they are so significant; and some tips to get the most out of them.

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