Monthly Archives: December 2014

Website Maintenance

elibrary (500x354)This Saturday, January 3, 2015, the eLibrary will be undergoing mandatory maintenance and updates, from approximately 12:01 am to 3:00 pm. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience that this may cause. These updates will not affect the main website or the online store. Worden’s Index, the Book of the Every-Other-Month, our County Guides, Research Aid Articles, our collection of recorded lectures and programs and all the rest of the content on the main website will be unaffected. This update will solely affect the eLibrary and its collections.

Essex County Records Online in the New Year

Essex County records will be made available online starting January 5, 2015. Some of the records held by the Essex County Clerk’s Office including mortgages, deeds, liens, court judgements, and lis pendens will be available through this new website.  Currently, the planned website will only include more recent documents, dating from 1973. The general public will be able to view many records for free, although there will be a fee for printing. The website is not yet available, though more information can be found on the Essex County Clerk’s website.

Weekend Website Maintenance

homepageDuring the weekend of December 20 and 21, 2014, the NYG&B website will be undergoing some mandatory security updates and maintenance. Users may experience some slowness or downtime during this period. We apologize for any inconvenience caused. This update will only affect the main website, and the online store and the eLibrary will remain functional during these updates.

More on the New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer

BOOKWe aren’t the only ones excited about the upcoming release of the New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer. Mocavo has featured our forthcoming publication on their blog. Visit to read more.

Genealogy in the News

A recent New York Times article describes the efforts of Colleen Spellecy, a retired teacher, to give names and dignity to numbered or entirely unmarked graves in the cemetery of a psychiatric hospital in upstate New York, through genealogical research. Only by using censuses and other unsealed records from the time period can people even be tracked to the institution, as the institution’s records are sealed by law for patient anonymity. After determining an individual likely died while institutionalized, then comes the task of tracking descendants, to obtain permission to unseal the records and publish the name. More on this project can be read in the article, here.

Crossing Borders and Bridging Generations at the Brooklyn Historical Society

The Brooklyn Historical Society’s “Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations” project has launched its website. The project should be completed in mid-January. The project brings together the oral histories of many people of mixed heritage from the various neighborhoods of Brooklyn, and explores ideas of race, ethnicity, religion, family and heritage. The website contains a growing collection of photographs, audio clips, transcripts and scholarly articles. A New York Times article which recently covered the project can be read here.

Pre-Orders for the New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer


The NYG&B is pleased to announce that it will now be taking pre-orders for the long-awaited New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer.  The New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer is the first book of its kind. More than 100 experts have reviewed and contributed to its content about local and regional resources and key topics in New York family history. The result is a book of more than 800 pages with:

  • Chapters on major record groups and research resources
  • Information on major ethnic and religious groups that have lived in New York
  • Gazetteers, maps, and research guides to each of New York’s  62 counties
  • A timeline of key events in New York history 1609–1945 that impact genealogical research
  • An index of place names past and present

You can pre-order your own copy online via our online store, by calling (212) 755-8532, or by mailing your completed order form with a check to the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. Retail price $85. Those who pre-order before January 21, 2015 are eligible for a special pre-publication pricing of $60 for NYG&B members and $75 for non-members. Gift purchases will be announced in a card to the gift recipient.

Our work has been appreciated by the many experts who have read the New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer:

“Three years of intensive work culminate in this volume, which serves as a comprehensive guide to the resources available to research the histories of families with New York roots. The Guide is a unique resource which not only supports those interested in New York State, but also provides a model for other states—a true gift to those interested in family history.”
David S. FerrieroArchivist of the United States

“For centuries, New York has been the New World’s gateway, the first address of families searching for better lives for themselves and their descendants. Now, thanks to the astonishing efforts of the NYG&B, those descendants have a single port of entry for researching the past. This volume is certain to become the standard for the nation and an indispensable resource for anyone hoping to retrace ancestral journeys in—and beyond—the Empire State.”
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University

“The unrivaled achievement of this volume is its authoritative and accessible coverage of the vast, complex, and challenging domain of genealogical research. The NYG&B – long recognized as a champion of family history — has provided an indispensable, must-have resource for libraries, historical societies, and their many users.”
Ann ThorntonAndrew W. Mellon Director, The New York Public Library