Monthly Archives: April 2016

From Our eLibrary: Harlem Cemetery, Dutch Church Disinterments 1869-1875

FullSizeRenderHarlem Cemetery, Dutch Church Disinterments 1869-1875 (formerly titled Harlem DR Cemetery Disinterments)

Prompted by New York City’s northward growth, the Consistory of the Dutch Reformed Church of Harlem purchased a plot in Woodlawn Cemetery in 1869. The remains interred in its old cemetery in First Avenue between 124th and 125th Streets, and also those in the churchyard on Third Avenue and 121st Street, were removed to the plot in Woodlawn; the transfer was completed in 1875. A manuscript file containing documentation relevant to this process has been digitized and made available in our digital elibrary. Continue reading

NYG&B Sponsored Lectures at NGS 2016

On Thursday, May 5 in Fort Lauderdale at the National Genealogical Society’s Family History Conference, you have the opportunity to hear five new lectures by New York experts.  The NYG&B is sponsoring the New York Research track and will have a booth in the exhibit hall.  Come to the booth for your member ribbon.  We will have books for purchase and copies of the most recent New York Researcher. The lectures are . . . Continue reading

Searching for Records in Delaware County, NY

Delaware County is located in south-central New York and is part of the Catskill Mountain region. The county gets its name from the Delaware River, which constitutes its western border and separates the county from Pennsylvania. The east and west branch of the Delaware run through the center of the county. Delaware is bordered in the north by Otsego and Schoharie counties, in the east by Greene County, and the south by Ulster and Sullivan counties. Though one of the largest by area, Delaware is one of the less populated counties in New York, with a population of 47,980 (according to the 2010 census.) The county seat lies in central Delaware in the town of Delhi. Continue reading

Harriet Tubman, the New Face of the $20 Bill

Harriet Tubman, the new face of the $20 bill, was a longtime New Yorker.

Renowned for her role in the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman lived more than half her life in New York State. She purchased the property for her home at 182 South Street in Auburn, Cayuga County, in 1859 from Senator William Seward; she later acquired additional land and established a home for the aged and infirm at 180 South Street, where she died in 1913. Both properties have been designated National Historic Landmarks. Harriet Tubman is buried at Auburn’s Fort Hill Cemetery. The History Room of Auburn’s Seymour Public Library has a Harriet Tubman Collection that includes books, magazines, newspaper clippings, photographs and documents. A collection description is here, along with a bibliography of books and articles about Harriet Tubman.



Searching for Records in Genesee County, NY

Genesee County is located in Western New York. The county is bordered by Orleans County in the North, Monroe and Livingston Counties in the East, Wyoming County in the South, and Niagara and Erie Counties in the West. The county derives its name from a Seneca Indian word meaning “the Beautiful Valley,” an apt description of the county’s splendor. The southern portion of the county includes a range of hills, which transform into low waves as one heads north. As of the 2010 U.S. federal census, the county had a population of 60,079, and encompasses 500 square miles of land. The county seat is Batavia.

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WDYTYA: Katey Sagal Recap

Did you see Sunday’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? with Katey Sagal?  Did you catch Katey’s visit to the NYG&B (see min 12:40)!?


We’re proud that shows like WDYTYA and Finding Your Roots have used our offices in the past for interviewing guests.  We love these shows, and not just because they’re so entertaining (I definitely teared up a few times with Katey in this one), but because they offer some great leads to local resources.

My favorite line of this episode came from Dr. Philip Otterness, who made creating Katey’s family tree seem so easy, “Using some early censuses, some wills, some land deeds, and other family records, we were able to put together a family tree for you.” Anyone researching their family history knows it isn’t as simple as TV can make it seem—there was likely hours of researching in the trenches to make that sentence happen, with a lot of help and guidance from local historical and genealogical societies.  Continue reading

From Our eLibrary: New York State, Work Projects Administration, Archive Inventories & Abstracts

Under the auspices of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the Great 12950286_1748545295173322_270257410_nDepression, the Historical Records Survey was organized in 1935 to document resources for research in U.S. history.  Their workers combed municipal and religious archives, historical societies, and public and university libraries for vital records and created comprehensive inventories.

These inventories, many of which were published in book form, have had a profound impact on genealogists but are not widely available today. The NYG&B has digitized several books in the WPA’s Public Archives Inventory, Church Archives Inventory, and Guide to Vital Statistics series for New York City. Continue reading