Early in the twentieth century, NYG&B members were asked to complete a four-page, ledger-sized questionnaire regarding the member’s life and family. The stated purpose for the requested information was “the preparation of the Biographical Sketches of Members of the Society.”
Members were asked to provide “full and specific” replies and to use extra pages to complete the information when necessary. This member requirement was relatively short-lived, from the 1890s until the 1940s. However, those 545 NYG&B members who dutifully filled out and sent back the forms, often accompanied by family trees, press clippings and other ephemera, gave the Society a wonderful resource regarding their personal family histories.
Many of the questionnaires were completed by hand, and are unable to be machine read. However, NYG&B members have access to an index completed by some of our wonderful member volunteers. It is by far the best way to search for names in the biographies, especially handwritten names.
If you use the search options available at Findmypast, a FULL TEXT SEARCH will yield the best search results. Even for names, a FULL TEXT SEARCH should be utilized, as a “name” search may not find names which are broken up between one line of text and the next, or one page and the next. However, be warned that the search features will not work with handwritten information, which is the majority of the collection.