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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 Standing, a 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.
“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.”
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.