The area that is now Rensselaer County was originally home to Mohican Indians. In 1610, Dutch vessels plied the waters of what would become known as the Hudson River and surveyed the area; thirteen years later, a group of eighteen Walloon families became its first European settlers. Killian Van Rensselaer, a Dutch merchant who dealt in jewelry and diamonds, obtained a patent for the land in 1629, establishing the patroonship of Rensselaerwyck, along with a system of tenant farms administered by patrons that would endure into the 19th century. The land held by Rensselaer constituted one portion of the territory in the American Northeast controlled by the Dutch West India Company. By the time of the American Revolution, it had passed into British hands. The county of Rensselaer itself did not come into existence until 1791, when it was split from Albany County. Continue reading
Our friends at the Troy Irish Genealogy Society have recently added two new digital databases to their already impressive collection.
The first is an index to 6,177 marriage notices covering 12,354 names published in five different Troy, New York newspapers 1797–1860, originally created by the Troy Public Library staff (1938–1939).
Since these records pre-date the 1880 law requiring all marriages to be recorded, they are very valuable – finding evidence of these marriages elsewhere may be difficult or impossible.
Frequently, both FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com add new collections or update existing collections to their databases. Since our last update on this topic, there have been many new, relevant additions to both sites to help you with your New York research and beyond.
Collections of possible interest on FamilySearch.org that have been recently added or updated:
- Connecticut Marriages, 1640-1939
- New York, Church and Civil Marriages, 1704-1995
- New York Marriages, 1686-1980
- Find A Grave Index
- BillionGraves Index
- United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014
- United States, Freedmen’s Bureau, Freedmen’s Court Records, 1865-1872
New and updated collections of possible interest on Ancestry.com:
- Connecticut, Federal Naturalization Records, 1790-1996 (NEW)
- New York State, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1917-1965 (Updated)
- New York, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1929 (Updated)
- 1910 United States Federal Census (Updated)
- Biographies of Notable Americans, 1904 (Updated)
- U.S., Homestead Records, 1861-1936 (Updated)
- U.S., Selected Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880 (Updated)
- U.S., Select Crew Lists and Manifests, 1903-1962 (Updated)
- U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2012 (Updated)
- Revolutionary War Courts-Martial, 1775-1783 (Updated)
- Web: U.S., Marine Corps Casualty Indexes, 1940-1958 (NEW)
Schuyler County, originally settled by Native Americans dating as far back as 2500 BC, and inhabited by the Seneca at the time of European arrival, was permanently settled by Europeans by 1788. The county was officially formed on April 17, 1854, from parts of Chemung, Steuben, and Tompkins counties, and its county seat is the village of Watkins Glen. Schuyler County was named for Peter Schuyler, a major Continental Army General in the Revolutionary War. The majority of the land in Schuyler County was bought by Revolutionary War veterans, under both the New Military Tract and Watkins & Flint Purchase, to be used for harvesting grains. In the late 19th century to mid-20th century, it was also used for sheep, fruit and dairy farming, attracting immigrant populations which included Italians, Germans, and Irish. Continue reading
Originally used as a hunting ground by the Mohawk Nation, Fulton County was purchased from the Mohawk and settled by American colonists. Major land transactions include the Kayaderosseras Patent of 1708, the Sacandaga Patent of 1741, and the Kingsborough Patent of 1753. The area that is now Fulton County was originally part of Albany County until 1772, when it became part of Tryon County (later renamed Montgomery County in 1784, following the Revolutionary War). Fulton County broke off from Montgomery County on April 18, 1838, making it one of the youngest counties in New York. Fulton is named after Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamship, and its county seat is the city of Johnstown. Interestingly, Fulton County was known for its leather glove manufacturing, which was a major economic sector and brought workers to its factories. Today, Fulton boasts a number of beautiful natural sites, and contains part of the Adirondack Park. Continue reading
Frequently, both FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com add new collections or update existing collections to their databases. Since our last update on this topic, there have been many new, relevant additions to both sites to help you with your New York research and beyond. Continue reading
Partitioned from Albany and Ulster Counties in 1800, Greene County lies in eastern New York and is located approximately 120 miles north of New York City. The county is bordered by Albany, Rensselaer, and Schoharie Counties to the north, Ulster to the south, Delaware County to the west and Columbia County to the east. The county seat is the Village of Catskill and the county is geographically divided into 14 towns, and 5 villages. The County’s population is 49,221, according to the 2010 U.S. census. Much of the county is mountainous and includes Catskill Park, which has some of the highest peaks in New York south of the Adirondacks, but also contains low lying flat lands in the northeast. Continue reading