Archive for the ‘NY Research Sites’ Category

New York State is Now in New England

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is in Boston and was founded in 1845.

That makes it the oldest and most respected non-profit genealogical society in the U.S. If you have been a member of NEHGS you know that they also have a great amount of material on New York State in their holdings.

The NEHGS has been publishing many free articles on their main website, which will no doubt give you some excellent reasons to become a member and to have full use of all of the online databases that they have to offer. Short of a trip to Boston, which you should schedule as soon as possible, the website is a great starting point and will lead you to databases that you never knew existed.

Well NEHGS has long had very nice collections of New York State materials also. What you say? New York is not part of New England.

Maybe so but the New Englanders followed the setting sun and guess where they arrived at first? Sure many went on to the upper mid-western states, but many stayed in New York. There was also quite a bit of interaction between the families that lived in the western counties of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont, with the eastern counties of New York State.

So it is a natural thing to gather documents and manuscripts of New England areas that also included quite a lot of information on New York. One way to make this fact known to a larger audience was to create a new website named and to bring information to people that might be helpful in researching their Yorker ancestors.

Yours truly was very excited a few months ago when one of the editors of the NEHGS website contacted me and asked if I would be interested in writing a monthly article for Well, yeah! My what an honor to even be considered. Now I’m no Michael Phelps but I sure am proud to be included with the excellent authors on this fact filled website. My first article appeared this week and it is titled; “Getting to Know the Lay of the Land Using New York State Gazetteers.”

So please visit and check out some of the great free information available. There are articles on a Case Study of Thomas Herring, Settlers of the Beekman Patent, The Erie Canal, Welsh Immigrants, NYS Census Records, NYS Vital Records, and many many databases that you will want to spend some time in.

While you are at it, check out all five of the NEHGS websites;,,, and

Your membership in NEHGS will allow you full access to all of the best websites and data that Boston has to offer.

Please tell us of any of your successes and leave comments below this post.

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American Archives, the Manuscript and Book Collection of Peter Force, (1790-1868.)


Peter Force was a 19th-century politician, newspaper editor, archivist, and historian.

Born near the Passaic Falls in New Jersey, to William and Sarah (Ferguson) Force.

His greatest achievement came as a collector and editor of historical documents. He published Tracts and Other Papers, Relating Principally to the Origin, Settlement, and Progress of the Colonies in North America.

His American Archives was a collection of the most important documents of the American Revolution, 1774–1776. 9 volumes were published between 1837 and 1853. Force’s lifelong desire to establish an American national library finally came to fruition in 1867 when Congress purchased his own collection of original documents for $100,000 to found the Library of Congress.

Force died January 23, 1868 at the age of 77. His son, Manning Force, was an officer during the American Civil War.

(source – wikipedia – Peter Force)


To the readers of the Upstate New York Genealogy Blog;

I have a personal story abut this collection that goes back many years in my own genealogy research. My mother’s direct line 4th great grandparents were Seth Chase and Sarah (MILK) CHASE, of Little White Creek (Cambridge District, Albany County, New York.)

Seth CHASE was a Loyalist, a Quaker, and a Tavern Keeper in Little White Creek. His home/tavern was immediately the first farm north of the Battle of Bennington battlefield in the town of Hoosick, Rensselaer County. His house still exists and I have been all through it through the courtesy of the present owners. It is located on Cobble Hill Road south of the hamlet of White Creek adjacent to the town of Hoosick border.

About 25 or so years ago I was at the library in Cornell University and I came across a transcription description of Seth’s arrest in 1776 by the Americans, and being excited did not cite the exact reference. All I remembered when I went back later was that it was in a large book which was part of a multi-volume set. See boys and girls, cite your sources!

Well it turns out that Cornell has since put their set of this collection of transcribed manuscript records in their Kroch Rare Books and Manuscripts Department. Earlier today I was in discussion with another researcher friend, Deanna Smith, and I was reminded of this collection so set about locating it in today’s wonderful digital world.

Found it! Thanks to I found the title “American Archives” by Peter Force, and then wonder of wonders, the whole collection is digitized and online at the University of Northern Illinois.

What follows is just a snippet from the manuscript testimony of the two men that gave evidence against Seth CHASE:

The Deposition of Captain Isaac Peabody, of lawful age, being duly sworn, saith: That on Sunday morning, the 13th instant, he returned to the house of Seth Chase, in Little White Creek. I asked Mr. Chase if he had seen any of our Kinderhook friends the night past. He answered, no. I told him I wanted to see Mr. Hughs, the man we discoursed with last night in the road. He then told me Mr. Hough told him the discourse he had with us, and that Mr. Hough knew no more of the plan than what he had communicated to him. I asked him if he had for certain that Burgoyne with his Army was coming round the lakes? ….

The page further saith, that the people of Arlington had made such preparations for their march, that they could not forego it without being discovered; therefore, would march to-night. Mr. Chase then said, the people of White Creek are secure, they would not march till further order from Colonel Man. He likewise said, that Colonel Man had twelve fat oxen for the purpose of victualling the friends of Government on their march to join the King’s Army. And others had several more cattle for the same purpose. I then asked him to direct me to a plan whereby our Kinderhook friends could get safe to the King’s Army.

He then told me that Colonel Man had given countersigns at two places, and if these countersigns could be conveyed to your friends, they can pass safe, and get all intelligence necessary. He then spoke to his wife to bring him a paper, on which she immediately came to us and takes a paper out of her bosom and gave it to her husband, and he handed it to me, saying, Now I give you my life. I took the paper and read it to be this: “At Landlord Northrop’s the countersign is Tryon; and at Jacob Lansing’s Ferry, the countersign is Burgoyne.” I told him for fear I should make a mistake in these countersigns, I would write them down. Then wrote them down. He then said that upon giving these countersigns out at these two places, we could be secreted, have provisions, or be helped on our way, or any thing we desired to forward.

He further said, that Simon Covill was a good friend to Government, and that I might not be afraid of him; he further said, that his house was a place where Colonel Man’s page came for entertainment, and to bring news to the friends to Government.
Bennington, October 14, 1776.


Seth was arrested and put in jail for 14 days in Albany, then with many other prisoners was marched to Exeter, New Hampshire, to be banished to stay within the gaol limits of the town of Exeter for one year. At the end of the year he was allowed to return to his home and he also was allowed to keep his property.

As I said, I have been in that house where this event happened and I have this image burned in my mind of my fifth great grandmother pulling the secret password code out of her bosom.

Damn, I love history!

I encourage you all to search through these marvelous original documents that are online. There is just a world of exciting finds to be made!

American Archives – Peter Force

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Here are the websites that were recommended in July

One month ago today, this UNYG Blog posted an article inviting readers to send recommendations of their favorite links to websites or Blogs that have information on Upstate New York Genealogy.

Here are the links that were submitted for July.
All have been checked and are good suggestions.

Fulton History dot com:

Apple (Charlotte) of Apple’s Tree:

Colleen of Orations of OMcHodoy:

Thomas of Destination Austin Family:

Cyndis List:


Doris Wheeler’s Family:

NYS Newspaper Project:

Jefferson County, NY, Pioneer Portraits Project:

Schmid and Madr family history site:

100th Annual Reunion of descendants of Job PRINCE (1750-1827) and Rhoda KIBBE PRINCE (1770-1831):

New York Traveler:

Montgomery County Department of History and Archives at Fonda, New York.

history of New York State Diners.

Joyce Tice’s Tri-Counties and History web site:

Town of Hornby in Steuben County:

Rochester and a tiny bit in the Chesterfield, NY:

Mt. Hope & Riverside Cemetery Records:

Rochester City Directories:

Rochester Historic Marriage Records:

Gen Web of Monroe County:

Thanks to all who shared these with us. You know the old story about not being able to see the forest for the trees, right? Well this is a way that you can inform researchers of sites that they might not locate on their own.

Keep them coming folks. Just add your favorite NYS site to the comments just below this posting.

Tomorrow I will write a review of one of the July submissions.

You may read the previous post on this subject for the 07/08/08 article, here:

Then one more thing, our friend over at Dear Myrtle has just returned from a genealogical cruise that she will tell you all about on her recent podcast.

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NEHGS – Now also Publishing at

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS,) the oldest such organization in the United States was formed in 1845, and they have been concentrating immensely on New York State research lately, as well as the old standard New England States.

The NEHGS, also fondly referred to as the HistGen, has always offered information on their neighbor New York, now you will want to take a look at the website and publications that are being published online by the NEHGS at:

With all of the grumbling that has been taking place lately about the possible demise of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B,) or at least the loss of the library as it was, might want to visit this NEHGS sponsored website.

Some of the excellent articles that are online and freely available to all visitors are; Settlers of the Beekman Patent, The Erie Canal, New York State Census Records, New York State Vital Records, The Vosburgh Collection of Congregational Church Records, Earliest Records of Western New York, Early Palatine Families of New York, and New York State Cemeteries. That is just a taste, there are many more online!

There are also a great many public access databases available at:

The NEHGS is offering a 15% discount until June 30th for any new members that join from this website. If you are not yet a member, you should be.

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Everton’s Genealogical Helper to Offer Digital Online Version of the Helper

A major news announcement was sent to Upstate New York Genealogy Blog by our friend, Leland Meitzler, editor of the 64 year old publication, Everton’s Genealogical Helper.

Everton’s Genealogical Helper Adds New Online Edition!

New Online Edition of Everton’s Genealogical Helper will debut July 1! Subscribe today for only $10.00!

LOGAN, Utah, June 12, 2008. Genealogy Online, Inc., publisher of Everton’s Genealogical Helper, today, announced the publication of the Genealogical Helper in an Online Edition. The Online Edition is an identical copy of the 176-page paper edition – complete with hotlinks to the hundreds of website addresses found therein.

Launch Date
– The new Online Edition will launch on July 1 – simultaneous with the home delivery and newsstand date of the paper edition of the July-August issue.

Free Access
– Subscribers to the traditional Genealogical Helper will have 100% FREE online access to the magazine – with no extra fees whatsoever. See for sign-up information.

Online Edition subscriptions
Everton’s Genealogical Helper, Online Edition, will sell for just $12.00 per year! That is only $2 per issue! And it’s only $10.00 for subscriptions made before July 1 at or phone 1-800-443-6325.

Net Family History
– An important feature of Everton’s Genealogical Helper is the magazine within a magazine entitled Net Family History. New information specific to using the Internet for genealogy is always found in this portion of the bimonthly publication. Extensive website reviews are always located here, as well as articles dealing with Internet-related activities.

Why an online edition?
– Every issue of Everton’s Genealogical Helper now contains hundreds of website addresses. The Internet is where some of the most exciting genealogical resource advances are taking place, so it’s required that information about these resources be disseminated to the Helper’s thousands of readers in every issue. Everton’s Genealogical Helper, Online Edition, will allow readers to go from their paper edition to the hotlinked Online Edition and access any of the websites with just a keystroke or two – no more typing in those lengthy website addresses! The Online Edition offers more than just the links found in the magazine – it is the entire magazine itself!

Format & hosting
Everton’s Genealogical Helper, Online Edition, will be in pdf format, readable by anyone, with any computer running an Adobe Acrobat Reader (Available at as a FREE download.) The Online Edition will be hosted by, Inc.

Why subscribe to the Genealogical Helper?
– Subscribe to have access to the Helper’s how-to & historical articles, Net Family History (see above), genealogical sharing, extensive book and CD-ROM reviews & announcements, queries, the most complete event calendar available anywhere, and hundreds of ads detailing new products and services. In addition to these day-to-day features, you will also have access to the NEW updated, hotlinked Directory of Genealogical and Historical Societies – to be published in the Sept/Oct and Nov-Dec issues! Edited by Leland K. Meitzler, the Helper is guaranteed to help you extend your lines and fill in those blanks in your family tree.

– Your cost for a full subscription (the paper magazine & online access both) is less than 3 cents per page – delivered to your home, and now accessible online. Subscribe to the Online Edition alone for just over a penny a page! Subscribe by July 1 and it’s less than a penny per page!

Subscribe NOW at: or phone 1-800-443-6325.

About Genealogy Online, Inc.

Genealogy Online, dba Everton Publishers, is the publisher of Everton’s Genealogical Helper, now in its 62nd year of helping genealogists find their ancestors. Genealogy Online, Inc. also publishes the Handybook for Genealogists, 11th edition, a top-selling guidebook for family historians. Their website is found at: Also see:


The many years of data that has been published in the Genealogical Helper has helped so many researchers through the years to locate and piece together their family trees that is certain that this publication deserves major kudos for all of their hard work and assistance.

The ownership of this company continues to amaze and delight genealogists everywhere. With this news release we suspect that this just might revolutionize the publishing industry. By creating this new digital version of their subscription program they are showing their leadership in this field.

Look at the price! I’ll just bet that we will all benefit tremendously by having instant information at our fingertips, all easily searched and categorized. It is an excellent offer, and I personally urge all of our readers to take advantage of this premier offering. I know I will.

Some of our other popular Blog posts:
New York State Vital Records -
Revolutionary War Patriot or Loyalist -
Palatine DNA Project -
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Searchme A New Way to Search. Returns Visual Display of Webpages

is a very nice new Search Engine.

Searchme dot com is simple and easy to use, and displays scrolling images of webpages for search term. This is all FREE and there is a way to add Searchme to your Firefox browser search box, and from their about page, there is a way to enter your favorite website to be spidered, in case you did not find it yet.

It is very nice to see comparisons of similar websites. The images scroll sideways similar to the way that the footnote browser does it.

Searchme is still in Beta and not all websites are in their database yet, but it is growing all the time. My prediction is that this is going to become mega popular!

Let us know what you think about Searchme, or footnote too, by leaving a comment at the end of this Blog post.

Thanks to website for this information.


ps: Tim Agazio at Genealogy Reviews Online also picked this story up and published it on his fine Blog. Check it out.

Some of our other popular Blog posts:
New York State Vital Records -
Revolutionary War Patriot or Loyalist -
Palatine DNA Project -
Visit our main website at

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Finding ancestors – With a Little Help From Your Friends

Genealogy websites are growing leaps and bounds every minute! Upstate New York Genealogy Blog will be telling you about some excellent resources from time to time and we encourage our readers to check these sites out. – Randy Seaver writes an enormously popular Blog on just about everything genealogy related. – Daily Blog of What’s New in Genealogy. – Diane Haddad writes a very informative Blog associated with items of interest that come to Family Tree Magazine. – Genealogy Forum provides chat rooms and a wondrous quantity of excellent genealogy links. - This website is for “Finding the Best Sites on the Web.” This tool is not just for genealogy but all categories.

Share the wealth, spread the word, find those ancestors!

Here are some of our most popular previous Blog messages:
New York State Vital Records -
Revolutionary War Patriot or Loyalist -
Palatine DNA Project -
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Billions of People in Over 100 Databases On-line for only $50 per year!

On-line Access to over 100 Important Databases. Cost: $50.00 per year. (Fifty Bucks!) Curious? Want to know more? Read on. This is no joke!

I did not count these exactly, but there must be over 100 databases, many of which will be very valuable to genealogists. These databases are searcheable and viewable on-line, and there is even an over all Master Search by Subject utility that will search all of the databases at once. You may also Browse by Title.

I’m guessing that these combined databases must contain billions and billions of names of people. Carl Sagan like, but I do not think I am exaggerating too much.

This following list is only a SAMPLE of the listings available.

19th Century Masterfile - Nineteenth century (1802 to 1906) newspapers.

Academic Search Complete – A full text database, with over 5,500 full-text periodicals, including over 4,000 peer-reviewed journals.

Accessible Archives – Online databases of primary source material from 18th & 19th centuries, including coverage of the Colonial Period, The French & Indian War, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, African-American History, and the Industrial Revolution.

African American Experience – African American history and culture is broken into topics such as history, biography, literature, arts, culture, business, civil rights, politics, sports, education, science, and more.

African American Newspapers: The 19th Century – The database consists of six newspapers: The Freedom’s Journal, The Colored American, The North Star, Frederick Douglass Paper, The National Era, Provincial Freeman, and The Christian Recorder. Dates covered are 1827-1902.

America: History and Life – Historical coverage of the U.S. and Canada from prehistory to the present from over 2,000 journals from 1964 on. Includes fulltext linking to matching Oxford University Press and Project Muse journals.

America’s Newspapers: New York – Full text coverage of a wide range of New York State newspapers from Albany, Batavia, Binghamton, Buffalo, Elmira, Ithaca, Lewisboro, Long Island, New York City, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Saratoga, Suffolk county, Syracuse, Troy, Utica, Watertown, and Westchester county.

Biography and Genealogy Master Index - Citations for over 12 million entries for current and historical persons.

(That is only a PARTIAL LISTING, starting in the A’s and B’s. Just a smidgen!)

Here are a few more FABULOUS collections!

HeritageQuest Online – Contains the Periodical Source Index (PERSI), full text of the Pension and Bounty-Land-Warrant Legislation and Administration Relating to Participation in the Revolutionary War, full text of Registers of signatures of despositors in branches of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company 1865 – 1874, full text of ProQuest’s Genealogy and Local History Collection of 25,000+ family and local history books and the full text of the 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1860 -1880 and 1900-1920 census for the entire United States.

JSTOR – Arts and Sciences Collection - The Arts and Sciences collections I, II, III, and IV contain more than 240 titles in over forty disciplines.

Sanborn Maps - Digital Sanborn Maps, 1867-1970 provides access to large-scale maps (50 feet to an inch) of towns and cities in New York.

Yikes! Sanborn Maps of New York! Do you people have any idea how important this collection is?

The above listing is only a teeny, tiny part of the list of all that are available for your fifty dollar investment.

All of these fine databases, and many more are available to anyone that has a New York State Library Card with the letter “P” designation. How do you get one?

Join the “Friends of the New York State Library.” In addition to the deep satisfaction of preserving a world renowned public research library, you can obtain special discounts at local book stores.

For all you Genealogaholics, the category that you will want is either the Contributing Membership at $50.00 per year, or you can be real supportive and sign up for the Excelsior Membership for $100.00 or more.

How do you join?
Go to the Friends website at:

To see the full list of databases available with membership go to:

See you there!

Thanks to Cynthia Van Ness of the Buffalo Library and the Erie County rootsweb mail list for letting us know about this.

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Google Do’s or Don’ts?

Love ‘em or not, Google is in your life.

This company does offer some really cool things for free that Genealogists (and normal people also,) might want to take advantage of.

Google SEARCH, is no doubt the best known feature that this company offers. Just go to enter a word or phrase into the search box and WHAM there are your millions of answers, and remarkably intuitive ones, that seem weighted towards your original desires usually appear in the first few offerings. Seems possible that the reason they can offer up just what you were looking for is that they “might” have a computerized history of you in their globe covering web, doesn’t it?

Google also offers many other services and features. You will likely be required to obtain a Google Account, but it’s easy and free.

Here are some of the features Google offers now:

We love Blogger. Blogger has changed my life, that’s for sure. This is where you are reading this little morsel of news and information. Google designed Blogger to be easy to use by anyone, anywhere, anytime, and it has pre-made templates that you select from, and start typing. You will tweak it from time to time and add features in the margins that are specific to your message and it in essence can become your own website. C’mon, it’s easy, try it. “The first time is free.” Where have I heard that before?

Gmail is a web based email service. You do not need a special program on your computer to read your email. You can access it from any computer that has an Internet connection. In the early days you needed an invitation to join Gmail. I remember people selling invitations on eBay! I don’t think you need an invitation any more to get a Gmail or a Google Account, but if any one does want an invite I have some left to give away. You should know that computers do read every single part of every email that you write, or that you read. I suspect this happens with every type of email service, but know it to be an absolute fact with Gmail, because every single message has word appropriate advertisements in the margins as you are reading. Orwellian?

Google Books.
I have been extolling this fantastic service for some time now. I use it all the time and find preciously published works on every single subject, person’s names, biographies, local histories, on every research project I ever start now. Many of these books can be viewed in total and even downloaded to your own computer to have forever. Read some of our previous mentions HERE, and HERE:

Google Calendar.
I’m using it now, but still in a hesitant manner. I’m not sure how much of it can be kept private, so I’m still experimenting. The concept seems great. Enter all of your meetings, engagements, birth dates of family and friends so you can get advanced warning to send them a dozen roses, make everything public so that people who want to engage your services will know when you plan on being in their area. No, I think not. I’m still not a fan of this service.

Google Desktop.
I have tried this and at first was wow’ed, but took it off because it seemed to take too much away from my control. The best feature of Google Desktop is that it does index each and every single byte and bit on your own computer and you can instantly find anything that is on your own hard drive with a simple Google search box, just like searching the web, but searching only your own computer.

Google Docs and Spreadsheets.
You will not need any type of word processor or spreadsheet program on your own computer. The software is out there on the Google cloud and all you have to do is key in your data and it is saved for you, somewhere! I have not used this, but can think of some cases where it might be handy, particularly if you are traveling a lot and do not have access to all of your files on your main computer.

Google Earth, Google Maps, and now Google Street View.
These work in combination with; Topographical Maps, Aerial Photography, Satellite Imagery and now even local street level photographs taken from roaming Google vehicles in certain cities and communities. The satellite imagery is out of date by design. Apparently it is at least a couple of years old and in some cases older. I also suspect that Google DOES have instantaneous “LIVE” satellite imagery in their own offices, because during the recent news stories about Steve Fossett being missing somewhere in Nevada, that investigators and searchers were offered the use of Google’s satellite views at the Google offices. We have discussed some of these features previously and you may read them HERE:

Google News.
Get the Hottest News, right up to the minute from news sources all over the world. Do I need to say more?

Google Page Creator.
Don’t know anything about it, (I know that’s a shock!) It is supposed to be a way to create html web pages in the cloud. You tell us about this.

Google Reader.
Ever since I became addicted to the crack like Blogging world, I have found Google Reader to be a feature I would never want to be without. When you are on a Blog that you like to read regularly, then all you have to do is subscribe to that Blog with Google Reader using the RSS (Really simple syndication,) or Atom feed button. Then every time that person makes a new posting it shows up in your Reader box. You can also have Blogs emailed to you but Reader is handier, IMHO.

Google Talk.
Instant messaging. Sitting right there in your sidebar is a little box with all your friends and family, you can tell when they are online, and you can instantly interrupt them at will. I never use ANY type of instant message utility, and totally refuse to EVER respond to one. But that’s just me…

This is a photo management service that takes place out on the cloud. When you load the Picasa software on your computer it first scans all of your hard drives and locates, and catalogs all of the images of any type that are on your computer, and puts them in a nice chronological order for you. If you are concerned about this invasion of privacy, you do have the ability to allow it to only index certain parts of your hard drive. I do use Picasa and have grown to like it a lot. One nice feature is that if you select an image of any type or size that you want to send by email to someone else, then Picasa will automatically resize the image such that it will be able to be sent through the ether without choking servers everywhere and without exceeding your bandwidth allowances.

Google does offer other features and services most of which I am not familiar with, but we would love to hear from you readers if you want to tell us about them. There are sections for Finance, Groups, Labs, Orkut, Patents, Products (the old Froogle,) Scholar and Video. Did your ancestor ever receive a Patent?

To those of you that think that some of these features are too invasive, I’m sorry to say, but it is too late to start worrying. You have already been scanned. Everything you write and every website you visit, and everything you do on the Internet is being recorded somewhere.

Oh, and if you turnoff, unplug, stay in the house, don’t watch tv or listen to the radio, they can still get cha! You’re going to have to go outside and go to the store sometime. Now the birds have got you covered. Are you worried yet?

I’m not. Anybody want a Gmail invite?

Please give us your input. If you love Google or have a hate relationship, we want to know. There is a little “comments” tab right below this message.

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