The New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center

A fine museum and research center concerning New York State residents who have served from the American Revolution through Iraq and Afghanistan.

The mission of the museum and research center is to preserve, interpret and disseminate the story, history and records of New York State’s military forces and veterans. The collection is divided into the museum and the library/archives holdings

From the website; The mission of the museum and research center is to preserve, interpret and disseminate the story, history and records of New York State’s military forces and veterans. The collection is divided into the museum and the library/archives holdings.

Begun in 1863, the collection has not had a secure, permanent home until the Governor announced in 2001 that the historic armory in Saratoga Springs, NY would be renovated to house the collection. The building, designed by Isaac Perry and constructed in 1889, is a fine example of armory architecture that was popular in upstate New York in the late 1800’s.

The museum houses over 10,000 artifacts dating from the Revolutionary War to Desert Storm that relate to New York State’s military forces, the state’s military history and the contributions of New York’s veterans.

The artifacts include uniforms, weapons, artillery pieces, and art. A significant portion of the museum’s collection is from the Civil War. Notable artifacts from this conflict include Colonel Elmer Ellsworth’s uniform, the medical kit of Jubal Early’s surgeon, and the uniform and bugle of Gustav Schurmann.

Included in the museum are significant holdings relating to New York’s 27th Division in World War I and World War II and notable state military regiments such as the 7th, 69th, 71st, and 369th New York Infantry.

The museum also owns the largest collection of state battle flags in the country and the largest collection of Civil War flags in the world. The flags date from the War of 1812 through the 1991 Gulf War.

The library and archive holdings in the Veterans Research Center include a 2000 volume library of military and New York State history, over 6,000 photographs, unit history files, broadsides, scrapbooks, letters and maps. Highlights of the library and archives material include over 2300 Civil War photographs, a collection of Civil War era newspaper clippings arranged by New York units, and New York National Guard service cards and service records dating from the 1880’s to 1965.

Museum Publications: Genealogy Resources in the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center; Veteran Oral History Program Self-Interview Packet; and the Library and Archives Guide.

The museum floor is completely accessible for people using wheelchairs. The research room is currently located in the basement which is only accessible via stairs.

There is no admission charge to visit the museum or use the research center.

Museum Hours:

Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Sunday: 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Research Center Hours:

Tuesday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Appointments are required.

If you have a research question you may mail it to:

New York State Military Museum
61 Lake Avenue
Saratoga Springs, NY, 12866

Note: the Museum is closed on Mondays and on all New York State Holidays.

Thanks to @juliasgenes for calling this to our attention on one of the genealogy message boards.  Seems a fitting day to tell it to the readers of Upstate New York Genealogy Blog. – Happy Memorial Day! We thank all veterans past and present for their service.

Check out their website and get directions to visit.

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Upstate New York Genealogy Blog Wins Top 100 Genealogy Sites Award

Many of you know about, one of the foremost aggregators of genealogy databases.  This free collection encourages you to join the fun and you may input as much of your own family information as you like.

There are over 579 million profiles of individuals, 14 million family trees and 86 million photos.  Data entry is as simple as filling out the online data form or you may submit your complete GEDCOM if preferred.

We were pleased to receive an unexpected email from in that they had selected this blog to be included in their list of Top 100 Genealogy sites.  It is an honor and we thank them for it.  You may visit their website by clicking on our award banner over on the right hand side.

This is what we were asked to submit after receiving the award.  Upstate New York Genealogy has been the passion of this researcher for about 40 years.  We share all of our knowledge with the public both on the main website at and the associated blog at  It is all free and we welcome your comments and ideas.

Eyewitness Report of NGS Conference in Salt Lake City

Our friend Gary Jones, an employee of the Onondaga County Public Library in Syracuse, NY has sent in some items of interest to our Upstate New York Genealogy blog.

“What a great conference and the Family History Library was unbelievable.   It will be a while for me to process what I learned but will definitely email you some tidbits.

I did attend the reception where the Senior VP of Product Development Eric Shoup and CEO Tim Sullivan announced a revamped search engine that will offer new and more precise search options for the advanced user while maintaining a simpler search option for the novice. will release a Mac version of Family Tree Maker before the end of the year. I saw a demo of the alpha version and really like it.  I’ll be beta testing the MAC version of FTM for them.  I switched to Mac 2 years ago and will never go back to a PC, so I am really excited about this.

And yes, they will have an iPad application to go with it! Later, Gary.”

Another item of interest in addition to our recent report about the 300 million new names to the LDS beta search engine they have added an unknown quantity of death notices and other historical records.  The largest quantity of extracted vital records that have been available previously has been of birth/christening and marriage records, so it is great to see that LDS is now also adding large quantities of death records.  I used it on a few names and came up with some awesome quality census images also.

You may search for this series at:

Read our previous post on this subject here:

Update on National Archives NARA Move in New York City

More information concerning the closing of the National Archive (NARA) Northeast Region New York Branch is received from correspondent, Roger D. Joslyn, FASG.

Those of you that have had the pleasure of using the excellent facility and holdings of the New York City branch on Varick Street will want to know about the changes being made.

It appears as though the downsizing will affect the collections as they move the facility over to the Customs House in lower Manhattan.

“I hope those of you who are interested in the future of the National Archives in New York City and access to its research materials will be able to attend one of two meetings this Tuesday at NARA-NYC, 201 Varick Street, 12th floor, Manhattan, at 10:30 AM or 5:30 PM (or come to both sessions!).

In addition to information about the new location in the Customs House, there will be discussion about which textual records, microforms, and books have been identified to go to the new facility, which will be sent to storage, and which will be offered to local libraries/repositories (the latter concerns only microforms and books).

This list of research materials is still in the “development” stage, so your interest in, concern for, and comments about the materials is important.

See you there!

Check out the previous letters from Roger regarding this matter.

Changes at National Archives Northeast Region, New York City

Update Relocation and Collection Downsizing of National Archives Northeast Region New York Branch

Update on the Update of the Update:

Roger added this correction on the meeting place for Tuesday

“Please note (thanks to Steve Siegel’s pointing this out), the two public meetings this coming Tuesday, 4 May, about the NARA move to the Customs House will be held, NOT at NARA, 201 Varick Street, but at the Naval Officers Room, 3d Floor, in the Customs House at One Bowling Green. Again, the times are 10:30 AM and 5:30 PM.”

Some Changes at Website and Blog

To many of our long time readers and also to our newest friends we want you to be aware of few things that you might find as being a little different on this website and blog.

We have been publishing totally free information about Upstate New York Genealogy on the internet since the 1980′s and will continue to do so.

Our main website at does not change much as it is structured in categories that remain relatively static but that do contain just an enormous amount of free data for you to use.

What you are reading here is published on the adjacent blog website at You can easily go back and forth between the two websites with the buttons at the top.

All of our content is copyrighted of course, as is anything that is published on the web, however we have never not allowed anyone to republish our data by merely asking for permission and giving proper credit. You must have written permission from this website to reuse any of the content for republishing in any format, digital, images or printed matter.

We invite all historical societies and genealogical societies in the Upstate New York area, to send us details on your events, or your press releases, or a review of your society or organization for possible publication on this blog.

To our readers that might have a great story about your research or if you have been successful by using any of the information provided on this website or blog, please send it in for possible inclusion and credit.

To other webmasters, please contact us when you link to this blog or website and we will return the favor in the most beneficial manner. Thanks in advance.

As the whole world is now in a Social Networking frenzy we have added a button to each post called “Tweetmeme” which will easily allow you to click on and send to Twitter that you enjoyed a particular post. Thanks for your help spreading the word.

From time to time you will see some advertising appear on this site. We will always try to keep it relative to the topic and of products that we believe will be helpful or of interest to our readers. When you make a purchase of a product from this website we will receive a small commission from the vendor. This will not cost you a penny more than if you were to have purchased it from say a magazine ad or any other medium. Thank you for your support.

We will never spam you or scam you. Please refer to our Privacy Policy.

To your success in finding those elusive ancestors that are hiding behind a brick wall.

Dick Hillenbrand

Troy Irish Genealogy Society TIGS, Not Just for the Irish

To readers of the Upstate New York Genealogy website and blog we want you to know about the Troy Irish Genealogy Society (TIGS).

This very active group was founded by some of the Irish descendants from Troy, New York and the surrounding area. If you have ancestors who lived in Troy or the immediate surrounding area at one point in time, you are cordially invited to join the Troy Irish Genealogy Society.  This Troy Irish group is dedicated to making available on-line searchable records of Irish ”AND” non-Irish names to genealogy researchers.

Now did you notice that great big word “AND”? These great volunteers index everything that they can find and not just your father’s Irish line.

Here is a list of just some of their projects that are available online:
Transcriptions Projects
Alderman/Assistants in Troy, NY Wards During the Period 1816 to 1891
Bank Officers in Troy, NY Banks
During The Period 1801 to 1891
Church Memorials & Family Names
Selected Death Cards from the Rensselaer County Courthouse
History of the Police Department of Troy, NY from 1786 to 1902
Death Records from a Newspaper Collection the files of the Burden Iron Company,Troy, NY
Deceased Troy, NY Area Individuals Identified in the 1902 -1903 Troy City Directory
Marriage Records from a Newspaper Collection at the Burden Iron Works in Troy, NY
Payroll Records from the Burden Iron Company, Troy, NY
Prominent Citizens of Troy & Rensselaer County, NY (Prior to 1925)
Rensselaer County Marriage Index
Representative Young Irish-Americans of Troy, NY, 1889, Names
St. Agnes Cemetery, Menands, NY – Interment Records
Troy Elks Club List of Exalted Leaders

The Rensselaer County online Marriage Record Index is golden. If you had ancestors in Rensselaer County you will absolutely find this website of great benefit, and while you are at it, help them out by becoming a member.

Click this link:

300 Million Names Added to LDS Online Search Database

The NGS conference is being held in Salt Lake City this week and FamilySearch President Jay Verkler said 300 million more names will be available online this week through the LDS Church’s family history service.

The church’s Worldwide Indexing project, created mostly by volunteers digitize images of microfilmed records from the Mormon collection of microfilm and transcribe the records so they can be indexed and searched easily online by people at home.

This addition of 300 million names adds to a few hundred million indexed names that are already accessible.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has plans to index all of the approximately 3.5 billion names stored on microfilm.  It will take about 10 years to index all of the records, a task previously projected to take more than a century to complete.

The new search site is in beta and may be searched from home now at:

The original search utility may be found at:

These new additions to the name index are primarily from the United States and Europe.  I tested a few from some of my known German areas and am finding many new opportunities for further research.

Personally, I like the search index very much, but find the gold is in the library catalog.  On any new project I always go to and click on “Library” and then click on the “Library Catalog” tab in the drop down menu, then go to either:
Place Search
Surname Search
Keyword Search
Film/Fiche Search
Author search
Subject Search, or
Call Number Search.

These choices will tell you what microfilms they have on your topic of choice and then you can order the original records on microfilm to be delivered to your own local Family History Center.

Thank you volunteers!

Fabius Historical Society to Meet

Monday May 3rd, 7:30pm at the Fabius Commuity Center

On Monday May 3 Linda Meyers will have a panel of women tell us what it has
been like to be the wife on a family farm in Central New York.

Harvey Skeele and his friends told us about the role of men on the farm, now you get to  hear the rest of the story.

We meet at 7 pm in the Fabius Community Center.  Everyone is invited.  The refreshments are great.  Come  and greet your friends.

They Are in the Census Just Keep Searching

You’ve heard it all before, can’t see the forest for the trees.  Well that is the situation in this example.

I have an ancestor, Abram HODGSON (1804-1877) who had lived in Fabius, then Lysander in Onondaga county, and finally very near by in Ira, Cayuga County, and is buried In the Ira Union Cemetery.

From his parent’s bible I had much about him, and even had been able to document through land records where he had sold land to his son Mahlon HODGSON and Mahlon HUDSON sold the land later which proved what we knew, that most of the kids changed the name to HUDSON.

I had found Abram on all the possible census excepting the 1840 census, and in my mind I always thought that I had at one time gone through the Ira 1840 census page by page on microfilm, but perhaps not.

Yesterday I was determined to locate him in 1840 and it was fairly easy by using advanced search and just searched on the spelling of the given name as “Abram” anywhere in New York State, and sure enough, found him.

Abram “HADGSON” in Ira, with the right number of other household members, just exactly where he should have been.  All these many years I had searched on HODGSON and HUDSON and given name as Abraham as a possibility, but was never able to find him in any printed census index, nor in any online census index.

So my point here is don’t ever give up.  Take a step back and look at alternate possibilities when you are not able to locate your ancestor on the census when you think you should.

In this case it was as simple as searching on given name only.  Another method is to record say five or ten families on each side of your family on the census that you are able to locate them on.  Then when you come to a year that you think they should be in a certain location but not found, then do a search for the neighbors from the adjacent census and see if you can locate them manually as being neighbors on your target census.

It only took me about 25 or 30 years to locate this 1840 listing when it should have been able to be found way back when.  Never give up.

Stickly Museum Open House Sunday April 25

Press release:

300 Orchard Street
Fayetteville, NY 13066

Do you have a relative who worked for Stickley?

Memories of growing up near the Stickley factories? On Sunday, April 25, at 3pm, The Stickley Museum invites you to bring your Stickley stories, photos, documents and furniture to our first Stickley History is Your History event – celebrating the common roots of Stickley and our community.

We will have historic employee records available to the public for the first time. Learn more about your family connections to Stickley. Admission is free. Call (315) 682-5500 or visit for more details.

Update:  I did attend the stickley open house and it is really a very nice museum.

The furniture is without equal in my humble opinion and the interesting thing is that the musuem archivist has gone through the olde employment records from the late 1800′s to the 1970′s and transcribed a file of employees records that you may see.

Contact them at

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