Detailed Guidelines for Submissions to The Record

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The Record has published scholarly articles concerning New York families, their antecedents, and descendants since 1870.

Potential authors are advised to study recent issues of The Record to become familiar with the kind of manuscripts generally accepted for publication. Modeling the style of your submission after a similar recent article increases its chances for acceptance and streamlines the editorial process.

In general, your submission should be a unique manuscript that has not been published (or submitted for publication) elsewhere. If any of the material in your article has been or will be published elsewhere, please discuss this with the editors before sending your work.


The primary focus of articles should be on residents of New York State and its colonial predecessors. Articles dealing with adjacent areas and/or countries of origin will also be considered if there is significant migration to or from New York State. Articles may address families belonging to any ethnic or religious group and may cover any time period, but should not mention persons who could still be alive.

Several types of articles are appropriate for submission:

  • Solutions to difficult problems, such as identifying a spouse, parents, or another place of residence, with the associated genealogical summary.
  • Compiled genealogies of families beginning with an immigrant (in any time period) and covering the initial generations in America.
  • Compiled genealogies beginning with a later American generation, especially those that illustrate use of unusual sources.
  • Origins of New York families in foreign countries or other colonies or states, with the associated genealogical summary.
  • Corrections or additions to a prior article in The Record. Consult with the editor first if the article corrects material in a book. Corrections of less than article length are appropriate for submission for the "Additions and Corrections" section of the October issue.
  • Transcriptions or abstracts of genealogically and/or historically relevant records.

The Peer-Review Process

Manuscripts will be evaluated by the editors and additional reviewers well versed in your subject matter to assess its suitability for publication. We use a double-blind review method in which the identity of both author and reviewer is unknown to the other, ensuring anonymity and objectivity. In some cases manuscripts are immediately accepted for publication. In others, the team of reviewers will ask for revisions before they arrive at a final decision. The manuscript will be returned to the author with the reviewers’ comments and suggestions. The revised manuscript will be reassessed, and if all concerns have been met, it will be accepted for publication. Once an article is tentatively accepted the author will be asked to sign a standard Letter of Agreement, and the editorial process will begin. View a sample copy of the Letter of Agreement, outlining the author’s and publisher’s rights and responsibilities in detail.

Manuscripts sometimes undergo substantial revision and/or reorganization during the editing process, but the author is included in this process to ensure accuracy. We are working on manuscripts for future issues as well as the current one, so there might be a substantial delay before an accepted article appears in print. In addition to editing, all source citations are verified for accuracy. The author can streamline the process by providing scanned copies of documents that are difficult or impossible to access.

General Considerations

1. Articles should be submitted electronically to or by mail on a CD or flash drive. Files must be in Microsoft Word.

2. Generally speaking, shorter articles are reviewed more quickly and published more quickly, but manuscripts of all lengths will be considered. Articles up to twelve pages in length (about 7200 words) will be published in a single issue; those longer than twelve pages may be published in two or more parts. In general, articles published in The Record are no longer than 22 pages (about 13,200 words), but longer manuscripts will be considered. [Use the "Word Count" feature of Word (found on the Tools menu in Word 2003, and in the Review toolbar in Word 2007) to determine the length of your manuscript; check the box for "Include footnotes."]

3. Articles other than record transcriptions and abstracts should include a fully documented genealogical summary. In general, The Record uses Register format to present the genealogical summary. [See Joan Ferris Curran, Madilyn Coen Crane, and John H. Wray, Numbering Your Genealogy: Basic Systems, Complex Families, and International Kin, rev. ed., ed. Elizabeth Shown Mills (Arlington, Va.: National Genealogical Society, 2008).]

4. Every statement of fact other than those that are common knowledge must carry a source citation. Citations generally follow The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), and Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, 2nd ed. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009).

Style and Citation Guidelines


  • Precise source citations are required for every genealogical assertion. There should be an associated footnote for every statement of fact. During final editing several footnotes may be combined, but give separate citations in the submitted article to be certain that everything does indeed have a citation.
  • Uncertainty should be expressed by the use of appropriate qualifiers such as likely, possibly, probably.
  • Relational or other qualifying wording should not be used in such a way that it might lead the reader to believe it is in the document. Such informational text should be added in editorial square brackets, for example, "John appears on the tax list with [his eldest son] William."
  • Credentials and post nominals allowed in the author line are genealogical credentials from the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) and the International Commission for the Accreditation for Genealogists (ICAPGen); advanced academic degrees; Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists (FASG); and Fellow of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (FGBS).
  • In the author’s biography section, it is helpful to mention the author’s connection with the family being studied: "The author’s husband is a descendant of John3 through son Thomas4." If the work was commissioned by someone else, that should be mentioned here. This is also the appropriate place for acknowledgements.
  • Remove yourself as much as possible from the article. Use the first person sparingly.
  • Use original sources wherever possible. Confirm data found in an abstract or transcription by examining the original record, or a digital or microfilm image of the original.
  • Avoid Latin terms such as ibid, supra, op.cit., infra, etc.; et al. (not italicized), verso, and sic are acceptable.
  • Abbreviations:

                  - Abbreviations will be used in footnotes, but not in the text.

                  - States will be abbreviated to old-style abbreviations, not postal abbreviations.

                  - Months will be abbreviated, except for May, June, and July.

                  - Miscellaneous abbreviations: Dist., dw., fam., Co., ED (for Enumeration District; Election District should be spelled out to avoid confusion), Inc., fol.,    vol., p., #.

  • Footnote numbers should be placed after punctuation. Generation numbers should be placed before punctuation.

     Genealogical Summary

The main body of an article should be followed by a genealogical summary. Articles that are primarily compilations should include a few introductory paragraphs about the family or progenitor, followed by the summary. In general, The Record uses Register format to present the genealogical summary. [See Mills, ed., Numbering Your Genealogy: Basic Systems, Complex Families, and International Kin.] The Record does deviate from the Register format in several ways, however, as outlined below.

  • Include all children, with equal treatment, even children who died young.
  • Discuss vital events in the order of birth, death, marriage.
  • Indicate the date and place before the name of the spouse in a marriage.
  • When a spouse’s name is unknown (given or surname) use [–?–] to indicate the uncertainty (example: "He married Jane [–?–] before 1880." The bracketed question mark should be enclosed in parentheses when a maiden name would appear that way, for example: "John and Jane ([–?–]) Smith."
  • In the children’s section, separate life events using semicolons, and include the given name, generation code, and surname for each child.
  • In the parents’ section, the parent and spouses should be in small caps and bold.
  • Their children and children’s spouses should be in small caps, but not bold.
  • Each individual’s entry begins with their number, their name (including generational code) and (in parentheses) the names and superscripts of the ancestors in the line being traced. [Ex: 18. John4 Smith (Robert3, William2, Richard1, JohnA). Do not italicize previous generations.
  • When reporting multiple marriages, express them as "married first" and "married second," not "married (1)."
  • Do not Anglicize names. The exact name of the child, the exact names of the parents, and the names of the witnesses or sponsors from baptisms are part of the evidence that shows you have compiled the correct family. That evidence must be presented for the reader to evaluate. Present the exact names and places of residence.


  • Dates should be given in the format 1 January 2000, unless it is within quoted material.
  • Dates given as 1st month, etc., should say "12 of 1st month [January]" or "12 of 1st month [March]," depending on the time period.
  • Double dates should be expressed as 2 February 1747/8.
  • Birth dates calculated from exact ages, as on tombstones, should be designated as "(calculated)."
  • Use "about" for dates estimated from a stated age, such as on a census, and "say" for dates estimated from life events. Include the reason for the estimate in parentheses. For example, "John Smith, born say 1750 (land purchase in 1775); married by say 1777 (baptism of child in 1778) Mary Jones."
  • Use a range of statistically probable dates when estimating a birth date from a marriage date. Express the birth as "born say 1821–1826 (marriage in 1846)" for a male (probable age 20–25 at marriage) or "born say 1823–1828 (marriage in 1846)" for a female (probable age 18–23 at marriage).
  • Assume the first child was born about one year after the date of marriage. Use that probability when estimating a marriage date from a known or estimated child’s birth date, and express it as "married say 1834 (first-known child born 1835)." When estimating a birth year from the birth of a first-known child, use probable ages of 21–26 for a male and 19-24 for a female. Express as "born say 1821–1826 (first-known child born 1847)" or "born say 1823–1828 (first-known child born 1847)."
  • Give bracketing dates when possible. For example, "She died between 6 July 1650 (birth of child) and 9 August 1651 (husband’s remarriage)."


  • During the Dutch period, New Amsterdam was a town in New Netherland (singular), which was a colony of the Netherlands (plural). [Dutch historians now call this political jurisdiction the Dutch Republic or the United Provinces, avoiding confusion with modern-day "The Netherlands," which is not synonymous with "the Netherlands."] During the English period, use New York City or New York.
  • Since there may be a village and town of the same name in a given New York county, and sometimes the village is not in the town of that name, authors should take care to make the distinction between the two jurisdictions.
  • Both "at" and "in" can be used when discussing places, but not always interchangeably. When discussing an area, "in" is the more appropriate word ["in the Town of Canisteo," not "at the Town of Canisteo"; "in the Mohawk Valley" not "at the Mohawk Valley"; "in New York State" not "at New York State"]. When discussing a particular place, both "at" and "in" could be used, but again not always interchangeably ["at 113 Pioneer Street"; "in the Dutch Reformed Church" or "at the Dutch Reformed Church"; "in the village of Canisteo" or "at the village of Canisteo"].

     General Citation Formats

Citations generally follow The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), and Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, 2nd ed. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009). Use the full citation for the first reference. Subsequently you may either use a short citation or repeat the full citation each time and the editor will shorten them. In the short citations, The Record refers back to the number of the footnote with the full citation [i.e. (note 3)]. The editors will add this cross-referencing. Some general considerations: 

  • Multiple citations in the same footnote are separated by periods, not semi-colons, except when citing more than one source by the same author in the same footnote.
  • When citing New York City vital records, be sure to include four pieces of information: the type of record (birth, marriage, death), the jurisdiction (Borough after 1897), and year, as well as the certificate number. For example: 

                   - Pre-consolidation: John Fick death certificate, New York City, 1872, #1234.

                   - Post consolidation: John Fick death certificate, New York City, 1908, Brooklyn Borough, #11121.

  • Citations to websites:

                    - URLs should include http://www... and be enclosed in parentheses.

                    - Access dates are not to be included.

  • For citations to conveyances and wills from New York state counties, give the county and the state abbreviated as "N.Y." For example, Westchester County, N.Y., Deeds 38:45.

Contact information

Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS