The News You Can Use column has been replaced by our New York Family History News  blog. Please visit our blog  to discover news items, program announcements, and tips to help you in your New York family history research, as well as past postings about newly available New York record sets and other resources.
Below are archived items from our former News You Can Use column.
October 21, 2013
Genealogybank.com has posted new New York newspapers:
Hornell, Evening Tribune, 1901-1903
New York, New York Volkszeitung, 1900-1923
New York, Vorwarts, 1914-1918
Watertown, New York Reformer, 1860
Watertown, New York Daily Refirmer, 1862-1869
September 5, 2013
FamilySearch.com has added more indexed records to its New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1925–1942. All recent additions to FamilySearch, both indexes and browseable images, can be found at https://www.familysearch.org/node/2340
July 18, 2013
There is a new search engine available for searching digital newspaper collections. Elephind searches 14 collections in four countries, including the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America site, the National Library of Australia as well as a number of smaller repositories. Elephind boasts more than 1,000 titles and a million issues from 1803 to 2011. Results can be manipulated by users to be sorted in a number of ways, such as by relevance, date, location, collection, and publication title. Elephind contains some New York newspapers. For more information, visit its website: http://www.elephind.com/
July 11, 2013
Staff members at the Milstein Division of the New York Public Library have authored several helpful guides to using the Library’s genealogical resources, which also provide many useful research tips for anyone exploring their family history. Click on a title below to view the guide.
June 25, 2013
FamilySearch.org is continuing to add to their New York data. Additions have been made to the collection of New York County Marriages 1908-1935 . The collection begins in 1908, when New York State began requiring marriage records for each county. Many counties are included in this collection, but it contains no records from New York City. Additions have also been made to the collection of Queens County Probate Records, 1785-1950 .
June 24, 2013
Archives.com, a subscription site owned by Ancestry.com, has announced that about 29,000 New Jersey marriage records have recently been posted. They are from 1683-1802. The records were compiled by the New Jersey Historical Society. Information varies by record.
June 18, 2013
Genealogybank.com recently noted the addition of new newspaper records from New York City, including Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper (dates 1857-1861) and the New Yorker Volkszeitung (dates 1900-1909) . This site requires a paid subscription.
May 16, 2013:
New Online Resources:
- Family Search continues to add to the databases of New York marriages, organized by county, and to the collection of Queens County Probate Records.
- For the first time in its history, the NYPL has put an entire manuscript collection online. The Emmet Collection (at archives.nypl.org/emmetcollection ) includes approximately 10,000 letters and documents.
- New York City’s Department of Correction has started a free online database of New York City’s Potter’s Field on Hart Island. The database currently includes 65,000 names, mostly of those buried after 1977, of the more than one million people buried there. More names will be added to the database as they become available. To see the database, visit: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doc/html/hart_island/hart_island.shtml 
April 3, 2013:
- New York Passenger and Crew Lists 1925-1942
- New York State Census of 1875
March 9, 2013:
February 26, 2013:
February 21, 2013:
February 19, 2013:
- New York City: Courrier des Etate-Unis (1859-1885)
- New York City: Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper (1870-71)
- New York City: New Yorker Volkszeitung (1894-1898)
- Plattsburgh: The Burgh (2011-current)
- Skaneateles: Skaneateles Press (2011-present)
February 14, 2013:
January 14, 2013:
December 27, 2012:
November 8, 2012:
October 17, 2012:
September 28, 2012:
August 15, 2012: New York Newspaper Content Online
August 6, 2012: Two News Items
July 17, 2012: Boston University Certificate in Genealogy Coming to NYC This Fall
July 17, 2012: New York Data on Ancestry.com - Free to New York Residents.
- New York State Census for 1915 and 1925
- New York Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poorhouses,1830-1920
- New York Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts 1861-1900
- New York Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War 1861-1865
- New York Marriages 1600-1784
- New York Military Equipment Claims, War of 1812
- Salina, New York Records 1805-1969
- US Census Mortality Schedules for New York 1850-1880
- US Census Non-Population Schedules, New York 1850-1880
- US Federal Census: 1880 Schedules of Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes, New York
July 10, 2012: New Data on FamilySearch
July 9, 2012: NARA Records Now at Jersey City Public Library
June 25, 2012: Black Gotham Online
June 25, 2012: More New York data on FamilySearch.
June 6, 2012: New York State Censuses
June 6, 2012: 1940 Census for New York State is Now Searchable
June 5, 2012: War of 1812 Records
June 4, 2012: 1940 New York Census Indexing
May 16, 2012: Two Exhibitions
May 14, 2012: New York Newspapers Online
Trenton, NJ: Sentinel
Trenton, NJ: Trenton Evening Times
Albany, NY: Albany Argus
Auburn, NY: Auburn Journal and Advertiser
Auburn, NY: Cayuga Republican
New York City: Commercial Advertiser
New York City: Evening Post
New York City: New York Age
New York City: New York Freeman
Schenectady, NY: Cabinet
Utica, NY: Columbian Gazette
April 25, 2012: Large NYC Photo Archive Officially Online
The NYC Department of records announced that 870,000 photographs are officially added to the Municipal Archives Online Gallery . This was previously noted here on March 26. Heavy traffic has temporarily disabled the site but they are inviting patrons to check back at a later date.
April 20, 2012: News For Those Researching Eastern European Jewish Families
April 11, 2012: New Data on FamilySearch for New York and New Jersey
April 3, 2012: New York Data free on Ancestry.com if you are a New Yorker
The New York Archives Partnership Trust has reminded researchers that New York State databases are online at Ancestry.com and are accessible for free by New Yorkers. If you are a New Yorker but NOT an Ancestry.com subscriber, you can get a special account to search these New York State records.
The data can be accessed through the New York State Archives webpage www.archives.nysed.gov . From this page, click on "research" and then you will see the link to Ancestry.com.
(By the way, The New York Archives Partnership Trust is a member supported organization that is very much worth exploring if you have not already done so. This organization does exceptional work and offers sophisticated public programs, many of which are genealogically relevant.)
New York State data in the Ancestry.com New York section includes this list which we have copied from the Ancestry.com New York page.
Albany, New York State Census, 1915
New York Marriages, 1600-1784
New York Military Equipment Claims, War of 1812
New York, Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poorhouses, 1830-1920
New York, Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, 1861-1900
New York, Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War, ca 1861-1865
New York, World War I Veterans' Service Data, 1913-1919
Salina, New York, Records, 1805-1969
U.S. Census Mortality Schedules, New York, 1850-1880
U.S. Census Non-Population Schedules, New York, 1850-1880
U.S. Federal Census - 1880 Schedules of Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes
April 2, 2012: A Handy 1940 Census Application if you are searching in New York City.
April 1, 2012: World War I Registration Forms
March 26, 2012: Digital Photos online at the New York City Municipal Archives
The New York City Municipal Archives has recently placed online almost 872,000 digital photographs from several collections. http://mtprawvwdorlna1.nyc.gov/luna/servlet . Part of the online offering is the 1980s tax photographs collection that includes a photo of every building in New York City. Other collections are Maps and Atlases; Public Charities and Hospitals; and the WPA Federal Writers Project. The Municipal Archives website catalogs the full offering.
March 20, 2012: Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s new series "Finding Your Roots" begins this Sunday, March 25th, at 8pm on your local PBS station. The first episode features Harry Connick, Jr. and Branford Marsalis. The second features Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey, and Congressman John Lewis of Georgia. We have seen the second episode, and it is inspiring and powerful. The producers shot scenes from three episodes in the series in our offices on West 44th Street. Professor Gates is a trustee of the NYG&B.
March 10, 2012: New York newspapers now online
Genealogybank.com , a subscription site, has announced the addition of new newspaper data. Included are papers from New York: Albany, Canandaigua, Geneva, Glen Cove, New York City, Plattsburgh, Schenectady, and Waterford. Checking the titles and dates does not require a subscription.
March 9, 2012: New New York Probate Records online.
FamilySearch  announced a significant addition of new data, including more probate records from Orange (1787-1938) and Queens (1899-1921) Counties, New York. The collection includes browsable images which are not yet indexed.
February 27, 2012: Civil War service records on Fold3.com
Fold3  (formerly Footnote) has started adding compiled service records for Union troops from New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Fold3 requires a subscription to access; some libraries, including the New York Public Library, have subscriptions.
February 16, 2012: New Newspapers at Genealogybank.com
Recently, Genealogybank.com  announced additions to its newspaper archive. These include supplementary material from Cazenovia, New York City, Saratoga Springs, and Albany papers. A new title was added: Auburn Journal and Advertiser (1837-1846). A blog beginning in 2011 was added for Syracuse. Genealogybank.com  is a subscription site.
February 3, 2012: Fold3 Makes Nearly 3 Million African American Records Free During Black History Month
Fold3  is giving free access to their Black History Collection in honor of Black History Month. This collection includes historical records documenting African American achievements and will be available the entire month of February. Click here for more information .
January 20, 2012: New Revolutionary War Records Online
Fold3 , a fee-based subscription website that is owned by Ancestry.com , recently announced the addition of "numbered record books." These documents concern Revolutionary War military operations and service, pay and settlement of accounts, and supplies, and were digitized from microfilm at NARA. There is extensive New York material in this database. The introductory material on the Fold3 website includes a very detailed finding aid prepared by NARA.
January 11, 2012: FamilySearch Datebase Update
FamilySearch.org  reports additions to the New York State Census (1875), New York probate records (various locations), and Queens County probate records.
January 11, 2012: Maps at the New York Public Library
A blog post by by the New York Public Library's Matt Knutzen describes techniques for using digital maps. He reports that the NYPL has now scanned nearly all public domain New York City atlases, a collection of over 10,000 maps. Read the post to learn more about how these maps can be used in your genealogical research.
January 10, 2012: New York Maps Online
HistoryGeo.com  is a new, subscription-based website offering a library of maps. The New York "map-projects" on the site are 1) Atlas of Delaware County (F.W. Beers, 1869); 2) Sweets New Atlas of Onondaga County (1874); and 3) Otsego County (1903). Within each of these map-projects are many town maps.
January 9, 2012: New NY Newspapers Online
Genealogybank.com , a subscription site, recently announced new additions to their New York newspaper archive online. All of these new additions are from New York City papers.
Daily People (1901-1906)
Irish American Weekly (1873-1914)
Irish Nation (1881-1883) NEW TITLE
Socialist Call (1944-1948)
January 6, 2012: Save the Date: Sunday, March 25, 2012
"Finding Your Roots" with NYG&B trustee Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a new 10-part PBS series, begins on Sunday, March 25. Featured subjects include Harry Connick, Jr.; Robert Downey, Jr.; Samuel L. Jackson; Barbara Walters; Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker; and Kevin Bacon and Kyra Segwick, among others. The NYG&B helped with the research on the Bacon/Sedwick episode, and a large part of the Samuel L. Jackson episode was taped in the NYG&B's office on West 44th Street. The series runs through May. Click here  for more information.
December 27, 2011: eBooks from the New York Public Library
The New York Public Library website is now offering instruction on downloading ebooks to Kindle, Nook, and other devices from their collection online at http://www.nypl.org/ask-nypl/ebookcentral . The NYPL offers many thousands of free ebooks from all fields of inquiry, in addition to the usual bestsellers.
December 27, 2011: More additions to New York databases on FamilySearch.org
FamilySearch.org  continues to update Orange County Probate Records (1787-1938) and has updated New York Marriages (1908-1935); this database offers images but is not searchable. The marriage database updates cover 45 counties in New York State; New York City counties are not in this group. The marriage database is searchable, with images.
December 12, 2011: New-York Historical Society Library News
The New-York Historical Society has new library policies researchers should know about. Registration and a government-issued photo ID are now required to use the library, and casual visits simply to browse the shelves are not permitted. Visit their magnificant new website (nyhistory.org ) to register in advance. Currently, hours are Tuesday-Friday from 9am to 3pm, and Saturdays from 10am to 1pm. The library is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
December 12, 2011: Additions to New York databases on FamilySearch.org
Two existing databases on FamilySearch.org have additions of new images: Orange and Queens County Probate Records. The images are browsable but not searchable.
December 8, 2011: Lefferts Family Documents at new Brooklyn Historical Society Website
The Brooklyn Historical Society has just launched a new website entitled "An American Family Grows in Brooklyn: The Lefferts Family Papers at the Brooklyn Historical Society."  The website includes an image gallery and information about related collections there. These collections include Brevoort Family (1760-1879), Lott Family(1702-1954), Charles A. Ditmas (1687-1935), DeWitt Clinton, Gertrude Lefferts Vanderbilt (1737-1818), Gabriel Furman, Nehemiah Denton (1785-1844), and the Brooklyn Civil War Relief Association, among others. The Lefferts family, a Dutch family, was important in the development of Kings County.
December 5, 2011: New data on FamilySearch
Recent announcement of new data online at FamilySearch.org included New Jersey county marriage records (1682-1956), both browsable and searchable. Large amounts of data from other states and countries was also included.
November 18, 2011: New website launching about New Amsterdam
The New Amsterdam History Center will launch a preview version of its new website: www.newamsterdamhistorycenter.org  on Saturday, November 19 (tomorrow). The preview version includes some useful links, a sample of useful information, and a virtual 3-D "tour" of New Amsterdam. Persons interested in this topic will want to bookmark the site and check it from time to time as it expands.
November 11, 2011: Tips for locating obituaries from the New York Public Library's Milstein Division
Recently, Carmen Nigro, from the Milstein Division at the New York Public Library, posted a helpful article on finding obituaries. The posting is not a database of obituaries but rather some very useful information about locating them. To read this article go to: nypl.org/blog/2011/11/09/great-obituary-hunt-genealogy-research-guide 
November 8, 2011: Catalogs of Knoedler & Co. (1869-1946)
The website of the Metropolitan Museum of Art now has a searchable collection of exhibition catalogs of Knoedler & Company, the important New York art gallery. The collection contains nearly 900 catalogs and unpublished materials created between 1869 and 1946. Lists of collectors and lendors might be of interest as well as rare images of places, people, and historical subjects. The digital collections of the Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum are at libmma.org  These materials are also available online at Arcade (arcade.nyarc.org ) and WorldCat.
November 7, 2011: Expansive New New York State Data on Ancestry.com
The New York State Archives website just announced a link to special New York State data on Ancestry.com . The New York State Archives requires that data from state government collections be free for New York State residents even if posted to a subscription site or a non-governmental site. Ancestry.com subscribers also have access to these databases. For details visit www.archives.nysed.gov . The current databases on Ancestry.com that are part of this agreement are:
- Albany, New York State Census, 1915
- New York Marriages, 1600-1784
- New York Military Equipment Claims, War of 1812
- New York, Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poorhouses, 1830-1920 Updated
- New York, Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, 1861-1900
- New York, Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War, ca 1861-1865
- Salina (Onondaga County), New York, Records, 1805-1969
- U.S. Census Mortality Schedules, New York, 1850-1880
- U.S. Census Non-Population Schedules, New York, 1850-1880
- U.S. Federal Census - 1880 Schedules of Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes
November 2, 2011: New-York Historical Society Reopening on Nov. 11.
Welcome back! The New-York Historical Society reopens on 11/11/11. After that date, the research library will be open on its regular hours (after a period of construction during which it was open by appointment). Their new website has been up for several weeks, and we think it's spectacular. Visit the website (www.nyhistory.org) for information on programs that provide historical context for New York family history researchers and for information about accessing the astounding resources in the research library.
October 31, 2011: Ancestry.com Database Additions
Recently Ancestry.com announced postings of 53 new databases containing 120 million new names. There were no New York databases in the roster, but there were items from New Jersey (births and christenings; deaths and burials) and Connecticut (deaths and burials.) However, see note above dated Nov. 7, 2011 reporting new New York data on Ancestry.com.
October 17, 2011: "The History of Brooklyn Jewry" online
"Nu? What's New," the weekly e-News of Avotaynu, Inc. reports that The History of Brooklyn Jewry by Samuel F. Abelow (Scheba Publishing Company, Brooklyn, NY, 1937) has been added to Google Books. See the title online at http://tinyurl.com/3vy36xb . The book's index is not adequate to search the contents, so the online search function will make the book much more accessible.
October 14, 2011: New NYPL Catalog
The New York Public Library has unveiled a new catalog with a number of new features. Among them is an improved ability to limit searches, making your catalog search more efficient. To see the new catalog, go to the homepage of the NYPL website (www.nypl.org ), and click on the Research tab. Then click on "Classic Catalog." When you are on that catalog page, click on "Catalog FAQs" to learn more. Or experiment with a catalog search.