Geneology: New York State Resources


Janet WahlburgCurrently, the Hall House is presenting a series of workshops on doing research in New York State. It is a 12-part program and is spread over 2022 and 2023. Many of us who reside in New York State will at some time be doing research in the records connected to the NYS. One resource that is available is the New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer. It is a comprehensive resource and we have it at the Hall House Research Library.

Research in any area should include acquiring a basic knowledge of the history of that area. This book will assist in that. It is divided into two parts, the first of which covers all the various time periods and record types. The second section focuses on the counties, their formation and information specific to each county. Section two also devotes and entire chapter to New York City.

New York’s early history is a bit complex with the Dutch, French, English, German and Native Americans all contributing to the governing of the area. This mixture adds to the complexity of where you might find records, thus the need for a resource such as this.

This volume is a major Where to look, What is available and How to approach various research projects.

Chapter one provides a historical overview combined with a variety of records: Government and non-government, Religious, and personal papers and accounts. Chapters two thru fifteen cover the basic records: vital records, census records, immigration, migration and naturalization records, court records, probate records, land records and maps, military records, cemetery records, business, institutional and organizational records, city directories, newspapers and periodicals, religious records and finally tax records.

Chapter 14 is an interesting collection of indexes and population figures. Chapter 16 provides insight into national and statewide repositories and resource. And chapter 17 is collection titled, A reference Shelf for New York Research.
Part Two concentrates on each individual county and includes maps, repositories, a Gazetteer of past and present pace names and other online references. There is a guide in this section that is specific to New York City

Much of research is being able to find the resources that you need to locate records about your family members and as we all know, not everything is on the internet! Plan to come into the Hall House Research Library to look at this book and the many others that we have. We will be holding an Open House on Wednesday August 31st from 4PM to 9PM. The event is free to everyone and will be at The Hall House Research Library 73 Forest Avenue. Jamestown,

To read Janet Walberg’s previous genealogy columns or to delve deeper into her writings and insights for searching out and recording your own family’s genealogy, please go to and visit Janet’s own web page.