Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tuesday's Tip - Check Out the New York Town Guide for Locality Records

This week's Tuesday's Tip is to:  Use the New York Town Guide on the NEHGS American Ancestors website to find resources for New York localities.

One of the leads I gleaned from Bill Ruddock's presentation on "Colonial New York Genealogy" at the NGS Conference was about Gordon Remington's book, New York Towns, Villages, and cities: A Guide to Genealogical Sources (Boston: NEHGS, 2002).

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has a New York Town Guide on its' website (it's FREE) at http://www.americanancestors.org/new-york-town-guide/:

The towns, villages and cities are listed alphabetically, with the County, the locality type (Town, Village, City), the Date started, if there is a History, Church records (use the Key letters), Cemetery records (use the Key letters), whether there are transcribed church and cemetery records (the TCR column), and any Comments.

The Key Letters for the Church and Cemetery codes for the New York State Towns, Villages, and cities is on http://www.americanancestors.org/uploadedFiles/American_Ancestors/Content/Databases/Town_Guides/newyork_keycodes.pdf:

While this seems fairly cumbersome, it is actually very useful.  There is a lot of information on just a few pages.  Looking first in this index and lists may save a researcher time and effort.

For instance, I was interested in records for Lorraine town in Jefferson County, New York.  The locality listing says:

From this listing, I can tell that there is no published town history, no available church records, there are Cemetery records (the D cemetery key), and transcribed church/cemetery records.  The "D" key letter indicates that the transcribed records are in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Collection of New York State Cemetery, Church and Town Records.  These are available at the New York State Library in Albany, at the DAR Library in Washington, D.C., and on Family History Library microfilm in Salt Lake City.

That wasn't particularly productive - let's try East Aurora in Erie County:

This listing tells me that East Aurora is in Erie County, is a Village, started in 1874, with no town history, with key letters OR for churches, key letters DO for cemeteries, and no transcribed records.  The Church key letters OR tell me that Original church records (O) are available on FHL microfilm, and the Roman Catholic original records (R) are available on FHL microfilm.  The Cemetery key letters tell me that records are available in the DAR collection (D) and on FHL microfilm (O).

This index is an excellent finding aid for localities in New York State!

See, I was paying attention to the speakers at the NGS Conference...and the syllabus helped immensely!

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2013/05/tuesdays-tip-check-out-new-york-town.html

Copyright (c) 2013), Randall J. Seaver

No comments: