October is Family History Month: Do a Little Research

Thinking about your New York ancestors?

Although Ancestry.com is only available in the library or by paid subscription, several New York State  groups have formed a partnership with Ancestry to digitize records and make them available for free.  There is a helpful tutorial on the NYS archives page.

You will be asked to enter your zip code. Then you can start your search. Either type in a person’s name or scroll down to search a specific collection. Once you click on any document in your results, you will be prompted to create a free account by entering your name, email address and a password.

Be sure to choose “edit search” instead of “new search” while doing your research so that you don’t move into the subscription-only material.  Be careful and don’t click on any of the “suggested records” since that will take you to a page requiring you begin a paid subscription.

This is a terrific resource offering census, naturalization, birth, marriage, death, and military records. There are fascinating photos of NY Civil War soldiers through the Carte-de-visite collection.

You might even uncover some family skeletons in the records of inmates at Newgate State Prison!

-posted by Brenda, Reference Services

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