Monday, December 12, 2011

New Memorial on the Shelf : Early Settlers of New York State

A large percentage of us have New York State ancestry, and perhaps have also been frustrated by the apparent lack of "records" available.  That is to say, New York did not require the keeping of vital records until 1880 (although multiple earlier attempts were made).  This was much later than its New England neighbors and even most of the Midwest & South.

For these and other similar reasons, we have come to refer to New York State as the "black hole" of genealogy.  Some of the nation's most heavily trodden migration routes ran through this state, and yet there can be little to show for it in terms of documentation.   So, when another New York resource rears its head we all sit up and take notice. 

Early Settlers of New York State : their ancestors and descendants, edited by Janet Wethy Foley, is the latest addition to the New York section of the Local History Collection through a memorial created for longtime genealogist, Nancy Corwin of Dowagiac.  In addition to her own genealogy, Nancy became a member of the Van Buren Regional Genealogical Society in its infancy, and she was also known for publishing dozens of indexes to area cemetery, vital, and plat book records.

Originally published under the name Early Settlers of Western New York in July 1934, this periodical continued until October 1942 (Volume 9).  All are reprinted in this set with an every-name index and detailed table of contents, a total of just shy of 2,000 pages in two volumes. 

A sampling from the table of contents in Volume 1:
  • Bible Records
  • Deaths from the Gospel Advocate
  • Early Church Records from Washington, Wyoming, Orange, Yates, Albany, Jefferson, Schenectady, Delaware counties
  • The Mail Box - queries
  • Marriage Records & Obituaries from Buffalo newspapers
  • Revolutionary Soldiers
  • Tombstone Inscriptions & Cemetery Records
  • Pioneers' Letters
  • and much more
For a preview of some of the pages and the table of contents, visit Google Books.  Visit the Local History Collection to view the entire set, or encourage your local genealogical library to purchase this set for their collection.  In any event, New York family historians will definitely want to add this title to their research checklist. 

Nameless Picture of the Day
 unidentified residences, Dorr, Michigan
(Allegan County)

Can you identify the location of the houses in this real photo postcard taken in Dorr, Michigan?  A street?  Prior or present-day owners?  Please contact us if you any information and we will publish it in a future blog.  Please include the photo's catalog number with your e-mail.