One of the great pleasures of attending conferences is going to the exhibit halls where vendors cram their stands with the latest in books, software, services, organization memberships, and other products. Unfortunately, our stand in the hall was so busy that I barely had a chance to leave this time, so I did not get to explore as much as I usually do. But I know that one of the biggest successes in the exhibit hall was the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society’s new guide to New York genealogical research.
Awhile back I wrote about the book as it was going off to the printer. The printed books have now arrived, and the NYG&B completely sold out the stock they brought with them to Roots Tech. Three years in the making, this book is the Bible for researching your family anywhere in the state of New York. Whether your family was part of the early Dutch settlers, migrated to or through New York from New England after the American Revolution, or lived in New York City after migrating from Europe, this book will help your research.
The New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer is truly a collaborative effort. The project has included the work of more than 100 individuals as authors, editors, contributors, reviewers, and production people. The result is an 840-page masterwork (including a 30-page index) that provides everything you need to know about researching in the Empire State. Included in this group is Ruth A. Carr (former head of the Milstein Research Division at the New York Public Library), Laura Murphy Degrazia, Karen Jones, Henry Hoff, Terry Koch-Bostic, Anita Lustenberger, Suzanne McVetty, and Jane Wilcox. [note.: I also served as a reviewer and contributor on the book, but I would be equally excited about it had I never participated in the project.] The historians for every county provided assistance in verifying information for their areas. The single most significant contributor, however is Harry Macy, Jr. Former editor of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Harry is widely recognized as the dean of New York genealogical research. He edited and reviewed the book multiple times as it was being compiled.
Part One has seventeen chapters on researching: Colonial Era; Vital Records; Census Records; Immigration, Migration, and Naturalization; Court Records; Probate Records; Land Records and Maps; Military Records; Cemetery Records; Business, Institutional, Organizational Records; City Directories and Other Directories; Newspapers and Periodicals; Tax Records; Peoples of New York; Religious Records of New York; National and Statewide Repositories & Resources; and Reference Shelf for New York Research.
Part Two contains guides to every county in the state. For each county there is:
- A cover page with maps of the county
- Gazetteer of past and present place names
- Repositories and resources for that county
- Selected bibliography and further reading
- Online resources
The counties are listed in alphabetical order, with the exception of the New York City counties. Because the five counties from the city are so intrinsically linked to each other, Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond counties are grouped together at the end of the county section. There is also a separate section for resources specific to Long Island. The thirty-page index cross-references all of the place names listed in the county gazetteers.
The book is now available from the NYG&B at three price levels. Members of the society can purchase the book for $65. Libraries and societies can purchase it for $75. Non-members can purchase it fro $85. Keep in mind that the member discount covers almost 30% of an annual membership. You might consider joining the society for a year to explore other valuable membership benefits. Get more information and order the book at NewYorkFamilyHistory.org.