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Monday, March 20, 2017

A Guide to New York State Genealogy Resources Online -- Part Three

Based on population, New York is the fourth largest state in the United States. However, it still has a population greater than many of the world's countries. Its population would make it the 59th most populous country in the world if it were ranked as a country. Just for interest sake, the other three states with larger populations, in order, are California, Texas, and Florida.

If you also consider its historically strategic location on the North American continent, you can understand why it is a topic of interest to many genealogists, especially those in the United States. I have selected three general categories of records out of the thousands that exist to illustrate the types of records you can find online. For example, alone has over 10,000 different collections
of records that pertain to New York State. Here is a sample of some of the online records.

I list cemeteries as first in importance because so many people have lived and therefore died in the state over the years. Of course, you should always check the huge cemetery database programs, but here is a list of those plus a few more dedicated to New York State.
Census Records
Previously mentioned the New York State Census records that are available from 1825, every ten years to 1875 and then again in 1892, 1905, 1915 and 1925. Both and have the state censuses from 1855 onward. The earlier state census records are available from the website of the New York State Library on a web page entitled, "Census - New York State."

There are also some county censuses available as follows:
Genealogists generally use the term "vital records" to mean birth, marriage and death records. However, many other types of records are often included in that broad category. For this reason, some of the online websites with genealogically important records have started creating a category for only "birth, marriage and death" records. The remaining records that have been included in the broad category of vital records are now usually found categorized as court records. In some cases you will also see the following:
  • Birth Records include both baptism and christening records that are usually church records
  • Marriage Records also include divorce records
  • Death Records include burial, cemetery, and obituary records
These types of records can be found scattered online in websites from digital newspaper websites to local genealogy society websites. This is an area of genealogy that defies generalizations. In every case, you are looking for a specific record. For some assistance, you can see the Research Wiki article entitled, "How to Find United States Birth Records." There are similar articles on the other components of the vital records category. For a more general starting point, you can also begin with United States Genealogy in the Research Wiki. Here are a few of the websites with lists of New York State online websites excluding the large websites such as and

The first post in this series can be found here:

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