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New York Genealogy Online

Databases & Web Sites for NY Family History Research

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Research and explore your New York genealogy and family history online with these online New York genealogy databases, indexes and digitized records collections - many of them free!

1. New York Probate Records, 1629-1971

A browsable-only collection of digitized probate records from counties across New York, including wills, inventories, registers, etc. The available probate records and indexes vary by county. Free online from FamilySearch.

2. New York, County Marriages 1908–1935

FamilySearch hosts this free, online, growing collection of digitized marriage records from the New York counties of Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Essex, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Nassau, Niagara, Oneida, Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Putnam, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schuyler, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Westchester, Wyoming, and Yates. The collection does not include New York City nor its boroughs.

3. Old New York State Historical Newspapers

Search over 20 million newspaper pages from old newspapers across the state of New York, from the Auburn Daily Union to the Watertown Reformer. The major focus of this free collection is central and southern New York; a list of included newspapers is also available.

4. Northern New York Historical Newspapers

This free online collection currently consists of more than 2.3 million pages from sixty-five historic newspapers published in northern New York during the late 1800s and early to mid-1900s. Selected newspapers available come from Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties.

5. New York Ancestors

This Web portal from the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS)hosts a wide variety of New York databases, including probate records, newspapers and periodicals, vital records, and New York genealogies and biographies. NEHGS membership required to view database transcriptions and records.

6. Ellis Island Ancestors

Over 25 million passenger arrival records and over 900 pictures of the ships that carried them to America can be searched and viewed for free on the Ellis Island website. You will need a free account to view transcripts and images; links to purchase manifest copies are prominently displayed, but look for the link to "view original ship manifest" to view a digital image online for free.
More: 10 Tips for Searching the Ellis Island Database

7. Castle Garden

The free Castle Garden database offers searchable access to information on 11 million immigrants to New York from 1820, until Ellis Island opened in 1892.

8. German Genealogy Group - New York Databases

Free New York genealogy databases online from the German Genealogy Group include naturalizations; birth, marriage, and death indexes; church records; Suffolk County veteran discharge records, and cemetery records.

9. New York Heritage Digital Collections

New York Heritage provides free online access to more than 160 digital collections, representing a broad range of historical, scholarly, and cultural materials held in libraries, museums, and archives throughout the state of New York. Collection items include photographs, letters, diaries, city directories, yearbooks, maps, newspapers, books, and more, with a particular focus on western New York.

10. New York Times Archive Search

The complete archive of The New York Times can be searched online, dating back to 1851. Non-subscribers can view up to 10 free articles per month published before January 1, 1923, or after December 31, 1986. Articles between 1923 and 1986 require payment or a digital subscription to access, although searches are free. A subscription also offers unlimited free access to pre-1923 and post-1986 articles. Be sure to select the 1851–1980 data set to search older articles.

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