Did you know there are almost 1,600 official historians in the state of New York?  That's because back in 1919, the New York state legislature mandated that every "city, town, or village" must have an official historian. It's a regulation that's unique among the 50 states, and basically unenforceable. Towns are not required to pay these record-keepers, who are appointed by a town mayor or manager. Municipalities that fail to find a volunteer are sent a strongly worded letter, but little else can be done. Most historians work part-time, but can be very helpful. 

You can search for the Historian for a particular place or browse through the list for the entire state - click on "Historians" above.

NYS Library

Part of the Cultural Education Center and repository for a multitude of genealogy sources. From church records to military records to surname files. There is an online catalog shared with the NYS Archives.

NYS Archives

Part of the Cultural Education Center and repository for many records that contain information about individuals, such as:



View Records Online

Birth records, 1847-1849, 1853-1917, bulk: 1866-1909
Marriage records, 1829-1949, bulk: 1866-1949
Death records, 1795, 1802-1804, 1812-1948, bulk: 1866-1948
Vital records documenting enslaved people and children born to enslaved mothers, 1760-1828, bulk: 1799-1828
Other vital records, 1898-1948

Research Tips

NYS Museum 

Part of the Cultural Education Center and repository of New York History, Archaeology, early Census records of Albany (1600's +), Family Pages and Family Biographies. 

NYS Military Museum and Veteran's Research Center

New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs

While the museum is closed right now the website still allows for some research. Information, pictures (searchable by name), videos, etc. The Research Center is expected to re-open in 2024, call them in advance to verify  what facilities are available to researchers: 518 5100 is the main number and 518 581-5109 is the research number.

Soldiers and Sailors Database - National Park Service

The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (CWSS) is a database containing information about the men who served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. Other information on the site includes histories of Union and Confederate regiments, links to descriptions of significant battles, and selected lists of prisoner-of-war records and cemetery records, which will be amended over time. The CWSS is a cooperative effort between the National Park Service and several public and private partners whose goal is to increase Americans' understanding of this decisive era in American history by making information about it widely accessible

Other helpful sites:

Free, Searchable Newspaper Databases making available millions of newspaper pages.

Three Rivers (Hudson,Mohawk, Schoharie) - This site is chock full of both historical and genealogical information focused heavily on the Revolutionary War era.