The New York State Library (NYSL) has New York genealogy resources online, free including:

  • Adirondacks Survey, reports from 1872-1898 including maps, drawings, and illustrations
  • Certified Copies of Ancient Field Notes and Maps, 1772-1796, 1797-1798, original maps and field notes from surveyors of Macomb’s Purchase, Totten and Crossfield’s Purchase, and the Old Military Tract
  • American Revolutionary War, 1775-1783, “The extensive collection of material on the American Revolutionary War, with a focus on New York State, includes items such as troop rosters and other details extracted from muster rolls, colonial New York State history documents, diaries, orderly books, and broadsides.”
  • Census of New York, “The State Census volumes that have been digitized are the published statistical schedules compiled from the original returns under the direction of the Secretary of State which describe the population and economy of counties, cities and towns in New York State. Instructions for the enumerations taking the census have also been digitized, as well as, other related documents.”
  • Civil War, “NYSL’s extensive collection of material on the American Civil War includes published materials such as Frederick Phisterer’s New York in the War of the Rebellion, 1861 to 1865; New York State and Federal documents; and numerous primary documents such as letters, diaries, family papers, broadsides, prints, music and maps.”
  • Indexes to New York State Documents, “This is a list of the digital copies of bibliographies, guides and indexes from the State Library’s collection that can be used to identify relevant New York State Government Documents and related sources.”
  • Laws of New York State, “In its role as the State Law Library, the New York State Library collects heavily in the area of New York State law. The State Library’s law collection includes early published editions of New State laws; these sets are in the process of being digitized.”
  • Native American Materials, “The New York State Library holds a wealth of first hand descriptions of the Native American experience in New York. These resources span four centuries, beginning with the Dutch colony of New Netherland and continuing to the close of the American frontier in western New York and beyond. Original manuscripts, New York State Documents and published accounts provide windows upon Native American life and serve as lenses through which cultural and historical interpretations can be made.”
  • New York State Constitutional History: Constitutional Conventions, “The State Library’s collection includes the official published materials produced by the New York State’s Constitutional Conventions and Commissions, as well as many related publications. The State Library is in the process of digitizing the official published materials produced by the State Constitutional Conventions, including journals, documents and proceedings.”
  • New York State Government, “The New York State Library has a robust collection of resources on New York State government that spans from the beginning of statehood through to the current day. Selected materials on this topic, such as the New York State Redbook, have been digitized from print volumes in the New York State Library’s collection.”
  • New York State History-Colonial Period, “The New York State Library has a wide variety of primary documents and published material on the history of Colonial New York, including muster rolls of colonial troops, accounts of explorers, land purchase agreements, correspondence of early settlers, orderly books, diaries, maps, records of Rensselaerwyck Manor, accounts of relations with Native Americans, and personal papers.”
  • New York State History-Towns and Counties, “The State Library strives to be comprehensive in its collection of histories relating to the counties, cities, towns and villages of New York State. County, city, town and village histories provide biographical information on early settlers, prominent citizens, and local war heroes and depict all periods and aspects of New York State history from colonial times to the present day. Selected county and town histories have been digitized, as well as, statewide publications like French’s Gazetteer.”
  • New York State Museum Publications, “The New York State Museum can trace its beginning back to 1836 with the appointment of staff for the State’s first official Geological and Natural History Survey.  Since that point, Museum research scientists and staff have conducted “systematic investigations into the geology, biology, anthropology and history of New York” and produced a wealth of publications that detail the results of their work. Some of these publications, such as the Bulletin of the New York State Museum, Memoir of the New York State Museum and Natural History of New York, have been digitized by the NYSL.”


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