NYC Municipal Archives: An Authorized Guide

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New York City Municipal Archives: An Authorized Guide for Family Historians

by Aaron Goodwin 

Harry Macy Jr., Consulting Editor

August 2016. Softcover, 7 x 10
245 pages. 

This book answers the need for historians, genealogists, students, and others to have a clear, rational description of the relevant public records—where they are located, what they contain, and how they can be accessed—of the City of New York and its predecessor cities, towns, and villages.

Extensive coverage is given to vital records of births, marriages, and deaths; court records; real estate records; and photographs. Less well known collections are also be covered, including early records of the Dutch and English colonial eras; extensive Farm Histories that trace deed chains for former Manhattan farms to their earliest days; records of the Civil War Volunteer Soldiers’ Family Aid Fund; and Almshouse Records, which span 200 years and provide information on the inmates of numerous City institutions.

  • Ch. 1: Vital Records (1795–1949)
  • Ch. 2: Coroner and Office of Chief Medical Examiner Records (1823–1955)
  • Ch. 3: City Cemetery Burials (1872–1980s)
  • Ch. 4: Bodies in Transit (1859–1953)
  • Ch. 5: Civil War Volunteer Soldiers' Family Aid Fund (1861–1867)
  • Ch. 6: Almshouse Records (1758–1953)
  • Ch. 7: Assessed Valuation of Real Estate (1699–1979)
  • Ch. 8: Department of Buildings (1866–1970s)
  • Ch. 9: Property Cards (1939–1990s)
  • Ch. 10: Farm Histories [Dutch period–mid-1800s]
  • Ch. 11: New Amsterdam Records of the Dutch Colonial Era (1642–1674)
  • Ch. 12: Common Council/City Council Records (1675–1977)
  • Ch. 13: Court Records (1683/4–1987)
  • Ch. 14: Old Town Records (1644–1898)
  • Ch. 15: Richmond County Clerk Records (1706–1947)
  • Ch. 16: Censuses [City and State]
  • Ch. 17: City Directories and Civic Directories (1802–1988/89)
  • Ch. 18: WPA Federal Writers' Project New York City Unit (1935–1943)
  • Ch. 19: Photography Collections (1850–2013)

Each chapter/record set is structured with the following sections:

  • Introduction [background information including, where applicable, the laws that created the record set]
  • Description [detailed description of the records available]
  • Sample Records
  • Suggested Citations
  • Analyzing and Using the Records 
  • Accessing the Records 
  • Selected References 

An appendix will feature a table of the Wards of the old City of New York, which has been expanded and updated since it was first published in the New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer.

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