Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Researching New York Vital Records

New York State did not require towns to record vital records prior to 1880. This can make finding vital records for your ancestors a real challenge, if you don't know the resources available to you. Here are some resources to help you in your quest:
New York Marriage Licenses Previous To 1784 records the names of persons for whom marriage licenses were issued by the Secretary of the Province of New York previous to 1784.
New York Church records is the greatest source for early vital records. These records generally include birth, marriage, death, baptism records and membership lists.
The New York State Vital Records, 1847-1849 collection has birth, marriage and death records for the years of 1847-1849. New York State enacted a law in 1847 to require school districts to record Vital Records including birth, marriage and death records within their districts. However, some areas completely ignored the law and others adhered to it, but generally did not keep complete records, even for the years that were recorded. Unfortunately this law was terminated in 1849.
New York Mortality Schedules were completed in the federal census records in 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880. The New York State census records included mortality schedules in their 1855, 1865, and 1875 census records. In addition, New York State included veteran's mortality schedules in their 1865 state census records and marriage records in their 1865 and 1875 state census records.
Many New York vital records were lost or destroyed in fires making it even more challenging to find our New York ancestors. Perhaps these sources many be of great benefit to you in your quest in breaking down some of your brick walls.