One of the most useful New York genealogical records is the type that deals with land, because, especially early in its history, New York was heavily involved with agriculture. One type of land record involves transfers from the colonial government to the first private owners. What follows is an index to the earliest years of the New York Land Grant Application Files from the New York Secretary of State’s Office. We have alphabetized this list to make it easy to find names, but we included the variable Record #, so that the original order of the data can be determined.
A large collection of church records for New York was commissioned by the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society and is known by the name of its editor, Royden Woodward Vosburgh. Its 101 volumes cover mostly Dutch, German-Lutheran, and Presbyterian records, but not all are indexed. Besides the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, these volumes are available at the Connecticut State Library and on microfilm at the New York Public Library, the Family History Library, and in other libraries. The information will provide you with a general idea of which churches are available and the years of the records transcribed. You can find the specifics for each church as to which type of records and specific years covered for those records at the Connecticut State Library online catalog or directly by clicking on any linked town. If the town is not yet linked then we have not gathered the specifics for that town yet but the Connecticut State Library has.
These records bring together a larger number of the ecclesiastical documents of the colonial period relating to New York and New Jersey than any other single collection. The original design of the enterprise was to gather the documents of the Reformed Dutch church as the oldest denomination in the State. But as the work progressed it seemed desirable to bring in collateral documents of other religious bodies, because the documents of one denomination throw light on those of other bodies of the same period, the external circumstances being identical. The different bodies were also often so intermingled in their relations or contentions that the history of one could not be well understood without dealing with the history of the others.
More than 500 volumes of original records of churches, associations, and state bodies have been placed in the American Baptist – Samuel Colgate Historical Library. These records were placed there voluntarily. Baptist polity does not have any mechanism to require a local congregation to deposit its records at this site or at any site. As a result, the records of many Baptist churches over the years have been lost. The original records deposited there are arranged alphabetically by state. Records of state bodies are placed first, then associational records. Local church records are placed next, alphabetically by city or town and name of church. The few international records which they hold are found at the end of this inventory. Their holdings include microfilmed and photo duplicated copies as well. This list is current as of 2015. These records are not available online. In order to access them you must visit the Samuel Colgate Historical Library!