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Long Island New York – Historic Account Books

Long Island New York – Historic Account Books

The East Hampton Library has placed online a treasure trove of original and unique genealogical data in the form of digitized account books of former residents of Long Island. They have placed these online as part of the Digital Long Island Collection. 1)The Digital Long Island Collection is part of New York Heritage Digital Collections. Included are searchable scans of deeds, drawings, etchings, inventories, letters, maps, paintings, pardons, patents, photographs, plans, postcards, prints, sculptures, sketches, textiles, tiles, yearbooks and more to come. Many of the below items are part of the Thomas Moran Biographical Art Collection. Most of these account books pertain to East Hampton and the area surrounding it on Long Island.

Probably the most common and genealogically useful records are storekeepers’ account books. Such volumes of the past were usually handwritten. Over time these were replaced with printed volumes; entries were handwritten. Later volumes were typed. Account books can range in size from small notebooks to bound ledgers, covering such topics as fiduciary accounts, customer or patient visits, and business sales.

Account and daybooks, in addition to providing some specific information about an ancestor’s life away from his home, can also document the ancestor’s specific location at that specific time. The record can be especially valuable when that location is temporary or on the frontier., One example is the toll road payments made by those headed to Oregon in the mid 1800s. Wagon train immigrants had to travel over the Barlow Toll Road during the last leg of their trip. Records kept by the toll keeper show the name of the immigrant, his equipment and livestock, the toll due, and the amount paid. 2)E. L. (Roy) Meyers, comp., Foster-Pettygrove Store Lists. The Barlow Toll Road 1846–1919: The Story of Two Men from Fort Deposit. They Called It Jack-Knife: History of Eagle Creek Community and School District Number 17 (Portland, Ore.: Genealogical Forum of Oregon, 1991). Originals are part of the Philip Foster Collection at the Oregon Historical Society.

Researchers studying the keeper of the daybook should read every entry in the journal. Paper was not the common commodity it is today, so many businessmen made personal entries in their own daybooks or account books. For those ancestors who did not keep a family Bible, the daybook was the place where family events might be recorded. 3)

Footnotes:   [ + ]

1.The Digital Long Island Collection is part of New York Heritage Digital Collections. Included are searchable scans of deeds, drawings, etchings, inventories, letters, maps, paintings, pardons, patents, photographs, plans, postcards, prints, sculptures, sketches, textiles, tiles, yearbooks and more to come. Many of the below items are part of the Thomas Moran Biographical Art Collection.
2.E. L. (Roy) Meyers, comp., Foster-Pettygrove Store Lists. The Barlow Toll Road 1846–1919: The Story of Two Men from Fort Deposit. They Called It Jack-Knife: History of Eagle Creek Community and School District Number 17 (Portland, Ore.: Genealogical Forum of Oregon, 1991). Originals are part of the Philip Foster Collection at the Oregon Historical Society.
3.

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