WNYGS New York State Archives (NYSA) Program

On 21 Sep 2019, I drove down to the Buffalo Public Library where the WNYGS was giving a program about the New York State Archives (NYSA). Their guest speaker was an employee from NYSA named Monica Gray.

Though I haven’t visited the New York State Archives, I am beginning to better understand how they work. Here are my notes from the program:

  • Recommended Reading: Genealogical Resources in NY by Estelle Guzik
  • NYSA does NOT have copies of vital records, but they do have indexes
  • The Reference Services really do encourage contact for genealogy questions
  • Digital Collections:
    • Search by Place Name (upper right hand box)
    • Filter by topic, date, agency
    • You can further narrow down results by decade
    • You can download images
  • NYPL (nysl.nysed.gov)
    • These are different digital collections than NYSA
    • Quick Links to frequently used pages: genealogy, newspaper, manuscripts and special collections
  • Ancestry NYS
    • New record sets are coming in January
    • Partner Institutions are listed
    • (I’m curious if Ancestry has agreements like this with other states)
    • Try the search box to search all collections
    • (I’m curious which collections are leaf hints)
    • (I wish Ancestry would indicate which collections are leaf hints and which ones are not – maybe I should call them)
    • New York, Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poorhouses, 1830-1920 (Clarence Webb is listed in this collection)
      • 1875 Poorhouse Records Law required records to be kept
  • Visiting the NYSA – Tuesdays are bad, Saturdays are good
    • They do two pulls a day: 10:30 and 2:00 (sometimes an additional pull at noon on Saturdays)
    • You can call ahead to pull records in advance
    • You can register in advance online or complete in person
    • Laptops and cameras are allowed – Scanners? It depends, usually not but as technology improves…
    • Call ahead to ask the archivist for advice (518)474-8955 or ARCHREF@nysed.gov