Albany County, New York Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Guide to Albany County, New York ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.

Albany County, New York
Map of New York highlighting Albany County
Location in the state of New York, United States Genealogy
Map of the U.S. highlighting New York
Location of New York in the U.S.
Founded November 1, 1683
County Seat Albany
New York, Albany County Courthouse.png
Address Office of Albany County Clerk

County Court House
Room 128
16 Eagle Street
Albany, NY 12207-1077
Albany County Website

Albany County New York Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Prince James, Duke of York, and of Albany. The County is located in the east-central area of the state. [1]

Albany County, New York Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1880 1870 1880 1652 1630 1629 1663
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1880. General compliance for births by 1915 and deaths by 1890.

Parent County[edit | edit source]

City of Albany, New York

Albany County was one of the original twelve counties created by the British Province of New York on 1 November 1683. [3]

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Columbia · Greene · Rensselaer · Saratoga · Schenectady · Schoharie [4]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For animated maps illustrating New York County boundary changes, "Rotating Formation New York County Boundary Maps" (1683-1915) may be viewed for free at the website.

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Albany County, New York

At the time of creation it included all of the present Bennington County, Vermont, all of New York state north of the counties of Dutchess and Ulster, and theoretically stretched west to the Pacific Ocean. [5]

NY Albany map.png
  • 27 May 1717: Albany County was adjusted to gain an indefinite amount of land from Dutchess County and other non-county lands.
  • 7 October 1763: King George III, King of England, as part of his proclamation, created new province of Quebec, implicity setting the northern limit of New York at the parallel of 45 degrees north latitude, from Atlantic-St.Lawrence watershed westward to the St. Lawrence River, but it was never mapped.
  • 20 July 1764: King George III established the boundary between New Hampshire and New York along the west bank of the Connecticut River, north of Massachusetts and south of the 45th parallel. Albany County implicitly gained present-day Vermont. Disputes broke out later and the dissatified colonists organized in opposition which led to the creation of Republic of Vermont in 1777 (lasted until Vermont joined in the American Revolutionary War.)
  • 13 July 1766: Cumberland County was partitioned from Albany County, covering all northern and eastern limits of the county, including what is now Windsor County, most of Windham County and parts of Bennington and Rutland counties in Vermont.
  • 26 June 1767: Albany County regained all of Cumberland County.
  • 19 March 1768: the county was repartitioned and Cumberland County restored.
  • 16 March 1770: the county was partitioned again to create Gloucester County (which includes all of present-day Orange, Caledonia and Essex counties, most of Washington County, parts of Orleans, Lamoille, Addison and Chittenden counties in Vermont.
  • 12 March 1772: Albany County was partitioned again, into Albany, Tryon (now Montgomery) and Charlotte (now Washington) counties.
  • 24 March 1772: a partition of 50 sq miles was handed over to Cumberland County.
  • 9 March 1774: Ulster County was set off from Albany County.
  • 1 April 1775: a partition of 60 sq miles was handed over to Charlotte County who then exchanged a like parcel with Cumberland County.
  • 15 January 1777: 300 square miles was lost to the Republic of Vermont.
  • 26 January 1781: Bennington County, Vermont attempted to annex a portion of Albany County (today's portions of Washington and Rensselaer counties) to form "The West Union." The Confederation (before there was the US Constitution) arbitrated this annexation, and condemned it, with Vermont ceasing the attempts on 23 February 1783.
  • 4 Apr 1786: Columbia County was set off.
  • 7 March 1788: New York refusing to recognize the independence of Vermont, with Cumberland County eliminated, tried to adjust the line that separated Cumberland County from Albany in present-day Vermont, but to no effect.
  • 7 February 1791: Rensselaer and Saratoga counties were set off. On the same day, town of Cambridge was transferred to Washington County.
  • 1 January 1795: Schoharie County was set off.
  • 5 April 1798: Ulster County took 90 sq miles to add to it.
  • 25 March 1800: Greene County set off.
  • 3 March 1808: Havre Island turned over to Saratoga County with no net loss of land.
  • 7 March 1809: Schenectady County set off. From this day Albany County exists in its present shape.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]


March 1911: Albany, NY fire destroyed the State Capitol Building including part of the State Library. Losses included twenty-three manuscript folio volumes of the famous official records of the governors of the city of New Amsterdam, covering a period from 1630 to 1674, the correspondence of Governor George Clinton, 5,000 pieces in all, and the original letters of Sir William Johnson, and Governor Daniel D. Tompkins.[6]

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[7]

  • Guilderland
  • Knox
  • Villages
    Census-designated places

    Genealogy Resources[edit | edit source]

    Bible Records[edit | edit source]

    • 1581–1917 New York, Family Bible Records at Ancestry($); Index. This database is a collection of genealogically important records taken from the Bibles of colony and state residents. Reveals the Bible's original owner, brief record of descendants,and a particular event such as birth or marriage as recorded in Bible.
    • Miller, George Douglas. "Albany and New York Families: Genealogies from Old Dutch Bibles," The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 51 (1897):334-344; Vol. 53 (1899):118-120. Digitized by Internet Archive - free.[8] Beeckman, De Peyster, Douw, Hansen family Bibles.

    Biography[edit | edit source]

    • George Rogers Howell, Jonathan Tenny, and John H. Munsell, History of the County of Albany, N.Y., from 1609-1886: with Portraits, Biographies and Illustrations, Bi-centennial History of Albany (Microreproduction of original published: New York: W. W. Munsell, 1886).
    Vol. 1 Google Books digital copy.
    Vol. 2 Google Books digital copy.
    Vol. 3 At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Film 1000231.
    Vol. 4 Google Books digital copy.

    Business Records and Commerce[edit | edit source]

    Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

    Cemetery records often reveal birth, death, relationship, military, and religious information.

    Online Grave Transcripts Published Grave Transcripts County Cemetery Directories* Family History Library*** WorldCat* Tombstone Transcription Project*
    Cemetery Site* NYGenWeb*
    New York Gravestones* Catholic Diocesan cemeteries*
    Ancestry* Billion Graves*
    Billion Graves* Names in Stone*
    Names in Stone* FamilySearch Places
    *See the New York Cemeteries page for details about each site.
    -1900-2002 Jewish People's Cemetery
    -1850- 2001 Temple Israel, Sons of Abraham, Ohav Sholom Cemetery

    Individual cemeteries


    Census[edit | edit source]

    Historical populations
    Census Pop.
    1790 75,980
    1800 34,043 −55.2%
    1810 34,661 1.8%
    1820 38,116 10.0%
    1830 53,520 40.4%
    1840 68,593 28.2%
    1850 93,279 36.0%
    1860 113,917 22.1%
    1870 133,052 16.8%
    1880 154,890 16.4%
    1890 164,555 6.2%
    1900 165,571 0.6%
    1910 173,666 4.9%
    1920 186,106 7.2%
    1930 211,953 13.9%
    1940 221,315 4.4%
    1950 239,386 8.2%
    1960 272,926 14.0%
    1970 286,742 5.1%
    1980 285,909 −0.3%
    1990 292,594 2.3%
    2000 294,565 0.7%
    2010 304,204 3.3%
    Source: "".

    For information and tips on using and accessing online census records, see New York Census.

    • The 1890 Census is lost. For a substitute, see Directories.
    Federal Censuses[edit | edit source]

    U.S. Census Mortality Schedules for New York, 1850-1880:

    • Available online at Ancestry ($).
    • Deaths are included for the 12 months prior to the census, 1849-50, 1859-60, 1869-70, and 1879-80 beginning 1 June and ending 31 May of the census year.[9]
    • Basic contents of the records include: Name, sex, age, color, marital status, place of birth, month of death, occupation, and cause of death. 1870 also has parents' birthplace. 1880 lists how long a resident of the county.
    • Also on FHL Films 1415128–42.

    Dr. Davenport discovered that a page from the 1850 Census of the City of Albany was missed by NARA microfilmers:

    • 1850 - Davenport, David Paul. "City of Albany, New York Missing Page from Microfilm Copy of the 1850 Census," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 117, No. 3 (Jul. 1986):162. Digital version at New York Family History ($); FHL Book 974.7 B2n v. 117.
    Colonial or State Censuses[edit | edit source]
    Source 1720 1790 1855 1865 1875 1892 1905 1915 1925 - Yes Yes - Yes Yes - Yes & Yes Yes
    Family History Library - - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    FamilySearch Historical Records - - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    New York State Library - - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
    RootsWeb Yes - - - - - - - -

    New York State 1865 and 1875 Census Marriage, Mortality; and 1865 Soldier Mortality records:

    • Images available online at New York State Census, 1865 and New York State Census, 1875. Click on the link to go to the page, then click on the ‘Browse through images’ link and select your county, then select an ancestor's town and browse to the end of the population schedule until you find the Marriage, Mortality, and 1865 soldier mortality schedules.
    • Includes marriages and deaths for the 12 months prior to the census, ending 1 June of the census year.
    • Marriage entry content: Husband's name, wife's name, ages and previous marital status, month and day and place of marriage, and church or civil ceremony.
    • Death entry content: Name, age, sex, color, marital status, month and day of death, native state or country, occupation and cause of death.
    • 1865 deaths of officers and enlisted men entry content: Name, age, marital status, citizenship status, enlistment date, original regiment, original rank, regiment at death, rank at death, promotions, death date and place, manner of death, surviving associates, and burial place.
    • Also on microfilm. See the Family History Library line in the above State Census Chart.

    Church Records[edit | edit source]

    Church records are good substitutes for birth, marriage, and death information and are most often found on a local city/town or county level.  Published and manuscript church records can be found at public, university, and private libraries.

    For a brief general history of denominations and a guide to finding various New York denomination's records, see New York Church Records Wiki page.
    List of Churches and Church Parishes


    • Diane Snyder Ptak, Lost and found, Albany (NY) Area Church and Synagogue Vital Records, 1654-1925 (Albany, N.Y.: D.S. Ptak, 1993). At various libraries(WorldCat). FHL book 974.74 V23p. Church and synagogue record inventory for Albany and Rensselaer counties arranged by denomination and county. Lists houses of worship, contact information, record types, years covered, and sources.
    • Albany County (New York), County Clerk, Church Patents with Index (Microreproduction of manuscript at the County Courthouse, Albany, N.Y., 1968). FHL Film 463365. State legal certifications 1784-1880 naming some of each denomination's leaders at their founding.


    • Emmanuel Baptist Church of Albany: 100th Anniversary. 1934?. ($)
    • A Catalogue of the Officers and Members of the Pearl Street Baptist Church of the City of Albany, March 1, 1866. ($); Betty Fink (free).
    • The True Glory of Zion: An Historical Discourse Reviewing Thirty-five Years of Work and Worship in the Meeting House Formerly Standing at the Corner of State and High Streets, Albany, N.Y. ($)


    Ann Mensch's Local Catholic Church and Family History & Genealogical Research Guide is a free online resource that identifies the parishes of Albany County, years parishes were created, contact information, as well as links to online records and research tips. Albany County parishes fall under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Albany.

    • Sevier, Christine. History of the Albany Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 1852-1927. Albany: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 1927. ($)
    • 1797, A Historical Sketch (Illustrated) St. Mary's Parish, Albany, N.Y. and Souvenir of Its Centennial Celebration: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 5th, 6th and 7th, 1897. ($)
    • St. John the Baptist, Green and Westerlo Sts., Albany, N.Y. ($)

    Dutch Reformed

    A Historical Discourse on the Reformed Prot. Dutch Church of Albany. New York: Board of Publication of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church], 1988. ($)

    For further information about the Dutch settlers of Albany County, visit Albany NY Dutch Sources.



    • Year Book and Church Directory: Calvary Evangelical Church. 1930. ($)



    Society of Friends (Quakers)

    The Albany County Clerk's Office Hall of Records has church records on microfilm in their Historical Records for towns and cities in Albany County 1683–1932 for the following churches:

    • Albany First Lutheran 1794-1932
    • Albany First Presbyterian 1785-1841
    • Albany Methodist 1806-1884
    • Albany Saint Peter's Episcopal 1756-1883
    • Albany Second Presbyterian 1815-1870
    • Albany State Street Presbyterian 1859-1883
    • Berne Lutheran 1790-1875
    • Berne Reformed Dutch 1763-1877
    • Bethlehem First Reformed 1794-1924
    • Coeymans Reformed Protestant Dutch 1846-1877
    • Delmar Reformed 1848-1899
    • Guilderland Center Dutch Reformed 1794-1925
    • Jerusalem Reformed 1842-1890
    • Knowerville Lutheran 1785-1868
    • New Salem Dutch Reformed 1786-1899
    • Reformed Dutch of Albany 1683-1809
    • Unionville Dutch Reformed 1825-1932
    • West Sand Lake Lutheran 1785-1868
    • Wynantskill Reformed 1794-1889

    For details on these church records see the town or city wiki page.

    Additional Church Records

    Additional church records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Albany County, New York Genealogy Church Records  in online catalogs like:

    Court Records[edit | edit source]

    Ancestors may have also been involved in municipal, state, or federal court cases. See also New York Court Records and United States Court Records.Original court records for Albany County are held in the office of the County Clerk.[10] See New York Court Records for more information about using court records.

    Copies of Original Records


    Crime and Criminals[edit | edit source]

    The Albany County Clerk's Office Hall of Records (ACHOR)has County Sheriff/Jail records from 1825 to 1967 in their Historical Records. These records include Criminal Records books; inmate booking ledger; inmate commitment books; and registers of inmates, prisoners, and female prisoners. The ACHOR also has Albany Police department's History of Arrests from 1865 to 1940 on microfilm.

    Directories[edit | edit source]

    • 1902–1903 Albany County Officials Illustrated Directory, 1902-1903 FHL fiche 6062152
    • 1912 Directory of the Cities of Albany and Rensselaer: General Directory of the Citizens, Business Directory(Albany, N.Y.: Sampson & Murdock Co., 1912.) FHL film 1425518 Item 5

    Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

    Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

    Jacob I. Hotchkiss, The Diverse Backgrounds of Old Albany: a Concise History of Nationality Groups from Albany's Beginnings to the Time of the Erie Canal (Albany, N.Y.: The Institute, 1964). HeritageQuest (LAR); At various libraries(WorldCat); FHL fiche 6072082.

    Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

    Greene CountyColumbia CountyRensselaer CountySchenectady CountySaratoga CountySchoharie CountyNY ALBANY.PNG

    desc none </imagemap>

    Click a neighboring county
    for more resources

    1870-71 Hamilton Child, Gazetteer and Business Directory of Albany and Schenectady Co., N. Y. for 1870-71 (Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International - Books on Demand, 1989). At various libraries(WorldCat): FHL fiche 6072149.

    Genealogy[edit | edit source]

    History[edit | edit source]

    Land and Property[edit | edit source]

    Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

    See New York Land and Property for more details, especially about the papers generated in New York State by large speculative land companies.

    Original land records in Albany County, New York Genealogy began in 1630. They are housed at the Albany County Hall of Records in Albany.[11]




    Additional land records can sometimes be found using these catalogs:

    Maps[edit | edit source]

    1890: Changes in names of streets in Albany. Courtesy NYGenWeb.

    Migration[edit | edit source]

    Albany Post Road map.png
    NY MA CT.png

    Migration routes for early European settlers to and from Albany County, New York Genealogy included:[12]

    Military[edit | edit source]

    Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

    Albany County men served in the 1st New York Regiment.[33]

    Civil War[edit | edit source]

    Town registers. The New York town clerks kept a bound register of all soldiers from their town serving in the Civil War 1861-1865. Registers are arranged by county, and town. Some town registers are missing. The registers include an index at the start of each town.

    Content. Many register entries include full name, residence, date and place of birth, parents names, marital status, date of enlistment and muster and rank, discharges, death, or promotion.

    Access. The original registers are at the New York State Archives in Albany, New York. Microfilm copies are found at the Family History Library (FHL Film 1993401-37). They are also indexed and available at ($).

    Available towns. Registers are available for: Albany, Berne, Bethlehem, Coeymans, Knox, New Scotland, Rensselaerville, and Westerlo.

    Regiments. Service men in Albany County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed companies formed in Albany County: [34]

    - 1st Battalion, New York Light Artillery, Battery M.
    - 1st Battalion, New York Sharpshooters, 9th Company.
    - 2nd Regiment, New York Infantry, Company H.
    - 3rd Regiment, New York Infantry
    - 6th Independent Battery, New York Light Artillery, Company E.
    - 6th Regiment, New York Cavalry, Companies A and E.
    - 7th Regiment, New York Cavalry, Company E.
    - 7th Veteran Regiment, New York Infantry
    - 9th Regiment, New York Cavalry , Company F.
    - 9th Regiment, New York Infantry (New)
    - 12th Regiment, New York Cavalry, Company B.
    - 13th Regiment, New York Cavalry, Companies G H and I.
    - 16th Regiment, New York Cavalry, Company F.
    - 17th Veteran Regiment, New York Infantry
    - 18th Regiment, New York Infantry Companies B, C, F, G, H, I, L and M.
    - 20th Regiment, New York Infantry Companies D, G, K and M.
    - 21st Regiment, New York Cavalry, Company F.
    - 22nd Regiment, New York Infantry
    - 30th Regiment, New York Infantry
    - 34th Regiment, New York Infantry
    - 43rd Regiment, New York Infantry Companies A, B and D.
    - 44th Regiment, New York Infantry, two companies.
    - 61st Regiment, New York Infantry, 2nd Company I.
    - 62nd Regiment, New York Infantry
    - 63rd Regiment, New York Infantry, Company K.
    - 65th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company B.
    - 91st Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies A, B, C, D, E, F, H, and I.
    - 93rd Regiment, New York Infantry, Company B.
    - 104th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company K.
    - 113th Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I and K.
    - 138th Regiment, New York Infantry Company L.
    - 148th Regiment, New York Infantry
    - 175th Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies A, B and C.
    - 177th Regiment, New York Infantry
    - 179th Regiment, New York Infantry
    - 184th Regiment, New York Infantry
    - 186th Regiment, New York Infantry
    - 188th Regiment, New York Infantry
    - 189th Regiment, New York Infantry , Company B.
    - 192nd Regiment, New York Infantry Companies A, B, C, E, F, G, H, I and K.
    - 194th Regiment, New York Infantry
    • Robert Keating, Carnival of Blood : the Civil War Ordeal of the Seventh New York Heavy Artillery (Baltimore, Maryland: Butternut and Blue, 1998). At other Libraries(WorldCat); FHL book 974.7 M2k History of the 7th New York Heavy Artillery from the time of its formation to disbanding in the summer of 1865. Contains a regimental roster which may list name, age, occupation, date of enlistment, status, date of death or discharge, wounds if any, and where buried if died during the war.
    • Rufus W. Clark, The Heroes of Albany : a Memorial of the Patriot-Martyrs of the City of Albany, Who Sacrificed their Lives During the Late War in Defence of Our Nation, 1861-1865, with a View of What was Done in the County to Sustain the United States Government, and also Brief Histories of the Albany Regiments (Albany, New York: S.R. Gray, 1867). At other Libraries(WorldCat); FHL book 974.742 D3w and (Bethesda, Maryland : University Publications of America, c1992 FHL Fiche 6083492

    Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

    Original naturalization records for Albany County are held in the Hall of Records. See New York Naturalization and Citizenship for more information.

    Newspapers[edit | edit source]

    Old Fulton NY Post Cards has the largest online collection of 400 New York 1795-2007 newspapers. The instructions for this quirky site are needed to get the most out of it.

    Old Fulton NY Post Cards has the following Albany County, New York Genealogy newspaper images:

    • Albany NY Evening Journal 1830-1936

    Obituaries[edit | edit source]

    Rootsweb has an ongoing resource of indexing obituaries of individuals born in Albany, New York. Maiden names are included if known.

    Periodicals[edit | edit source]

    Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.[edit | edit source]

    The Albany County Clerk's Office Hall of Records has county Almshouse Records from 1806 to 2004 on microfilm in their Historical Records. These records include deaths, widow and orphan benefits, register of state poor, and interments.

    Probate Records[edit | edit source]

    Probate records including original estates and wills for New York are held in the office of the county Surrogate Court beginning in 1787, or when the county was formed. Prior to 1787, most are housed at the New York State Archives. See New York Probate Records for more information about using probate records.
    Content:  Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.
    Record types:  Wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distribution.

    Probate Petitions

    In 1830, state law required the Surrogate Court clerk to issue a probate petition for a deceased individual with property. This petition, unique to New York, usually lists the deceased's death date. It also lists the heirs, their relationship to the deceased, and their residence. Alice Eichholz, Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Pub., 2004), 479. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004. Henry B. Hoff, "Navigating New York Probate," American Ancestors 12 (Fall 2011): 54.

    These petitions are often found in the estate files and can be obtained from the county Surrogate Court.

    Original estates and wills for Albany County are held in the Surrogate Court. See New York Probate Records for more information about using probate records.

    Online Probate Indexes

    Online Probate Records

    Original county-by-county New York, Probate Records, 1629-1971 are available free online at FamilySearch. To access these records, click Historical Records below, then click "Browse through 1,630,900 images". Then select the county name, and then the probate records and time of interest.

    • Historical Records - Albany County: Administration and Inventory index, 1776-1825; Administration card index, 1700-1775; Administration index, 1894-1959; Administration orders, 1868-1901; Administrations, 1700-1775, A-Z; Administrations, Inventories, 1776-1825, A-Z; Inventories, 1600-1700's; Inventory card index, 1600's-1700's; Letters of administration, 1794-1902; Letters testamentary, 1856-1900; Probate records, 1868-1900; Wills and Administration index, 1787-1959; Wills, 1629-1901

    Probate Records on Microfilm

    The probate records described above also may be among those on microfilm including:

    • 1600s–1700s, 1700–1825 Original records of administrations of estates, inventories and accounts. FHL film 504477 (22 films)
    • 1629–1828 Index to Record of wills recorded at Albany, New York FHL film 481435 Item 2
    • 1629–1802 Record of wills recorded at Albany, New York FHL film 481436 (12 films)
      Most of the original wills were filed in what is now New York County prior to 1787 and recorded in that county's will books. The selections were retained and kept at Queens College in Flushing before transferred to state archives and filmed.
      See SAMPUBCO for the browsable index to this set of films.
    • 1691–1835 Wills FHL film 463364
    • 1787–1796 Albany probate records FHL film 17515 Item 1
    • 1787–1902 Wills, letters testamentary, letters of administration, orders and index FHL film 467999 (82 films)
      See SAMPUBCO for the browsable index to this set of films covering wills.
    • 1799–1848 Wills proved and recorded FHL film 481434 and 481435 Item 1

    Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

    Additional probate indexes or abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Albany County, New York Genealogy probate wills in online catalogs like:

    Repositories[edit | edit source]

    Archives, Libraries, and Museums[edit | edit source]

    Albany Public Library
    Main Library
    161 Washington Avenue
    Albany, NY 12210
    Phone: 518-427-4300
    Call for hours. Albany History Room hours differ from regular library hours. Pruyn Collection of Albany History housed in the Albany History Room of the library. Collection includes city directories, newspapers, and census records on film and online.

    Guilderland Public Library
    2228 Western Avenue
    Guilderland, New York 12084-9071
    Phone: 518-456–2400
    Collection includes online databases with surname search, church index, cemetery list and transcriptions and land search.

    Nassau Free Library–Genealogy
    18 Church Street
    Nassau, NY 12123.
    Phone: 518-766-2715
    Ralph Philllips Genealogical Collection. Online database of surnames.

    New York State Museum/People of Albany County Live Here
    Online collection of articles and pages about Albany County. Includes biographies of early residents, early laws, military records, county census transcriptions, church records, maps, and will transcriptions.

    New York State Archives
    Cultural Education Center
    222 Madison Avenue
    Albany, NY 12230
    Phone: 518-474-8955

    New York State Library–Genealogy
    Cultural Education Center
    222 Madison Avenue
    Albany, NY 12230
    Local History/Genealogy desk Collection includes local histories, New Netherland Project[35], DAR records, church records, early newspapers, city directories, surname card files, and vital records.

    • Melinda Yates, Gateway to America: genealogical research in the New York State Library, 2nd ed. (Albany, N.Y.: University of the state of New York, State Education Dept., New York State Library, 1982). At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.7 D23y.
    • New York State Library card catalog file of vital records in the History and Genealogy section ([Albany, New York : New York State Library, Photoduplication Department, 1979?]). At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Fiche 6332544. Microfiche of hand and typewritten cards.
    • New York State Library (Albany, New York), Surname card index ([Albany, New York: New York State Library, Photoduplication Unit, 1979?]). FHL Fiche 6331486. Surname catalog of the American History and Genealogy section of the New York State Library.

    Rensselaer, New York City History Research Center
    Rensselaer City Hall
    62 Washington St.
    Rensselaer, NY 12144 second floor.
    Phone: 518-694-3126
    Collection includes city and county histories, directories, newspapers, local family manuscripts, church records, and local society and business records.

    Troy Public Library
    100 Second Street
    Troy, NY 12180
    Phone: 518-274–7071
    The Troy Room Collection contains hundreds of books, pamphlets, and other local history and genealogy documents. Works by local authors, Troy City Directories, local newspapers, family histories, and census records are all part of this valuable collection.

    Upper Hudson Library System consists of 29 public libraries in the counties of Albany and Rensselaer counties. Each library has access to genealogical databases - especially newspaper sites. Many databases are accessible with your library card from home. A list of the libraries in this system and their website and contact information is found here.

    Hudson River Valley Institute[36]
    Marist College
    3399 North Road
    Poughkeepsie, NY 12601-1387
    Phone: 845-575-3052
    The Institute is the academic arm of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. Its mission is to study and to promote the Hudson River Valley and to provide educational resources for heritage tourists and the general public. The Digital Library contains a collection of heritage sites, documents, organizations, and related links to guide you through the Hudson River Valley.

    County Historian's Office[edit | edit source]

    Albany County Historian[37]
    Albany County Office Building
    112 State Street, Room 800
    Albany, NY 12207
    Phone: 518-447-5516

    The County Historian may provide access to obituaries, vital records, church records, maps, and family files or journals. Some historians provide search services for their office records and others may refer you to local genealogists who research in the area.

    Courthouses[edit | edit source]

    Most historical records for Albany County are at the Hall of Records. For further information about where the records for Albany County are held, see the Albany County Courthouses page.

    Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

    Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

    • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
    • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

    Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

    Societies[edit | edit source]

    Albany County Historical Association[38]
    9 Ten Broeck Pl.
    Albany, NY 12210-2524
    Phone: 518-436-9826

    Dutch Settlers Society of Albany[39]
    504 7th Ave
    Watervliet, NY 12189

    Yearbooks, newsletters, tulip festivals, parades, calendar, links to New Netherland research sites.

    Rensselaer County Historical Society Library
    Hart Cluett Museum
    57 Second Street
    Troy, NY 12180
    Phone: 518-244-6846

    Library, archives and research center.

    Capital District Genealogical Society[40]
    Empire State Plaza Station
    PO Box 2175
    Albany, NY 12220-0175

    Counties served: Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, and Washington.
    $3 for non-member queries in their newsletter. Monthly meetings. They staff a genealogy support desk at the Town of Colonie Library.

    Central New York Genealogical Society[41]
    Box 104, Calvin Station
    Syracuse, New York 13205

    Member queries; surname research list; online resources; six meetings/year; publication: Tree Talks (At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.7 B2t) quarterly with annual index.
    Counties served: Albany, Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Oreleans, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Washington, Wayne, Warren, Wyoming, and Yates.

    American Italian Heritage Association[42]
    1227 Central Ave.
    Albany, New York 12205
    Phone: 518-435-1979

    Museum including immigration room, newsletter, and events calendar.

    Shaker Heritage Society of Albany, New York
    25 Meeting House Rd
    Albany, NY 12211

    Teaching resources and programs, blog, craft fairs, and concerts on the grounds.

    Jewish Genealogical Society of the Capital District
    P.O. Box 5002
    Albany, NY 12205-0002
    Phone 518-482-5295 or 800-626-8235

    Repository Guidebooks. Guides to Albany County records and repositories include:

    • Historical Records (.pdf) a complete eight-page inventory of the Albany County Hall of Records showing 55 record types, years covered, descriptions, and department or towns involved.
    • Cornell University,Guide to Historical Resources in Albany County, New York, Repositories (Ithaca, New York: New York Historical Resources Center, Olin Library, Cornell University, 1985). At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.742 A3g.
    • New York State Archives, Guide to Records in the New York State Archives (Albany, New York: New York State Archives, 1993). At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.7 A3ns 1993.
    • Historical Records Survey and Works Progress Administration, Inventory of the County Archives of New York, no. 01, Albany County (Albany) (Albany, New York: Historical Records Survey, 1937). At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.742 A3h. Includes index.
    • Alexander J. Wall and Horatio Seymour, A Sketch of the Life of Horatio Seymour, 1810-1886, with a Detailed Account of his Administration as Governor of the State of New York During the War of 1861-1865 (Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1978) Digital Version at Hathi Trust Digital Library; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Film 1018900 Item 7. Includes a coat of arms, and Horatio, ancestry. "List of the [published] addresses, speeches and writings of Horatio Seymour": p. 87-111 (all items listed to be found in ". . . the Seymour scrapbooks in the New York State Library at Albany, N.Y.").
    • Tracy B. Grimm, World Our Fathers Made: a Survey of the Records of Local Governments in the County of Albany, New York, During the Constitutional Era, 1783-1815 (Albany, New York: Albany County Hall of Records, [1988?]) At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.742 A3gt.

    Social Groups Online[edit | edit source]

    Taxation[edit | edit source]

    • 1708-1709 Piwonka, Ruth. "Tax Lyste van d Stadt en County van Albany 1708/9 (Tax List of the City and County of Albany)," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol.

    The Albany County Clerk's Office Hall of Recordshas Tax Rolls for Albany County from 1813 to 1990 in their Historical Records for the following Municipalities: Albany (1813-1990), Berne, Bethlehem, Coeymans, Cohoes, Colonie, Knox, Green Island, Guilderland, New Scotland, Rensselaerville, Watervliet and Westerlo. See the town or city wiki page for details.

    Town Records[edit source]

    Town records in New York may include early births, marriages, deaths, divorces, local histories, selected military records, and town meeting minutes. Vital records from 1880/1882 are kept by town and village clerks, although some (Kent’s and Putnam Valley’s) are available in the County Historian’s Office. For further details, try the links to individual town Wiki pages found in Places. See also:

    • Gordon L. Remington, New York Towns, Villages, and Cities: A Guide to Genealogical Sources (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2002). NEHGS online edition; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.7 D27r. Alphabetical list including date founded, if a town history exists, church and cemetery sources, and if a Civil War register (TCR) exists.

    Vital Records[edit | edit source]

    Vital Records of birth, marriage or death were first recorded at the local level in the village clerk, town clerk, or city clerk’s ledger book. The actual document was then forwarded to the Department of Health in Albany city. See also How to order New York Vital Records or order electronically online.

    If you know where a birth, marriage or death took place, a copy of the certificate or record may be obtained by writing to the town, village or city clerk. For a list of towns for this county see Places on this page for links to local community wiki pages and their available records. These clerks are generally faster than the Department of Health in providing the copies of certificates. For instance, if you knew your ancestor died in the Rensselaerville, Albany, New York, in 1862, contacting the town clerk there would be helpful to see if they have records in their ledger book for that time period.

    Albany births and deaths 1848, births 1866 to present, and deaths 1870 to the present can be obtained for a fee from: Registrar of Vital Statistics. There is a fifty year restriction on death and marriage records, and a seventy-five year restriction on birth records. There is the additional restriction that you prove all parties are dead to obtain a birth or marriage record. The year restrictions are waived for a direct line descendant.Some marriage records may be kept at the Albany County hall of Records from 1870-1946.

    See New York Vital Records for more information about Vital records in New York.

    Birth[edit | edit source]

    Birth Substitutes

    Albany New York infant.jpg
    • See Town Clerks' Registers of Men who Served in the Civil War in the Civil War section of Military for birth information.
    Marriage[edit | edit source]

    Early marriages were sometimes recorded on the town level and the years vary by town. In 1880, town clerks were to record the marriage and a copy was sent to the New York State Department of Health (state level). Town clerks continue to record marriages. The marriages in this county were recorded by the county clerk from 1870 until 1946.[43]

    Marriage Substitutes

    • 1800–1855 New York Marriage Notices at Ancestry($); Index. This database is a collection of marriage notices published in newspapers around the state. Contains name of bride and groon, marriage date, marriage location, residence, and newspaper found in.
    • 1804–1850 Fred Q. Bowman, 8000 More Vital Records of Eastern New York State, 1804-1850 (Rhinebeck, New York: Kinship Books, 1991). At various libraries; FHL Book 974.7 V2bfqa. Abstracts of newspaper marriage and death columns.
    • 1864-5, 1874-5 See Marriage Schedule information in the State Census section of Census for marriage information for 1864-5, and 1874-5.
    Divorce[edit | edit source]


    All divorces were granted by the governor or legislature and were very rare.


    All divorces were granted by the court of chancery. These records are found in the New York State Archives or for the New York City area at the New York County Clerk's office.These divorces were granted only on the grounds of adultery.


    All divorces are handled by the county Supreme Court where the divorce was granted. Divorce files in New York are sealed for 100 years. Contact the County Clerk for information about divorce records.

    Divorce judgment papers often include date and place of the marriage and the names and birthdates of any children. Local newspapers may publish notices of divorce actions.

    Death[edit | edit source]

    Death Indexes

    Early deaths were recorded on the town level and the years vary by town. (List of towns) The New York State Department of Health (state level) began recording deaths in 1881. Deaths were not recorded on the county level.

    Death Substitutes

    • 1804–1850 Fred Q. Bowman, 8000 More Vital Records of Eastern New York State, 1804-1850 (Rhinebeck, New York: Kinship Books, 1991). At various libraries; FHL Book 974.7 V2bfqa. Abstracts of newspaper marriage and death columns.
    • 1849-50, 1859-60, 1869-70, 1879-80 See Mortality Schedule information in the Federal Census section of Census for death information.
    • 1864-5, 1874-5 See Mortality Schedule information in the State Census section of Census for death information for 1864-5, and 1874-5.
    • See Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War in the Civil War section of Military for death information.

    Additional Resources

    Additional resources for Albany County births, marriages and deaths may be found in the New York, Albany– Vital Records topic page of the FamilySearch Catalog . Copies of books found in the FamilySearch Catalog may be found in WorldCat catalog and ordered from your local library through interlibrary loan. Explore how to search the FamilySearch Catalog and the WorldCat Online Catalog.

    For information about town vital statistics (including births and deaths) contact the the city, town or village clerk.

    City of Albany

    City Vital Statistics
    City Hall, Room 254M
    Albany, New York 12207
    Phone: 518-434-5045
    Birth, marriage and death records

    Town and village information

    Altamont (village) (518) 861-8554
    Berne (518) 872-1448
    Bethlehem (518) 439-4955
    Coeymans (518) 756-2100
    Cohoes (City) (518) 237-7648
    Colonie (518) 783-2734
    Colonie (village) (518) 869-7562
    Green Island (518) 273-0661
    Green Is. (village)(518) 273-2201
    Guilderland (518) 356-1980
    Knox (518) 872-2551
    Menands (village) (518) 434-2922
    New Scotland (518) 439-4865
    Ravena (village) (518) 756-8233
    Rensselaerville (518) 797-3798
    Watervliet (city) (518) 270-3810
    Westerlo (518) 797-3111

    Voting Registers[edit | edit source]

    For details about the "Election Records" 1807-1969 including enrollments and results from 23 communities, see the Albany County Hall of Records' Historical Records (.pdf).

    Websites[edit | edit source]

    Genealogy References[edit | edit source]

    1. Wikipedia contributors, "Albany, New York" in,_New_York accessed 19 Nov 2018
    2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Albany County, New York. Page 488-493 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 490-492.
    3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 488. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
    4. Handybook, 478.
    5. Wikipedia contributors, "Albany County, New York" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at,_New_York (accessed 17 September 2011).
    6. Stu Beitler, "Albany, NY Fire Destroys State Capitol Building, Mar 1911" in at (accessed 10 June 2020).
    7. Wikipedia contributors, "Albany County, New York," in "Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ", accessed 4 November 2019
    8. FamilySearch Wiki contributors, "New England Historical Genealogical Register Online," in FamilySearch Wiki,, accessed 3 March 2012.
    9. Arlene Eakle, and Johni Cerni, The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1984), 103. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27ts.
    10. Handybook, 488.
    11. Handybook, 488.
    12. Handybook, 847-61.
    13. Wikipedia contributors, "Old Albany Post Road" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at (accessed 23 June 2011).
    14. Frederic J. Wood, The Turnpikes of New England and the Evolution of the Same Through England, Virginia, and Maryland (Boston: Marshall Jones, 1919), map between 56 and 57, and 168. Internet Archive version online.
    15. Isaac Huntting, History of the Little Nine Partners of North East Precinct and Pine Plains, New York, Dutchess County (Amenia, NY: Chas. Walsh, 1897), 99-101. Google Book edition.
    16. List of turnpikes in New York in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia (accessed 6 November 2014).
    17. Ancram Turnpike in Routes in the Northeastern United States: Historic Trails, Roads and Migration Routes (accessed 6 November 2014). The Ancram Turnpike went from Springield, MA to Catskill, NY; and was called the Catskill Road.
    18. Almira E Morgan, The Catskill Turnpike: A Wilderness Path (Ithaca, N.Y.: DeWitt Historical Society of Thompkins County, 1971), 5. Online digital copy.
    19. Catskill Turnpike in Routes in the Northeastern United States: Historic Trails, Roads and Migration Routes (accessed 6 November 2014). The Catskill Turnpike went west from Catskill, NY to Bath, NY; the east part was called the Susquehanna Turnpike.
    20. Huntting, 97-99.
    21. List of turnpikes in New York in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia (accessed 1 November 2014).
    22. Anastassia Zinke, The Susquehanna Turnpike and America's Frontier History in Catskill Mountain Foundation (accessed 1 November 2014).
    23. Joan Odess, The Susquehanna Turnpike (pdf accessed 1 November 2014).
    24. Wood, map between 56 and 57, and 186-88.
    25. Wood, map between 330 and 331, and 348-49.
    26. Wood, map between 56 and 57, and 203-205.
    27. Wood, map between 56 and 57, and 166-67.
    28. Wood, map between 56 and 57, and 76-78.
    29. Wood, map between 56 and 57, and 79-80.
    30. Handybook, 851.
    31. Fort Oswego in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia (accessed 2 July 2011).
    32. Mohawk Trail in Routes in the Northeastern United States: Historic Trail, Roads, and Migration Routes in RootsWeb (accessed 7 Jan 2019).
    33. "1st New York Regiment," Valley Forge Legacy,, accessed 31 May 2012.
    34. Frederick Phisterer, New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. (Albany, N.Y.: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912). Internet Archive digital copy; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Film 1486494-96; Fiche 6083559-64; Book 974.7 M2p.
    35. Bentley, 368.
    36. Hudson River Valley Institute at (accessed 14 November 2011).
    37. Elizabeth Petty Bentley, Genealogist's Address Book: State and Local Resources, with Special Resources Including Ethnic and Religious Organizations, 6th ed. (Baltimore, Md: Genealogical Publ., 2009), 369. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D24ben 2009.
    38. "Ten Broek Mansion: Home of the Albany County Historical Association" at (accessed 26 October 2011).
    39. Dutch Settlers Society of Albany at (accessed 4 November 2011), and Bentley, 369.
    40. Capital District Genealogical Society (Internet site) at (accessed 31 October 2011).
    41. Central New York Genealogical Society at (accessed 19 Apr 2018).
    42. American Italian Heritage Association at (accessed 1 November 2011).
    43. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 488-493. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.

    Albany County New York Places[edit | edit source]