New York Foundling Hospital

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New York Foundling Hospital

The New York Foundling Hospital was one of the two main sending institutions involved in the orphan train movement from 1853-1930 which "placed out" by railroad 200,000 orphans, abandoned, or homeless children to 48 states and Canada. In some cases they have records of birth parents. The New York Foundling Hospital is administered by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul.
New York Foundling Hospital entrance.

Contact Information[edit | edit source]

Contact Us at The New York Foundling

No adoption-search requests may be answered by email.


New York Foundling
Record Information Department
Attn: Yvonne Wintz
590 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10011

Telephone: 212-727-6812

Website: The New York Foundling

Map:  Google Map

Records Information at The New York Foundling contact information, affiliate of NY State Adoption and Medical Information Registry, inquiries, and rebuilding adoptees' personal stories.

Collection Description[edit | edit source]

The New York Foundling's Record Information maintains records on orphan train riders and on people who have been in foster care or adopted. They provide non-identifying and medical information to adults who have been adopted. Adopted parents may also receive medical information. When authorized by New York State, they may be able to provide identifying information to birth parents, siblings, and adoptees.[1]

They respond to inquiries from those who have a history with them personally or, after their deaths, to their children and grandchildren. Due to the volume of requests they are unable to respond to inquiries regarding aunts, uncles and cousins. They strive to locate information from all possible sources.[1]

They help clients rebuild their personal stories. For the first time, many people begin to understand why they were placed into care and the circumstances of their family’s life. This knowledge gives clients a greater understanding of their past and helps diminish the painful sense of secrecy and loss that many have carried. Most of our clients take away a stronger sense of self and connection to the Foundling.[1]

The Foundling  has individual case files of orphan train riders and other adopted children including some notes from mothers.[2]

The New-York Historical Society  has The Foundling's minutes and annual reports; correspondence and memos; bound registers and other administrative volumes; pamphlets, brochures and fliers; legal documents; reports; grant proposals; manuals; birth certificates; clippings and periodicals; published books; audiovisual materials, including some restricted volumes about orphan train riders.[2]

Tips[edit | edit source]

Please note: For privacy reasons, no adoption search requests may be answered via email.[1]

Guides[edit | edit source]

  • Guide to the Records of the New York Foundling Hospital 1869-2009 MS 347 at New-York Historical Society. The collection documents the programs of the New York Foundling Hospital, 1869-2009, and the St. Agatha Home for Children, which operated separately from the Foundling beginning in 1884, before merging into the Foundling in 1977. The collection at the NYHS includes much orphan train information, but no case files from the placing-out and boarding-out program. Those records remain at the New York Foundling Hospital.
  • Inskeep, Carolee R. The New York Foundling Hospital: An Index to Its Federal, State and Local Census Records (1870–1925). Baltimore, Md.: Clearfield, 1995. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.71 J3in. Includes 1870, 1880, 1890 (police census), 1900, 1905, 1910, 1915, 1920, and 1925 censuses. Alphabetical list of children, sisters, and workers.

Alternate Repositories[edit | edit source]

If you cannot visit or find a source at the New York Foundling Hospital, a similar source may be available at one of the following.

Overlapping Collections

  • New-York Historical Society, NYC, houses the Children's Aid Society archives, and some New York Foundling Hospital records, both orphan train sending institutions, as well as has the largest manuscript collection in New York State, many town records, colonial records, newspapers, periodicals, biographies, histories, directories, maps, photos.[3]
  • National Orphan Train Complex, Concordia, Kansas, preserves the records of the children and agents who rode the trains, history of the orphan train movement, stories of the children, photos, artifacts, a rider registry, a speakers' bureau, and the organization's online news.[4]

Similar Collections

Neighboring Collections

Related Websites[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Records Information at The New York Foundling (accessed 21 June 2020).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Guide to the Records of the New York Foundling Hospital 1869-2009 MS 347 at New-York Historical Society (accessed 28 September 2012).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 William Dollarhide, and Ronald A. Bremer, America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, UT: Heritage Quest, 1988), 81. WorldCat 39493985; FHL Book 973 J54d.
  4. NOTC Home at National Orphan Train Complex, Inc. (accessed 26 September 2012).
  5. Guide to the Records of the Children's Aid Society 1836-2006 (bulk 1853-1947) MS 111 at The New-York Historical Society (accessed 8 April 2021).
  6. List of Holdings in NYC Department of Records (accessed 8 May 2016)
  7. Birth Records in NYC Health (accessed 8 May 2016).
  8. Office of the City Clerk in The City of New York (accessed 8 May 2016).
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 890. WorldCat 50140092; FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  10. Introduction to Family History Centers in Family History Research Wiki (accessed 29 February 2016).
  11. Home in Leo Beck Institute (accessed 5 May 2016).
  12. Dollarhide and Bremer, 125-26.
  13. History of the NYG&BS in The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (accessed 5 May 2016).
  14. Irma and Paul Milstein Division of U.S. History, Local History and Genealogy in New York Public Library (accessed 16 October 2010).
  15. Collections in Archives of the Archdiocese of New York (5 May 2016).
  16. Dollarhide and Bremer, 83.
  17. Vital Records in New York State Department of Health (accessed 6 May 2016).
  18. Dollarhide and Bremer, 4.
  19. New England Historic Genealogical Society in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia (accessed 30 August 2010).
  20. Dollarhide and Bremer, 5, 57, and 59.
  21. Gwenn F. Epperson, New Netherland Roots (Baltimore: Genealogical Pub., 1994), 37-43. WorldCat 29980509; FHL Book 974.7 D27e.
  22. Holland Land Company in SUNY Fredonia (accessed 22 November 2013).