New York State Council of Genealogical Organizations
Contact Information[edit | edit source]
This organization has been disbanded as of May 2019.
Collection Description[edit | edit source]
Collections that were held by the New York State Council of Genealogical Organizations (NYSCOGO) are being transferred to the New York State Library Special Collections located in Albany.
History of the NYSCOGO[edit | edit source]
Written by: Joyce H. Cook, Charter member, newsletter editor, secretary, co-editor of Researching Native Americans in New York State and The Balloting Book.
At a summer, 1990, genealogical conference in Rochester, several leaders of NYS genealogical and historical societies realized they wanted to know what others were doing in their groups, perhaps create some sort of association that could interact with state government agencies, and even help to educate beginners on how to do genealogy. That fall they met at the Fulton Public Library in Oswego County, NY, to discuss this and determined there was enough interest to form a viable statewide organization.
In April 1991, a constitution and bylaws were adopted at the next meeting in Fonda, NY. Officers and trustees were elected, appointments were made, and the organization was underway. The purposes of this organization were stated in Article II of the Constitution: "to promote an interest in genealogy; to facilitate communication between researchers and genealogists; to provide a forum for local and statewide action; to utilize various educational means to further genealogical knowledge."
It was decided to produce a newsletter to keep the lines of communication open. The Lifeline, the quarterly newsletter, began in 1991. The consecutive editors relied on members and delegates from member organizations to contribute information in a timely manner for inclusion in the newsletter.
At various times, the Council was composed of over thirty organizations and over fifty individuals; most of the organizations were from New York State, including public libraries. Many individual members also belonged to their local genealogical or historical society, which may or may not have been a NYSCOGO member. Each member organization named two delegates to the semi-annual business meetings, usually held in conjunction with a half-day workshop or other genealogy-related activity.
To further genealogical research in New York State, members met with officials from the Department of Health to secure better access to the state's vital records in Albany. Eventually, the DOH placed indexes to these birth, death, and marriage records at the State Archives. Since then those indexes have been distributed to other locations around the state, and also on the Internet.
NYSCOGO published Naturalization Records of New York State in 1996. This listed the location, by county, of the naturalization records existing in NYS repositories. This publication was the result of teamwork by many members, who visited their local county offices and compiled the information.
In 2004, the mission of NYSCOGO was broadened to provide leadership in facilitating the work of nonprofit organizations with genealogical and/or family history orientations, to encourage the development of genealogical and family history-oriented organizations in areas of NYS not currently served by such organizations, to identify and create resources which have statewide genealogical and/or family history significance, and to represent the interests of NYS genealogists in state and national venues.
The second NYSCOGO publication was Researching Native Americans in New York State, in 2007. Again arranged by county, it listed the locations of research opportunities for those who face the difficult task of finding their Native American ancestors in New York State. The large first section covered each reservation, listing on-reservation resources.
In 2011, another helpful publication for state researchers was published by NYSCOGO: The Balloting Book. This was a directory of those Revolutionary War soldiers who received land grants in Central and Western New York for their war service. Not only did it list the locations of their lands but also named who bought their land. It served as the first land record for many New York State counties.
From 2012 to its demise in 2019, NYSCOGO worked with Internet resources and social media communications to help fulfill their missions. However, lack of support from genealogical and historical organizations in the state as well as the burgeoning availability of Internet source materials resulted in declining membership and participants to maintain a viable organization.
At a May 2019 meeting it was determined to disband NYSCOGO, giving the official records to the New York State Archives as well as any remaining treasury funds. Therefore, the organization no longer exists.
Alternate Repositories[edit | edit source]
Here is a list of other repositories that may have information about your New York ancestors:
Sources[edit | edit source]