Thursday, December 13, 2012

Good stuff at for New York research!

Update 12/23: It is a great resource, but why does it so often, after all the work the researcher puts in matching the indexing information to the page of the will or land record--not a quick task--tell the researcher to "try again later," or just spin indefinitely? What can we do to get it to be an efficient search effort? The scans are truly fantastic and it is great to have access, but very frustrating when that access just falls away. has put online some lovely scans for counties in  New York. Working with the scanned info is  time-consuming, but I am loving it.

Probate records were put online a few weeks ago, and by working with the index and then with the other microfilmed images we can all see many wills and probate records. Be sure to see the indexes. Then you can find the correct page in the will or probate records. Say it says your ancestor's name for will book 18, page 240. You find the scan of will book 18, then you plug in guesses for the page. Maybe you start with 100 and find that that is a bit short of the scanned page referred to. Keep trying, and you will get it. And there you go. You've got a will you wanted to see and then you can go on to others.

Even more recently, land records were put online. Again, going to each county you are interested in, looking at indexes, and then looking at the actual records, you will find very good information. Number one, you will see who was alive in that place at that time, and secondly, land exchanges were often between relatives, which provides a great clue for genealogy research.

Going through this process is time-consuming, and sometimes the website fails, but we now all have access to information that formerly we would have had to order as microfilms and view at a Family History Center, or order from town clerks or other sources as vital records.

If you are watching a slow-moving show on t.v., this is a perfect multi-tasking complement to that .

And I suggest, when you find a gem of information that you haven't seen online, share it with the rest of us.

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