New York State Library Genealogy
Tracing Your Immigrant Ancestors
There is a wide diversity of resources available for researching an
immigrant. The following references are only some basic tools of research.
Library call numbers have been included for your convenience.
"Tracking Immigrant Origins," in Arlene H. Eakle & Johni Cerny,
The Source: a Guidebook of American Genealogy, Ancestry Publ.,
1984, pp. 453-516. (R,929.1072073,qS724,84-35448)
Miller, Olga K. Migration, Emigration, Immigration Principally to the
United States and in the United States. Two volumes. Everton Publ., 1981.
(R,016.929373,qM649,79-23513) This bibliography lists many sources of
information about immigrants. An excellent starting place.
Neagles, James C. and Lila Lee Neagles. Locating Your Immigrant
Ancestor: A Guide to Naturalization Records. Rev. ed. Everton Publ.,
Ptak, Diane S. A Compilation of American and Canadian
Passenger/Emigration Registers. D.S. Ptak, 1993. (R929.37,qP975,94-73731)
Supplement, 1995. (R,929.37,qP975,94-73731,1993b)
Albany: The Albany Hall of Records holds Naturalizations
and Declarations of Intentions for Albany County from 1821 to 1991 with indices
(indices available online at http://www.albanycounty.com/achor).
The Hall of Records address is 95 Tivoli Street, Albany, NY 12207, (518)
436-3663. Search room hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Colonies: England and other countries naturalized
individuals in the American colonies before 1775. "Naturalizations of
Foreign Protestants in the American Colonies Pursuant to Statute 13 George II,
c.7," edited by M.S. Gueseppe in Volume 24 of the Huguenot Society of
London's [Publications] Quarto Series (J,284.5,qH892) Lists immigrants
naturalized in the American colonies during the 1700s.
Scott, Kenneth. Denizations, Naturalizations and Oaths of Allegiance
in Colonial New York. Genealogical Publ., 1975. (A,929.3747,S427,76-285)
Denization is a British term referring to an alien admitted to residence and to
certain rights of citizenship in a country.
New York City: Photographic copies of naturalization
documents filed in Federal, State, and local courts located in New York City,
1792 to 1906, and a name index for this file are held by the National Archives
and Records Administration, 201 Varick Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10014.
Telephone: (212) 337-1300; E-Mail: email@example.com G6
New York State Records: Naturalization records for the
period dating from September 27, 1906 until April 1, 1956 may be requested from
the Immigration & Naturalization Service. Requests should be submitted to
the office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service nearest you. Call or
write the office to obtain the proper form for your request.
Scott, Kenneth. Early New York Naturalizations: Abstracts of
Naturalization Records from Federal, State, and local courts 1792-1840.
Genealogical Publishing Co., 1981. (R,929.3747,S427,81-34067)
Filby, P. William, ed. Philadelphia Naturalization Records: an index.
Gale Research, 1982. (R,929.373,qP544,83-25418)
Upstate New York: Naturalization records of upstate New
York for the period before 1906 are usually found in local and state court
records generally filed in the county clerk's office of the county where the
Filby, P. William, ed. Passenger and Immigration Lists Bibliography,
1538-1900; a guide to published lists of arrivals in the United States and
Canada. Gale Research, 2nd ed., 1988. (R,016.929373,qP287,82-20465)
Filby, P. William, with Mary K. Meyer, eds. Passenger and Immigration
Lists Index. Three volumes and supplementary volumes. Gale Research,
Glazier, Ira A. and P. W. Filby, eds. Germans to America: lists of
passengers arriving at U.S. ports, 1850-1855. Scholarly Resources,
1988--. 48 vols. (R,929.308931,Ge7e,88-53316)
Glazier, Ira A. and P. W. Filby, eds. Italians to America: lists of
passengers arriving at U.S. ports, 1880-1899. Scholarly Resources,
1992--. 4 vols. (R,929.308951,I88,93-2263)
Mitchell, Brian, comp. Irish Passenger Lists, 1847-1871: lists of
passengers sailing from Londonderry to America on Ships of J. & J. Cook Line
and the McCorkell Line. Genealogical Publishing Co., c1988.
National Archives and Record Service. Index to Passenger Lists of
Vessels Arriving at New York, 1820-1846, 103 rolls of microfilm.
(MA/FM,929.37471,I38,83-29199) Index to Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at
New York, 1897-1902, 115 rolls of microfilm. (MA/FM,974.71,I38,88-59141)
Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index,
1820-1824. Accelerated Indexing Systems International. c1986.
Tepper, Michael. American Passenger Arrival Records: a guide to the
records of immigrants arriving at American ports by sail and steam.
Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988. (R,929.1072073)
The National Archives has some customs passenger lists for ports on the
Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico and a few inland ports; these lists date mostly
from 1820-1945. For information you may write Reference Service Branch (NNIR),
National Archives and Records Service, Washington, DC 20408.
New York State required aliens intending to buy property to file a
deposition of the alien's intention to become a citizen. Those records
containing useful genealogical information were transcribed by Kenneth Scott and
published as New York Alien Residents, 1825-1848. Genealogical
Publishing Co., 1978. (R,929.3747,S427,81-34236)
New York State Library
We've provided descriptions of the New York State Library's genealogical
resources for the convenience of researchers who are planning a trip to the
Library. The Library's Web site cannot provide access to the records
themselves because our genealogical records are not in an electronic
The Local History and Genealogy Section is one of the busiest sections of
the New York State Library. It is used by people who are tracing the history of
their families, as well as by professional genealogical researchers, biographers
and historians who are seeking information about the collective history of
families or the domestic life of a period in American history. We welcome onsite
researchers to use our large collection of family genealogies, local
histories, DAR records,
church records, census
records, early newspapers on film, city
directories, and other materials.
In general, genealogical materials cannot be borrowed; they must be used on
site at the Library during regular Library
hours. For more information, see:
The Genealogy Area of the State Library contains an extensive collection of
printed histories on individual families. The collection is national in scope,
but with an emphasis on New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New England
families. Reference works and guides to genealogical research in foreign
countries are available, but separate family histories for families outside of
the United States are not collected. The Library also has the FamilySearch
Excelsior, the Library's online catalog,
provides access to information about the Library's collection through author,
title, and subject searches. Also listed on Excelsior are records collected
during the Historical Documents
Inventory, a Statewide survey of manuscripts and archives collections in
repositories that are open to the public. These collections are not held at the
New York State Library; the catalog record for each item or collection will
indicate the name and address of the repository where it is located.
- A Pathfinder for information on searching Excelsior for family names.
See Local Histories
for information about searching for histories of New York counties, cities
which are available on site at the Library, provide access to materials in the
Some genealogical materials are also held by the New
York State Archives, which is located in the same building as the State
Library staff members will provide on-site assistance in the use of the
collection, suggest research strategies, and provide referrals to sources not
available in the State Library. However, Library staff cannot conduct
genealogical searches for you. For those who cannot visit the Library
themselves and wish to engage the services of a professional genealogist, Board
for Certification of Genealogists maintains a database
of genealogists who are certified by the Board for Certification of
Genealogists and who reside in or have a "special interest" in New
Volunteers: Both the State Library and the Library's users
are fortunate that volunteers from the Capital District Genealogical Society are
available for assistance. The volunteers are eager to explain the resources of
the Library (including the online catalog) and to help users get started doing
research. The volunteers use a desk located close to the service desk. Please
feel free to consult with them as well as with the Reference Services staff at
the Local History/Genealogy Service desk.
Genealogy Research Series: Library staff have prepared
information sheets to guide you in your search and answer many of your
questions. These sheets are available at no cost in a display rack in the Local
History and Genealogy area. The
Genealogy Research Series is also available online.
Photocopying: Because the handling involved in the act of
photocopying can be hazardous to rare and fragile volumes, please do not
photocopy any of the Local History/Genealogy material unless you have received
specific approval from a library staff member. Many volumes have been
microfilmed or microfiched, and the Library has an ongoing program to film more
material. Please check with the staff before photocopying, and make copies from
a microform version if one is available. Please join us in protecting the
materials of the collection and ensuring that they remain in useable condition.
See also Photocopying
Microform Area: The Microform Area is located on the 7th
Floor, adjacent to the Local History and Genealogy Area. Staff members at the
Microform Desk are available to assist you, in person and over the telephone, in
locating and retrieving materials from the microfilm and microfiche collections.
The Microform Area is equipped with numerous microfilm readers, microfilm
printers, microfiche readers, microfiche printers and micro-opaque readers for
the public to use. The Microform Desk staff provides Library users with
instruction in how to use this equipment to read and/or make copies from
microforms. If you have questions about materials in the microform collection,
you may call one of these desks:
the Microform Desk at (518) 474-3092,
the Local History/Genealogy Desk at (518) 474-5161, or
the Reference Desk at (518) 474-5355.
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