Not until 1847 did New York state require local jurisdictions to record the birth, marriage, or death events of its inhabitants. This glaring omission in the official genealogical record makes consulting unofficial sources–such as church records, family Bibles, and, in particular, newspaper archives–of great importance in New York state research.
Genealogist Fred Q. Bowman was among the first researchers to take a systematic approach to this problem where old New York newspapers were concerned. Bowman divided the Upstate portion of the Empire State into three regions. He then identified all the papers that published birth, marriage, and/or death notices within those regions and, one by one, extracted every “vital record” notice he found in 34 newspapers published in 23 communities.
The end result of his efforts was publication of three books:
- 10,000 Vital Records of Eastern New York, 1777-1834 draws on the “Daily Albany Argus” and the “Plattsburgh Republican”
- 10,000 Vital Records of Central New York, 1813-1850 incorporates the “Utica Western Recorder” and the “Corning Weekly Journal”
- 10,000 Vital Records of Western New York, 1809-1850 makes good use of the “[Batavia] Republican Advocate” and the “Jamestown Journal” among others.
For more information about the full contents of Mr. Bowman’s 10,000 VITAL RECORDS series, please access the links above to their full descriptions.