This is an extensive collection of genealogies of the first settlers of Schenectady, tracing families in the direct male line for at least three generations. The compiler based his research, in large part, on the baptism and marriage registers of the First Reformed Church of Schenectady but otherwise drew on records of the Secretary of State of New York, the Clerks of the City and County of Albany, and the Court of Appeals. The result is a genealogical compendium of unimpeachable authority.
The articles range from brief paragraph-length sketches to full-blown family histories and are characterized by a catalogued progression of names and dates of birth, marriage, and death with incidental references to land holdings, occupation, place of residence, country of origin, and date of immigration. The articles are arranged in alphabetical order by family name, allowing easy access, and all names cited therein are included in the index, which yields more than 6,000 entries.
The territory covered by this work is nearly equal to the present county of Schenectady. Although originally inhabited by the Dutch from nearby Albany, a vast number of Scotch-Irish immigrants and New England adventurers took up residence here after the Revolution and, in the early years of their residence, having no churches of their own, had their marriages solemnized and their children baptized in the Dutch Reformed churches of Albany and Schenectady. These records have also been worked into the genealogies.