The first settlers of Albany, New York were Dutch; in the 18th century, however, Albany claimed an admixture of English and Palatine Germans, the three nationalities together providing the axis on which this genealogical compendium of Albany families rests. Typically, the articles, which are arranged in alphabetical order by family name, give the names of husbands, wives and children and dates of birth, marriage and death, and they are laced with incidental references to land holdings, occupations, and places of residence. A key to Dutch surnames, which are occasionally or constantly omitted in the ancient records of Albany and Schenectady, is prefixed to the work. An index of 7,000 entries helps to coordinate this research.
In the preparation of materials for this work, the compiler drew on the baptism and marriage registers of the First Reformed Church of Albany, laboring as well with records from other sources, such as wills, deeds, mortgages, marriage contracts, and a variety of other matter found in the offices of the Albany County and City Clerks.