New York in the American Revolution

Eric G. Grundset has written New York in the American Revolution:  A Source Guide for Genealogists and Historians for the National society Daughters of the American Revolution, 2012.  More than 687 pages of resources organized by name, by county, by subject, by repository, and very carefully indexed.  More than 20 pages of maps.

New York state is one of the most complicated research areas–for a variety of reasons.  One of the most significant is the scattered nature of the resources available:

There have been efforts over many years to enhance the accessibility to historical information within New York, most notably the Historical Documents Inventory conducted by the New York Historical Resources Center, Olin Library, Cornell University in the 1980’s.  The results of that project were published in a series of “red books,” one volume (or a set) for each county.  More recently, all of this information was added to the New York State Library’s online catalog, Excelsior, and searching therein can yield information on the holdings of many small historical repositories across the state.  One caution for researchers is that they must be observant of the location of collections given in the online catalog, because all of these materials are not at the New York State Library in Albany as the inattentive reader might assume.

So, New York is a divided state both geographically and conceptually.  It is not unique in these ways, but the uniqueness that is specific to New York makes for general decentralization of historical focus and of historical sources.  This complicates the work that genealogical and historical researchers do immensely and necessitates visits to many scattered research centers over a period of time to consult their holdings to ensure that as many sources as possible relating to research interests have been checked.  (p. 2)

This is an important new guide for New York genealogy, even though limited by time period–and worth its weight–so to speak.  Watch for it in the genealogy research libraries you frequent.  Sometimes there is a delay between publication of a reference work and when it is available for the public to use. If you library does not have it–suggest that they order a copy from the DAR for patrons.  Your favorite New York genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS  Stay tuned for my own special project–a report on the area between the Hudson River and the Connecticut River–which spans several state borders along the New York line.  This is an area where many pedigrees get lost.


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