The greatest source of early vital records are the records of the
various churches in the area. Nearly all have been transcribed in one
fashion or another over the years. I was amazed when I first started my
research in the early 1980's at the amount of information available. The
church was the center of most social activity at the time and families
tended to remain associated with one church over several generations.
Most Eastern New York church records are available within the County
Historical Societies. Most eastern NY baptismal records are available to
members at ancestry.com
but there is, of course, a membership fee.
"Grace L. Coffman" wrote:
If NYS wasnt required to record vital records for events pre-1881 does that
mean we are flat outta luck to find records for before then? I have many
records between 1820 and 1870 that I would love to have, if they exist but I
wonder if they do? Do the historical libraries have some such register? I
find it hard to believe the towns didnt index any vital events in their
books- how did they keep record of who was where for taxes and such?!
Please let me know what you can about this- I've read all over Cliff's site
but can't really figure it this answer out!