Archives Made Available For Free With New, New York Archives Agreement

This image is side 1 of a telegram, marked "Private and Confidential", from President Abraham Lincoln to Governor Edwin D. Morgan of New York, 1862. Lincoln, having requested 300,000 troops from New York, pressed Morgan to send as many troops as he could, as quickly as possible. Noting that time was of the essence, he promised Morgan that the more quickly he was sent the troops, the more likelihood there would be of the Union winning the Civil War quickly, ensuring the survival of more of the soldiers.

Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I—Pulaski) encouraged those interested in family history to visit the new state archives site, An agreement between and several state and local genealogical resources, as well as state archives and the state library, have helped to create a searchable database of New York records on the site for free. The New York State Archives magazine features the site in its latest issue and reports that thousands of additional documents will continue to be made available.

The site contains archival photos, videos and audio of historic places and moments such as Gov. Rockefeller’s State of the State address in 1959 and instructional videos that introduce how archives are kept. The site also contains images from commerce, the Erie Canal, child labor changes, agriculture, and environmental photos, maps and immigration, to name a few.

In recent months, more records have been added through and include the New York Civil War muster roll abstracts, 1861-1900; New York town clerks’ registers of men who served in the Civil War; New York marriages 1600-1784: and New York military equipment claims, War of 1812.

“There is a vast amount of information available on this site for free. One can get lost in its contents. It is a great resource for anyone interested in family history, genealogy, and history in general,” said Barclay. To date, 1.2 million people have visited the site, the New York Archives reports. “As more and more people become aware of the site, even more archives will be added.”

Users interested in creating their own account on New York should visit and click on find family history records located in the middle of the page. This brings visitors to the genealogy resource page. Click on ancestry/ny and follow instructions given online. The site warns people not to sign up for the free 14-day trial but, instead, to register as a New York resident. Users have the option to sign up through a paid subscription with if they wish.