Colonial New York Church Records
New Netherland and Beyond
New Netherland
Delaware River
Colonial New York
New York State

Church Records, Vitals, Wills

Colonial New York Church Records

Many early churches merged and reformed into a new denomination. Some churches are no longer in existence and others may have merged again after the Revolution. It would be wise to check all churches in the area you are searching, as many people visited other denominations when no minister was available for their local church.

Albany Area

Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Montgomery, Fulton, Herkimer, Otsego, Onieda, Delaware and Washington County

New York City
and Long Island

Manhattan; Kings, includes Brooklyn; Queens-Nassau; Richmond; Bronx; Suffolk

Southeastern Area
(NY, NJ)

Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Ulster, Sullivan and Westchester counties for New York;
and Bergen and Hudson counties for New Jersey to 1665.

Church Records
The collected information in this survey includes churches that have recorded Baptisms, Marriages and/or Deaths and Members from the colonial period. For the most part, the survey does not include church histories, and other records such as confirmations or groups. The records cited include publications in the form of books, manuscripts and some archival holdings. Repositories such as the Latter Day Saints Library in Utah, are more extensive and have most of the records listed. Churches still in existence may have their own archived collections.

Who published what and where to find it
In the column heading "Records Published, Indexed" within the tables listed above, you will find information on published indexes to available church records.
to locate items in libraries near you. Some items are not available for general circulation, and you may have to visit the library or organization who holds the unpublished archives.

In lieu of visiting libraries with reserved records, you may be able to access some materials through The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYGBS), and their publications, "The Record" (NYGBR).


A.C.M. Kelly
Arthur C. M. Kelly transcribed and indexed many New York church records, published by Kinship. You can visit the online catalog at Kinship.

R.W. Vosburg
The Royden W. Vosburg Collection of Church Records, with the exception of the New York City Area, was made available on microfilm by the NYGBS to Libraries throughout the U.S.

The Holland Society Yearbooks (HSYB) and Publications are available at some libraries as reprints. Information on the Holland Society Publications can be found at The Holland Society Website.

Manuscripts held by the New York Historical Society, the Holland Society, and the Long Island Historical Society do not circulate. Other libraries may have the same collections available on microfilm.


Family History Center
The largest resource for church records is available at The Church of Latter Day Saints in the State of Utah. Microfilm can be requested from any of their branch Family History Centers. Access the online catalog at Family History Library Catalog

Other Denominational Libraries
The Presbyterian Churches hold their own archives. Churches no longer in existence are archived at the Presbyterian Historical Society. Published Records are available on microfilm or other media.

Quaker Records are kept at the Friends Historical Library in Swarthmore, PA and do not circulate.
Mr. James E. Hazard, working with the original records at Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College, completed a name index to New York Yearly Meeting in 2005. This index is now on-line, and includes all of the monthly meeting minutes and vital records that were on deposit at Swarthmore to that date.

The New York State Library (NYSL) and the Reformed Church Archives (RCA) in New Jersey are the depositories for many unpublished church records. You will have to physically visit these libraries to access the manuscripts. The New York Public Library (NYPL) has many of the same records in addition to the huge NYGBS Collection recently received.

Reformed Church Archives
Gardner Sage Library

New Brunswick Theological Seminary
17 Seminary Place
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901

New York State Library
Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY 12230

About Books
Many of the older books have been reprinted by the Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland and are in libraries throughout the U.S. You can visit their website to see what is available for purchase.

You can also purchase books at:
Hope Farm Press in New York State
Higginson Books in Salem, MA
Heritage Books, Westminster, MD or other on-line stores.
You may find used books on occasion at Ebay, check the "other" category for genealogy books in addition to the U.S. history category.

And last but not least:
You can contact the Volunteer Lookups at Rootsweb to do a surname search in books they own.

For additional information on where to find church records, consult the WPA Publications:
The Works Progress Administration, Historical Records Survey, Guide to Vital Statistics Records of Churches in New York State (exclusive of New York City). Albany, NY, ©1942, 2 vol.
The New York City WPA publications are divided into books for each of the 5 boroughs - Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Richmond and Manhattan.
In addition, the WPA published inventories by denomination.

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