NYGenWeb: PEEKSKILL, NY Genealogical Resources
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Westchester County, NY


This page was last updated: Thursday, 05-Apr-2012 09:39:00 MDT

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 «Bibliography » « Cultural and/or Historical sites » « Renowned Residents »
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Peekskill is a village in the town of Cortlandt.

"The name of the village is due to Jans Peek, an early Dutch navigator, who, in following the track of Hendrick Hudson, mistook the broad estuary at Ros Hook for the proper passage to the north. Here, it is said, he built a house and remained during the winter. To the creek was given the name of Jans Peek's Creek, or Peek's Kill, and from the name of the creek the village received its designation. In a deed given by the Indians to Jacobus Dekay and others, June 25, 1685, the creek is referred to as being known to the Indians as John Peake's Creek."

"April, 17, 1816, an act was passed by the Legislature incorporating the village of Peekskill. No record exists, however, of any election of officers under this charter. Another charter was granted April 9, 1827, and the first known trustees were elected. Samuel Strang was chosen by the trustees from their own body as the first president of the corporation. Another charter was obtained April 5, 1839, and amendments have since been made."

[Source: Excerpt from Chapter V, in Scharf's History of Westchester County,..., Volume 2, page 388-389.]

Vital Records

Also, see if there is any additional information on the Vital Records page at this site.

Historical Society

Van Cortlandville Historical Society

Churches and Synagogues

First Presbyterian Church
The Second Presbyterian Church
The First Methodist Episcopal Church
St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church
The Wesleyan Methodist Church
The First Baptist Church
The Church of the Assumption
Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church
Roman Catholic
Roman catholic churches in Westchester county are under the juridiction of the Archdiocese of New York. You can search their parish listing at the following web page: http://www.ny-archdiocese.org/pastoral/parishes.cfm
Episcopal Churches -- New York
See a list of Episcopal Churches in New Yorkhttp://www.episcopalchurch.org/webpages/p2.html#NewYork or use their Parish Finder search engine.

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Transcribed Cemetery Inscriptions

Carretta, Katherine A., compiler. A Guide to Listings of Old Cemetery Inscriptions and other Genealogical Aids for Westchester County, New York. [Westchester County Historical Society, 1977]

Horton, William P. Cemetery Inscriptions of Westchester County, NY. [Peekskill, NY: 1928] Copy available at New York Public Library's Genealogical & Local History Room.

Manville, Margaret. Revolutionary War Soldiers buried in Cemeteries in Westchester County, New York. [White Plains, NY: 1966] Copy available at New York Public Library's Genealogical & Local History Room.

Spies, Francis F. Inscriptions copied from gravestones in West Chester County yards with genealogical notes. Copy available at New York Public Library's Genealogical & Local History Room.

The Westchester County Historical Society also has extensive manuscripts giving inventories of many old cemeteries located throughout the County. Also check with the local historical society for information about the above cemeteries.

Have you looked at the cemetery listings here at the Westchester NYGenWeb site?


Many town historical societies hold maps of their vicinities, including copies of the Sanborn insurance maps. Insurance maps were detailed to the point of showing each building on each street so that insurance companies knew what to pay the insurer in the event of fire or destruction. Be sure to inquire at such institutions as well as at local libraries.

Also, see additional information on the Maps page at this Westchester site.

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The Field Library

Town Web Site

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Census Information

New York State Census

The only NY State censuses which survived are for the years 1905, 1915, and 1925. Check at your local LDS Family History Center for these films.

Federal Census

Fuller, Elizabeth Griffen. Index to Westchester County Names in the Federal Censuses, 1790-1840 [Elmsford: Westchester Cty. Historical Society] 1994.

Some census information for Westchester county can be found at the Census page.

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The Field Library holds some city directories, yearbooks, and obituary indexes.

John E. LaBarre is willing to check his copy of the 1963 Peekskill City Directory for researchers. See his e-mail address on the Look Ups page at this site.

Also see the City Directories page on this Westchester Site.


Some newspaper clippings of the Adams surname.

Annotated Bibliography

___. Peekskill, Fishkill, Matteawan and Cold Spring, their representative business men, and points of interest. [Newark, NJ: Mercantile Pub. Co., 1892]

___. Peekskill Presbyterian Church, Historical Record 1826-1926

Briggs, George E., comp. Centennial Celebration, July 2, 3, 4, 1916, Commemorative of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Granting of the First Charter, April 17th 1816,to the village of Peekskill. [Peekskill, NY: The Highland Democrat Company, 1916]

Fuller, Elizabeth Griffen. Index to Westchester County Names in the Federal Censuses, 1790-1840 [Elmsford: Westchester Cty. Historical Society] 1994.

Fox, Joseph H. The Story of Early Peekskill [Peekskill, NY: 1947].

Horton, Stephen D. Personal Recollections of Peekskill in my Boyhood Days... [Peekskill, 1910]

Horton, Stephen D. Sixteen nine to eighteen seventy; glimpses from the past in connection with the early history of the manor of Cortlandt, and more especially of the town of Cortlandt and the village of Peekskill.... [c. 1912]. Includes biographical sketches of men from Peekskill as well as a roster of Cortlandt men who served in wars.

Horton, William Tompkins. Pioneers, Patriots, and People, Past and Present: A History of Peekskill, New York. [Peekskill, NY: 1953]

Patterson, Emma L. Peekskill in the American Revolution [Peekskill, NY: The Friendly Town Association, Inc., 1944]

Pelletreau, William S., Am. M. Early Wills of Westchester County, New York 1664-1784 Pub. 1898. Cornell University Library has scanned this book and placed it on the web at the following address: http://moa.cit.cornell.edu/MOA/bookp.html

Scofield, Carlton B. Echoes of Peekskill [Peekskill, NY: Gardner Press, 1961]

Scofield, Carlton B. Stories of Peekskill and the Hudson River [Peekskill, NY: Enterprise Press for the City of Peekskill, 1969]

Smith, Chester Allen. Peekskill, a Friendly Town, its Historic Sites and Shrines; A Pictorial History of the city from 1654 to 1952. [Peekskill, NY: Friendly Town Association, 1952]

Vescelius, G.M., compiler. Gems of the Hudson: Peekskill and Vicinity [Newburgh, NY: News Co., 1916]

For other books containing information related to this town but covering a county-wide level, see the County section of the Bibliography page.

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Cultural and/or Historical sites

If you have any such information relating to this location, please contact the county coordinator for this web site.

Renowned Residents

George Pataki
Currently Governor of New York State; Former mayor of Peekskill.

If you know of any notable residents from this town, please please contact the county coordinator for this web site.about adding them to this section and please identify when the person resided here as well as why you consider them to be notable.

Other Institutions of Genealogical Interest

Westchester County Genealogical Society

The Westchester County Genealogical Society has been publishing a series of articles in their monthly newsletter for some time which gives an overview of each town within the county. This Focus on (town name) [WCGS Newsletter, ] series includes a brief history of the town, a listing of some houses of worship, some cemeteries and often a bibliography. See the information about ordering back issues of the newsletter.

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Military Info

See the Military & War Links page for more information.

As we find information relating specifically to this town, we'll post it here. If you have any such information or know of other web pages to link to, please please contact the county coordinator for this web site.with particulars.

Loyalist Info

Have you a Loyalist in your family tree? If so, the Loyalist page may be of interest to you. If you have any specific information relating to this town and loyalists, please contact the county coordinator for this web site. about adding the information to this page.

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Picture Gallery

If you have a scanned picture relating to any location within Westchester and would like to add it to this site, please please contact the county coordinator for this web site.with particulars.

Some Surnames associated with this City

See the Surname Web Pages for links to web pages of researchers in Westchester but not specifically associated with this town.

Query & Message Boards

Rootsweb.com has Some Query boards where you can post a query for others to view. Or join the Westchester mailing list and correspond with other Westchester researchers.

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Return to Westchester County's Town Index page.

Return to the main page for Westchester County at NYGenWeb.

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This web site was designed by and has been exclusively maintained since November 1996 by Cathy Horn.

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