New York Genealogy Online

Databases and Websites for NY Family History Research

Research and explore your New York genealogy and family history online with these online New York genealogy databases, indexes and digitized records collections - many of them free!

01
of 20

Explore your New York family tree online.
Getty / Sven Klaschik

Over 25 million passenger arrival records and over 900 pictures of the ships that carried them to America can be searched and viewed for free on the Ellis Island website. You will need a free account to view transcripts and images; links to purchase manifest copies are prominently displayed, but look for the link to "view original ship manifest" to view a digital image online for free.
More: 10 Tips for Searching the Ellis Island Database

02
of 20

A browsable-only collection of digitized probate records from counties across New York, including wills, inventories, registers, etc. The available probate records and indexes vary by county. Free online from FamilySearch.

03
of 20

FamilySearch hosts this free, online, growing collection of digitized marriage records from the New York counties of Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Essex, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Nassau, Niagara, Oneida, Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Putnam, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schuyler, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Westchester, Wyoming, and Yates. The collection does not include New York City nor its boroughs.

04
of 20

Search over 34 million newspaper pages from old newspapers across the state of New York, from the Auburn Daily Union to the Watertown Reformer. The major focus of this free collection from Fulton History is central and southern New York; a list of included newspapers is also available.

05
of 20

This free online collection currently consists of more than 4.8 million pages from sixty-five historic newspapers published in northern New York during the late 1800s and early to mid-1900s. Selected newspapers available come from Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties.

06
of 20

This Web portal from the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS)hosts a wide variety of New York databases, including probate records, newspapers and periodicals, vital records, and New York genealogies and biographies. NEHGS membership required to view database transcriptions and records.

07
of 20

The free Castle Garden database offers searchable access to information on 11 million immigrants to New York from 1820, until Ellis Island opened in 1892.

08
of 20

Free New York genealogy databases online from the German Genealogy Group include naturalizations; birth, marriage, and death indexes; church records; Suffolk County veteran discharge records, and cemetery records.

09
of 20

New York Heritage provides free online access to more than 160 digital collections, representing a broad range of historical, scholarly, and cultural materials held in libraries, museums, and archives throughout the state of New York. Collection items include photographs, letters, diaries, city directories, yearbooks, maps, newspapers, books, and more, with a particular focus on western New York.

10
of 20

The complete archive of The New York Times can be searched online, dating back to 1851. Non-subscribers can view up to 10 free articles per month published before January 1, 1923, or after December 31, 1986. Articles between 1923 and 1986 require payment or a digital subscription to access, although searches are free. A subscription also offers unlimited free access to pre-1923 and post-1986 articles. Be sure to select the 1851–1980 data set to search older articles.

11
of 20

FamilySearch hosts free online indexes and digitized images for New York state census records for the years 1865, 1875, 1892, 1905, 1915, and 1925.

12
of 20

The New York Herald (1844–1898) is just one of several hundred New York historic newspapers online at GenealogyBank, by subscription. View the full list of New York newspaper titles for information on coverage locations and dates. You can also find recent obituaries from many NY newspapers.
More: 7 Tips for Searching Historic Newspapers Online

13
of 20

The Westchester County Archives maintains this free online index to marriage records for the period 1908–1935, when the county received marriage copies from the towns. The index includes a separate entry for bride and groom, as well as the certificate number assigned to the license, affidavit and/or certificate by County Clerk's office. Some indexes include year of issuance of record and the volume number and date of the marriage record itself. Copies of the actual marriage records can be ordered from the Westchester County Archives.

14
of 20

This free online database from the Italian Genealogy Group contains indexes to over 1.8 million marriages recorded by the New York City Health department for the five Boroughs of New York City, from 1908 to 1937, and the period 1864 to 1897 for the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan, searchable by the name of the groom. Also available is a brides' index to NYC marriages, and an index to marriages in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

15
of 20

About half of the Eagle's years of publication, covering the period from October 26, 1841 to December 31, 1902, are represented in this free online database. Approximately 147,000 digitized newspaper pages can be searched by keyword or browsed by issue date.

16
of 20

Search a variety of free genealogy databases focused on ancestry in Brooklyn, New York, including marriage indexes, court records, city directories, military, church records, and more.

17
of 20

The free International Genealogical Index (IGI) at FamilySearch includes extracted birth records from a number of New York localities, including christening/baptismal records from a wide variety of New York City churches. These are abstracted records only (no digital images), but by viewing the batch and source you can use the information from this index to locate the original birth or christening record. To see what else is available for New York in the IGI, visit Hugh Wallis' IGI Batch Numbers for New York.

18
of 20

Originally created to improve access to the 1940 U.S. census, this site includes searchable, digitized 1940 telephone directories from the five boroughs of New York City.

19
of 20

Online databases from the Onondaga County Public Library include the 1855 and 1865 NY State census for Onondaga, along with a necrology file and obituary clippings, and a database of Woodlawn cemetery, one of the county's largest burial grounds. Also available is a WPA index, created during the Great Depression, to newspaper items of "general and historic value to Syracuse and Onondaga County.

20
of 20

The New York Public Library hosts this free online database of over 9,000 inquiry files regarding the status of sick, wounded, and missing soldiers dating from 1862-1865. The majority of the files refer to state volunteer soldiers, but there are also inquiries for U.S. Army regulars, U.S. Colored Troops, Navy and Marine servicemen, Confederates, government and USSC employees, hospital staff and civilians. The database serves primarily as a finding aid; the original records have not been digitized and are not available online.