First Trip To The New York City Archives

Well, I made my first trip to the New York City Archives today, located in downtown Manhattan, next to City Hall.  I took the train in from Springdale, CT to Grand Central and then jump the 4,5,6 subway from Grand Central to Centre Street (City Hall area).  It was quick and easy trip without any trouble.  In fact, I got there 20 minutes early.

Once I got in, I quickly found myself lost in “oodles” of microfilm data.  It took me about 45 minutes to learn the process, but once I got going, it was really quite easy to find the data I was looking for.

Since the place closes at 1 PM on Fridays, I restricted my search to just a few records I knew I could find.   The first one, which I was excited about, was the father of James Yerks I. Since nobody living knew anything beyond James, the first, it would be a real eye opener. On an earlier expedition to the Westchester County Archives, we found his wife’s  Will and Probate papers; which allowed us to pull her Death Certificate from the Village of Port Chester; which led us to her burial place in Rye, New York.  She, Annie Cutler Yerks, was buried with her husband George Oakley Yerks, but there was no  birth or death year information on the headstone.  The Cemetery office staff  pulled his info card and advised me that he had died in Brooklyn!  I would never have guessed that.  So armed with the death year and location, I looked him up in the Index of Brooklyn Deaths in the year 1939.  He was the only Yerks listed there.  So I wrote down the certificate  number and looked up the actual Death Certificate in another roll of microfilm.  Once I had it, I submitted a slip summarizing the info found and the microfilm to the office staff, who printed the Death Certificate for me.  Lo and behold, George Yerks’ father was…. George Yerks.  He was married to  an Elsie Donlap.

So the records I obtained on this trip include:

  • Death Certificate: George Oakley Yerks, 1/12/1939
  • Death Certificate: Henry William Lewis, died 8/9/1899
  • Death Certificate: James F. Tierney, died 11/6/1896 at age 29
  • Death Certificate: Jonathan J. Beattie, died 1/8/1913
  • Death Certificate: Mary Beattie, died 1/19/1913
All in all a very productive trip!
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About the Author

Philip (Phil) Hayes is the CEO of Sirius Innovations, LLC. As CEO of Sirius Innovations, LLC, he served as a Technology Solutions Consultant and Web Applications Programmer for fortune 500 companies, large municipalities and hospitals. He is fluent in the SQL, ColdFusion, PHP and Javscript programming languages. He is also a power user of the WordPress Content Management System, commonly used for blogging. Phil's latest product development includes a service called 'Map The Past'. The advanced, yet easy to use functionality offered in this product will enable its members to "Walk in the Footsteps of Their Ancestors". Phil became a Genealogy addict when in 1998, his Uncle, Lloyd W Lewis, sat he and his wife down on the deck of his Uncle's Pennsylvania home and told them the story of his Great, Great Grandfather Henry W. Lewis, the Privateer. The story was so intriguing that Phil found himself yearning for more details. Hence…. Philip Hayes, the Genealogist was born. Leveraging his technology skills, Philip has grown and developed the family tree well beyond what his Uncle could have ever dreamed of. Combining the power of technology and the primary sources from historical documents, Philip developed his own family history web site, based on the Word Press Content Management System (http://www.hayesfamily.us). Upon publishing the site, it has inspired many people to develop interest in the family's history and has connected Philip to several undiscovered relatives and their family stories. Phil is a member of numerous historical and genealogy societies, including the Association of Professional Genealogists

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