I'm looking for genealogical records, specifically marriages and births, from the late 1700's and early 1800's from Rensselaer county. I'm struggling to find a good source of them online. Is there such a source online that is available, and if not, are there recommended sources to find them in a library, perhaps the Library of Congress?

For reference, I've searched every online source from the Family Search page, but it seems like many of the records from Rensselaer county are very fragmented. These sources include:

As much as possible, I'm focusing on the period from about 1780-1830.

More specifically, I'm trying to track Edward Penney, born about 1742, married definitely to a Phebe (Maiden name unknown), and possibly to a Thankful Bangs. All marriage dates for him are unknown. He definitely had at least 3 sons, Ammiel, Benjamin, and Edward (Jr), and 5 daughters. Their married names (as of 1824): Thankful Horton (Possibly Haughton), Rachel, Phebe Carpenter, Esther Marvel (Possibly Marble), and Hannah Townsend.

Edward definitely lived in Pittstown, New York when he died in 1824, as did his wife Phebe, who died in 1833. I've been able to piece together some information by searching, but I'm struggling to get anything more definitive.

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    Hi, welcome to FH&G.SE! Could you edit your question and add a list of your sources for the assertions in your question, so we won't go looking for them all over again? Here's why: you may have searched all the online sources that are available right now, but FamilySearch adds new records all the time -- putting an explicit list in the question makes it easier to keep track of which ones you've looked at. Thanks! These records were kept at the town level -- see the FamilySearch Wiki article on Renssselar County.
    – Jan Murphy
    Nov 29, 2014 at 16:24
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    @JanMurphy Hopefully this is a bit improved. I've been focusing on Marriage and Birth records, and have dabbled in census and death records, but the main ones I've searched are included here. I've also included a link to the source of information that is my ultimate goal. Nov 29, 2014 at 20:02
  • While you are waiting for an answer, you might find some tips in the answers to other questions tagged new-york-state.
    – Jan Murphy
    Dec 1, 2014 at 21:15
  • If you haven't visited already, also check out the website for the Rensselaer County page on GenWeb and the three Rootsweb Mailing lists that cover the area -- found by searching for 'Rensselaer'.
    – Jan Murphy
    Dec 1, 2014 at 22:27
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    Monograph in the FS catalog: Lost and found, Albany (NY) area church and synagogue vital records, 1654-1925 "The focus of this article is the surviving birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial records of more than one hundred ten churches and synogogues in the greater Albany County and Rensselaer County areas"
    – Jan Murphy
    Dec 8, 2014 at 0:28

2 Answers 2


The Troy (New York) Irish Genealogy Society has published an index to Marriage Notices Appearing in Lansingburgh Newspapers 1787 – 1895, according to Dick Eastman's blog EOGN (posted on March 24, 2015). Eastman says:

Lansingburgh, by the way, for those not in the Capital District Region, was the first chartered village in Rensselaer County and was settled around 1763. In 1900 Lansingburgh became part of the City of Troy, New York.

The society also has a page of Tips on Genealogy Research in Troy, NY and other resources on their website, including a Projects Page where the link to the Marriage Records index can be found.

To find the newspapers themselves, see the society's article "Newspapering in Rensselaer County". Kenneth R. Marks' blog The Ancestor Hunt is another good source for keeping up with newspaper releases coming online.

Other resources for the area include:

  • @PearsonArtPhoto I hope the date range covered will be helpful -- it looked like it might be in the sweet spot for what you need.
    – Jan Murphy
    Mar 24, 2015 at 23:11
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    Right time frame, right county, wrong city... Still, it added a bit to my collection. The really frustrating part with this line is the information all seems to be somewhere, it's just in about 50 different locations, and piecing them together can be tricky... Sigh. Still, thanks! Mar 24, 2015 at 23:37

Records from New York state in the 1800s are very difficult to come by. The only good location is from the various churches in the area. There are a few places to find such records. Some of them are available via the major genealogical societies. Some of them are accessible via the various historical societies for the group. Some you would have to directly talk with the church where the records were kept. And many of them are lost.

You can take a look at the book "Lost and Found, Albany NY Area church and synagogue vital records, 1654-1925". This book only contains a record of where the various records were kept, along with the years, and what years are missing. It can be a good place to look.

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