I have asked an earlier question about the brief time my 2nd great grandfather Robert John Steven Sellers and his parents Robert Sellers and Margaret Clacher spent at Albany in New York State as Finding New York City/State records relating to Sellars family (British subjects) births/deaths mid 19th century?
My understanding is that Robert John Steven Sellers was born on 3 Jan 1854 but I have no source for that precise date and I would like to see if I can verify or discount it. The 3 Jan 1854 date would seem a little unlikely because on 10 May 1854 his mother "Mrs Margaret Sellars" and his older brother Hugh, aged 3, arrived in New York on the "Mary Morris" after travelling from Glasgow. There was no infant recorded in the column for that purpose and it seems too soon after Robert's apparent birth date to have left him in the U.S.
From an answer to the earlier question it seems like, unless he was born elsewhere (which I have no reason to suspect), there is no possibility of me finding a civil registration for his birth:
For Albany, the Vital Statistics Department's genealogy page says they began registering births and deaths in 1870. So it appears that a birth record won't exist for your relative who was born in Albany in 1854.
I am confident that he was born in Albany in 1854 because:
- the 1855 New York State Census records one year old Robert John Stephen Sellers as living with his parents Robert Sellers and Margaret Clacher at Albany City, Ward 6, Albany, New York, USA (HOUSEHOLD NUMBER: 2, LINE NUMBER: 39, SHEET NUMBER: 11) and that he was born in the U.S.
- the 1861 Scotland Census records Robert Sillars, aged 6, born "America, US"
- the 1871 Scotland Census records Robert Sellars, aged 16, born "State of New York Britsh Bubject, albany"
- an 8 Jul 1874 Certificate of Discharge and Character from the ship Oakworth in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia says Robert Sellers was born 1854 in "Albany, USA"
Where should I look for an 1854 baptism record of Robert John Steven/Stephen Sellers/Sellars/Sillars in Albany?
I think these pieces of evidence may help narrow the search:
- His parents Robert Sellers and Margaret Clacher were married on 1 Feb 1850 at Brownfield Church, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland which seems to be at least associated with Glasgow Free Presbyterian Churches which may indicate their religion - although they came from Ayrshire and Dunbartonshire respectively so this church may just have been convenient for them. They are recorded as residing in Glasgow but there is nothing to say that they were "of the parish".
- His grandfather Hugh Sellars had a variety store at 287 and 311 Washington Ave 1862-72 and was also recorded in the 1855 and 1865 New York State Censuses as living at Albany City, Ward 6 so it seems likely that this was part of their "neighbourhood".
Does the above perhaps point at any particular churches in Albany whose baptism records I could try to access?
- I have not yet tried to find out how many churches were in Ward 6 of Albany in 1854.
- The "History of the First Presbyterian church of Albany, N.Y.; lists of its officers, and a complete catalogue of its members from its organization (1877)" looks like it has the names of that church's members up until 1877 but does not include anyone by the name of Sillars, Sellars or Sellers.
- It looks like it may be possible to obtain a map to determine the boundary of Ward 6 of Albany in 1854 via FamilySearch.org which says:
A large collection of pre-1900 ward maps for every major American city, including Albany, Brooklyn, Buffalo, New York, and Rochester, is Ward Maps of United States Cities FHL film 1377700; 6016554–782