Saturday, January 13, 2007

Rensselaer County Marriages 1908-1935 On-line at TIGS


In addition to the Troy Irish Genealogy Society mailing list, this message is also being sent to the following genealogy mailing lists:

Rensselaer County List - Research in Rensselaer County.
Albany County List - Research in Albany County.
Schenectady County List - Research in Schenectady County.
Saratoga County List - Research in Saratoga County.
Genealogy NYS List - Research in New York State.
Chenango County List - Research in Chenango County.
NY-Hudson River List - Research in counties bordering Hudson River;
(Rockland, Orange, Ulster, Greene, Albany,
Rensselaer, Columbia, Dutchess, Putnam
Westchester) & Schenectady County.
NY-RollCall List - Research on New York State kin.
NY-Mohawk Valley List - Research in Mohawk Valley Region of NYS,
covers Albany, Fulton, Herkimer, Madison,
Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego,
Schenectady & Schoharie Counties.
NY-WarWashSar List - Research in Warren, Washington and
Saratoga Counties.
NYC-Roots List - Research in New York City.
New York List - Research in New York State where County is
Irish-NY-Troy List - Research of Irish Ancestry in City of Troy,
Rensselaer County, New York.
NY-Irish List - Research on Irish immigrants who landed,
lived in or passed through New York State.
NY-Southern List - Research in Southern counties of New York,
covers Broome, Bronx, Columbia,
Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Kings,
Nassau, New York, Orange, Queens,
Putnam, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk,
Sullivan, Tioga, Ulster & Westchester
Columbia County List - Research in Columbia County.
Westchester County List - Research in Westchester County.
Dutchess County List - Research in Dutchess County.
Schoharie County List - Research in Schoharie County.

A. The message can be forwarded to other lists where you feel it would be appropriate. If posted to any other lists, please copy:

B. The largest project the Troy Irish Genealogy Society has undertaken so far is the automation of the Rensselaer County Marriage Index. This 10 Volume Marriage Index of Rensselaer County marriages, from 1908 to 1935, has over 60,000 names. Volume I (January 1908-April 1913) with its 5,000 marriages and 10,000 names, was added to the TIGS website on June 13, 2006. Volume II, (April 1913-May 1918) with another 5,000 marriages and 10,000 names has now been completed and is now on-line on the TIGS website.

C. You can view these marriage records by going to the Troy Irish Genealogy website at: and click on TIGS PROJECTS. It should be noted that these records, like most of the TIGS data series, cover the general population in the area and are NOT restricted to Irish surnames.

D. If you are researching relatives with a RENSSELAER COUNTY, NY area connection, you will be interested in these two on-line, name searchable, records of 20,000 names of local residents who were married in Rensselaer County, New York. If you live in a nearby county or even further away, you might want to check out the data base. There are also marriages in the data base where both individuals lived in Albany County or other nearby counties, and where some individuals lived in other states, especially Massachusetts and Vermont, or even foreign countries. One record even was for a bride and groom who both lived in Pennsylvania. You may even find an earlier marriage that you were unaware of. Take a look at the data base, you never know what you will find.

E. In order to appreciate the marriage index on the TIGS website, you need an understanding of the set up of the Marriage Index book at the County Clerk's Office. All marriages, along with complete detailed information on the bride and groom and their parents, were first entered into the Record of Marriages Book. Brides and Grooms names were then posted to the Marriage INDEX Book which served as a locating device to find the complete record in the Record of Marriages Book itself. Without the Marriage Index, you could not easily locate a name in the Record of Marriages Book. The Marriage Index Book has SEPARATE pages of data for Brides and SEPARATE pages of data for Grooms. For example, for the letter "A", there is a page of Brides names beginning with "A" and ANOTHER page of Grooms names beginning with the letter "A". The data on each page is limited to the first and last name, a page reference number, a marriage license number and the date of the marriage. Names of SPO!
USES are NOT linked together in the index. The only linkage to the spouse in the Marriage Index is the marriage number.

F. The TIGS data base has greatly improved the usefulness of the Marriage Index as follows:

1. By using the marriage number, the TIGS Marriage Index now links the names of
the brides AND the grooms on ONE LINE of data, thus providing a much more
useful research tool.

2. Some entries in the Record of Marriages Book were never posted to the Marriage
Index Book. These missing records were identified by TIGS workers and added
to the TIGS Marriage Index.

3. A number of records in the Marriage Index showed only INITIALS for either the
bride or the groom. In many cases TIGS workers were able to determine the
ACTUAL names from the original source documents and added them to the TIGS
data base.

4. Several records for grooms names were originally posted to the brides pages of the
Marriage Index Book and a number of brides names were posted to the grooms
pages of the Marriage Index Book. TIGS workers corrected these errors in
developing the TIGS index.

5. A number of transcribing errors when the Marriage Index Book was created were
discovered by TIGS workers and corrected.

6. Last but not least, the TIGS Marriage Index is in strict alphabetical order unlike the
original index. For example, on the original index, you may have four or more
lengthy pages of Grooms names ALL beginning with the first two letters "Ma" and
in no order whatsoever.

G. In using the TIGS Marriage Index data base, keep in mind the following:

1. Handwriting in some cases was very difficult to read and there could be some
problems with spelling.

2. At times, the original posting to the Marriage Index Book showed the marriage
filing data instead of the date of the marriage. This is especially true for most of the
entries in Volume II of the Marriage Index.

3. Remember, the TIGS index is a transcription of the Marriage Index Book and
NOT the Record of Marriages Book itself. It is always possible that the original
source documents, the Affidavit For License To Marry, the Certificate And
Record of Marriage and the Certificate of Consent, (for minors), were not posted
correctly to the Record of Marriages Book, or that entries in the Record of
Marriages Book were not posted correctly to the Marriage Index Book, or that
TIGS transcribers misread the handwriting. If there is a question on any entry, the
actual source documents at the County Clerk's Office would have to be

H. In working on Volume 2 of the Marriage Index it was discovered that a number of boxes of the original records could not be located. Extensive searching has yet to locate these records. Photocopies of the original Volume 2 marriage documents, therefore, are available ONLY for marriages numbered from 5001 to 7945. For marriage numbers from 7946 to 10,000, the only item available will be a photocopy of the full detailed record that was posted to the Marriage Record Book FROM the original documents. (To view a copy of the Marriage Book Record, see J. below). The County Clerk's Office has agreed to provide a photocopy of the Marriage Record Book entry for those names where the original documents are not available. In order to copy the record this very heavy and large book (13 x 19) has to be moved from the basement vault and taken to a photocopier on the first floor

I. The TIGS website has a PRINTABLE FORM that can be used to request copies from the Rensselaer County Clerk's Office. Mailing instructions and fees are on the request form. There are SEPARATE request forms for Volume 1 and Volume 2. Depending on the Marriage Record Number for Volume 2 names, you can request EITHER:

a. Photocopy of the Affidavit For License To Marry and the Certificate And
Record Of marriage IF the marriage record number is between 5001 and

b. Photocopy of the Marriage Book entry IF the marriage record is between
7946 and 10,000.

J. An example of two entries in the Record of Marriages Book is shown on the TIGS website: Click on PROJECTS, then click on TIGS PROJECTS IN THE WORKS and then click "See Sample Record". The following information for the bride and the groom is shown in the Record of Marriages Book and in the primary source documents:

1. Name.
2. Residence.
3. Occupation.
4. Birthplace.
5. Color.
6. Age.
7. Number of Marriage. (first, second, etc.)
8. If Widowed or Divorced, Where & When.
9. Father's Name and Birthplace.
10. Mother's Name and Birthplace.
11. Consent By & Relationship (For Minors)
12. Date of License.
13. Date of Marriage.
14. Place of Marriage.
15. Official Performing Marriage & Profession. (Priest, Minister, Rabbi, etc)
16. Names of Witnesses.

K. The original pages of the Marriage Index Book were scanned by TIGS members. The resulting pdf files were then sent to the volunteers working on the project as an attachment to an email, along with an Excel spreadsheet for data entry. This extensive data base was made possible by the following volunteers who did a fantastic job on Volume II, the second phase of this project. Please note that we had volunteers from all over the United States.

Kristin Cooney-Ayotte - Troy, NY
Kathleen Gallagher Brearton - New York State
Beth Callanan - Washington, DC
Tammy Casterlin - North Carolina
Austin Fadden - Knoxville, TN
Linda Christian-Herot - Newton, Mass.
Lynn Carey Grice - New Paltz, NY
Beth Hocking - Mass.
Jeanne M. Keefe - Troy, NY
Stephanie Kinney-Dewey - Ohio
Marilyn Mahoney - Abington, Mass.
Marialice P. Mangan
Bob McConihe - Haverhill, Mass.
Cathy McGrath - Clifton Park, NY
Bill McGrath - Clifton Park, NY
Joseph R. Murname - Williamson, NY
Joe O'Brien - Bremerton, Washington
Ltc. James L. Owens, USMC (Ret) Rockville, MD
John J. Salamida - Albany, NY
Jack Seppi
Lizette Strait - New York State
Candis Sunderland - Poughkeepsie, NY
Ellen Tolan - Troy, NY
Pam Trudeau - North Carolina
Carol Waldron - Saratoga Springs, NY
Eileen Callahan Werth - Plymouth Meeting, PA
Donna Vaughn - New York State

Formatting & webpage: Jeanne M. Keefe - Troy, NY

L. We invite you to explore the TIGS website,
where you will find local history articles, resources and genealogy research tips as well as a number of free data bases. The TIGS mailing list, which is also free, is ideal for posting your Troy area genealogy queries. There are also some interesting photographs on the TIGS website from our group tours of the Gardner Earl Memorial Chapel at Oakwood Cemetery, the Burden Iron Works Museum and the Watervliet Arsenal Museum. To see these photographs click on "NEXT" on the first page of the website: and then click on "TOURS" on the left side of the next screen. Also, you can search your surnames in the following additional records transcribed by TIGS members and other volunteers. These data bases are part of a continuing effort by the Troy Irish Genealogy Group to make available on line, Troy and other nearby area Irish AND non-Irish records, that may be of interest to genealogy researchers, especially those outside the Capital District Area.

Burden Iron Company Steam Mill Payroll Records. (8,236 names)
Troy Area Marriage Records. (1,448 names)
Troy Area Death Records. (6,031 names)
Index-History of the Troy Police Department. (668 names)
Bank Officers in Troy Banks From 1801-1891. (299 names)
Prominent Citizens of Troy, NY & Rensselaer County. (1,800 names)
Representative Young Irish-Americans of Troy, NY - 1899 (400 names)
Deceased Troy, NY Area Individuals Listed in 1902 City Directory (700 names)
(Note: Another 700 death records from the 1903 City Directory will shortly
be added to this database)
Alderman/Assistants In Troy, NY (1,400 names)

M. The next step in the Marriage Index Project will be Volume III, which is another 5,000 records and 10,000 names. Volume III covers Rensselaer County marriages from May 1918 to April 1920. If you want to be added to the list of volunteer transcribers, send an email off list to: with your name, address and telephone number. You will be contacted when work on Volume III starts in a few months time.

N. TIGS would like to hear from you if this marriage index was helpful in your family research.


Bill McGrath
TIGS Project Coordinator
Clifton Park, NY

ps: I will try to add more content to this Blog a little more often. Thanks to all the well wishers.
Dick Hillenbrand
Upstate New York Genealogy

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