Ten Secret Free Genealogy Sources for New York

1. Ancestry.com’s agreement with the New York State Archives requires that New York residents get free access to 16 record collections. These include the New York State censuses for 1892, 1915, and 1925; the 1940 Federal Census; Military Records for Civil War, World Wars 1 and 2; and more. To get a special free access account, go to this specific page , or this one, enter a New York State zip code, and then pick a User ID and password. That’s all there is to it! Be careful not to click on any offers for Free Trials or Subscription discounts – you don’t need either of those to access this collection and your free account does not expire.


New Jersey newspapers in counties in close proximity to New York Harbor often reported New York news. They’re also helpful in locating ancestors who may have moved across the river. Try these free digitized New Jersey papers:

2. Cranford Newspaper Archives 1894-2005 (Union County)

3. Westfield Memorial Library newspapers, 1891-2008 (Union County)

4. Woodbridge Township Historic Newspapers, 1876-1970, (Middlesex County)

5. The Newspaper Archives of New Brunswick, 1871-1916 (Middlesex County)

6. South Amboy Citizen, 1910-2000 (Middlesex County

7. Red Bank Register, 1878-1991 (Monmouth County)

8. The first African-American owned and operated newspaper, Freedom’s Journal 1827-1829 (Manhattan)

9. An influential African-American newspaper, New York Age, 1890-1892, (Manhattan)

10. I broke through one of my brick walls using a database at the Hudson County (NJ) Genealogical Society, which covers Bayonne and Jersey City. They have a great collection of databases covering births, deaths, military service, newspapers, and more. Some require a membership to access, but
many are free.