Deaths and Marriages: A Troy, N.Y. Newspaper Index

Bill McGrath of the Troy Irish Genealogy Society (TIGS) recently announced another exciting indexing project: a compilation of death and marriage notices in a variety of area newspapers. The project volunteers will transcribe an extensive listing covering 1812-1885. This is a significant time frame in that it predates civil vital records registration in New York State.

If you have relatives you’re researching in the Capital District, this database will be worth exploring. The names in the records are not exclusively Troy residents; the newspapers covered surrounding towns, and there are mentions of people from counties throughout New York State, as well as Vermont and Massachusetts.

The original information was compiled in the 1930s by the Philip Schuyler Chapter of the DAR, with funding from the federal Works Progress Administration — a New Deal agency that enabled important public works projects nationwide.

The first records are already up at the TIGS site and consist of 608 death records and 1,152 marriage records published in The Troy Post from Sept. 1, 1812 through July 1, 1823.

Read on for the complete news release from TIGS:


A multi volume Index of Death and Marriage Records
transcribed from various Troy, NY newspapers

A.  In 1935, the Philip Schuyler Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), located in Troy, New York, documented the death and marriage records that were printed in various Troy newspapers during the years 1812 to 1885.  This project, which was funded by the Works Progress Administration (renamed during 1939 as the Work Projects Administration; WPA), was the largest New Deal agency employing millions to carry out public works projects.

B.  The Rensselaer County Historical Society in Troy, New York provided the Troy Irish Genealogy Society access to their copies of these extensive records to develop this on-line date base. These records will be of great interest to genealogy researchers since much of the information in this data base predates the 1880 New York State law requiring the reporting of death and marriage records.  These records may help with breaking down some of those “brick walls” that you have been struggling with.

C.  The first of these newspaper records that have been transcribed are from the Troy Post, a weekly newspaper first published in Troy in 1812.  The 608 death records and 1,152 marriage records published in The Troy Post during the period September 1, 1812 through July 1, 1823 are now on the TIGS website.   You can view these  records by going to the Troy Irish Genealogy  website at: and click on  PROJECTS and then click on THE TROY NEWSPAPER PROJECT.   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.  Researchers having relatives with a CAPITAL DISTRICT area connection, will be interested in these name searchable, online records.  If you live in a nearby county or even further away, you might want to check out these names. Take a look at the data base, you never know what you will find.  There are a number of records for people in different counties throughout New York State, especially New York City as well as a number of records from Vermont and Massachusetts along with some other states and even foreign countries.

E.  Transcribers are currently working on a DIFFERENT Troy Post paper covering the years 1846-1851,  also the Troy Sentinel covering years 1823-1832, the Troy Press for the years 1833-1834 and the Troy Weekly and Daily Whig for years 1834-1851.  If anyone would like to be a transcriber on this project they can send an email to

F.  Hopefully you will find some of your ancestors in this new data base or in the various OTHER data series on the Troy Irish Genealogy website.  There are lots of interesting items on the website and here are 3 in particular to take a look at:

1.  Click on PROJECTS and then RENSSELAER COUNTY MARRIAGE INDEX – 60,000 names.
2.  Click on PROJECTS and then CHURCH MEMORIALS & FAMILY NAMES – Covers many recently closed area churches.
3.  Click on RESOURCES and then STORIES, SONGS & POEMS – Lots of inspirational genealogy type poems which can be printed on your
computer as well as some Irish songs and stories.

G.  One of the transcribers was curious that on five pages he was working on, there were 7 death of men on September 11, 1814.  After the records went online on the TIGS website, he did some further checking of the list and found that 52 men were listed as dieing all on that same date.  In commenting on his observation, the  Rensselaer County Historical Society thought that possibly the deaths were from the Battle of Plattsburgh during the war of 1812.  Based on this clue, the transcriber did a search on the Battle of Plattsburgh and found a list of those who made the ultimate sacrifice that day and sure enough, the names of our 52 deaths were listed there.  As to the marriage records, one interesting one listed was the marriage of ERASTUS CORNING, of Albany to HARRIET WELD, of Troy on March 10, 1819.

Bill McGrath
TIGS Project Coordinator
Clifton Park, NY


4 Comments on “Deaths and Marriages: A Troy, N.Y. Newspaper Index”

  1. sue clark says:

    have tried every avenue to link to an index of deaths/obits listed in area newspapers in 1995. Thought this site may be the one, but no. The project will be worthwhile,but can you please direct me to where I might find a list of deaths that year in Riverhead,Suffolk? much appreciated, sue

    • Sorry Sue, I do not know of a general index for deaths that recent for Suffolk County. For a specific obituary,’s online archives go back to 1985 and include obituaries, but to see them you’d have to pay a fee. There is an online index for the Riverhead News Review and other local weeklies owned by the Times Review publications, but it starts only in 1999. There is more general contact info for Suffolk County at the Brooklyn Genealogy Pages — here. Have you contacted the Suffolk County Historical Society for ideas? Good luck!

  2. This is a terrific project! I’m impressed that some of the records transcribed are as early at 1835. That places a family line close enough to the American Revolution to be in pension application records, like the Virgil White compilations.

  3. GrannyPam says:

    The TIGS is a gem, and certainly worthy of much praise for their hard work. I visited one of their meetings when I was in the area, and will certainly take advantage of their hospitality again when I am in Troy. I have found records of my ancestors in their databases, and am off to see if there are some more in this one!

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