This right here is a lovely indexing project. Especially if you are researching ancestors in Troy, N.Y. and you have a sneaking suspicion that one of them might have belonged to the clergy. Or if you have an old Troy marriage or baptism record that mentions an officiating clergyman but not the name of the church.
The Troy Irish Genealogy Society (TIGS) announced this database last month. It’s an index of names drawn from the book Troy’s One Hundred Years, 1789-1889, by Arthur James Weise. At the TIGS page you can click on one of two Surnames buttons (A-L, M-Y) for an alphabetized list of clergy, the religious institutions in which they served, and the time frame.
One of the very best things about a database like this is that you don’t have to page through the entire original book if you don’t want to. Not to slam the long-departed Mr. Weise: Troy’s One Hundred Years is a thorough piece of work (if you like, you can read some excerpts here).
However, long-ago local histories can wear a reader down — and I write this as someone capable of whiling away an afternoon on Google Books reading century-old reports to the New York State Assembly. You can miss details in the thickets of precise accounts about who exactly was responsible for the pathbreaking drainage project on Main Street. And some of those details might be your ancestors.
Indexes like this help us not only as finding aids, but by reminding us of all the valuable information to be mined in similar histories. They’re well worth seeking out and combing through with a sharp eye, even if they’re not indexed yet.
Here’s the database link again: Troy, NY Churches and Synagogues, 1793-1890.