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Are Your Ancestors in the Buffalo History Museum?

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Planning a family history research visit to the Buffalo History Museum? Learn our hours and collections before making the trip.

Planning a family history research visit to the Buffalo History Museum? Learn our hours and collections before making the trip.

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  • 1. Are Your Ancestors in the Buffalo History Museum? Cynthia M. Van Ness, MLS Research Library Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 2. www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 How to visit us •1 Museum Court, formerly 25 Nottingham Court •North of Rt. 198 off Elmwood Ave. •Free parking plus a bike rack •Take the #20 Elmwood bus route, exit at Nottingham •The Library is in the white marble temple on the main floor
  • 3. Us at a Glance Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 4. •Founded in 1862 and collecting ever since! •20,000 books •200,000 photographs •2,000 manuscript collections •7,000 postcards •10,000 maps, drawings, posters, prints, stored off-site •6,000+ microfilms of newspapers and other materials •Extensive Vertical/Pamphlet File •Clippings & articles file Us at a Glance Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 5. Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 •Open Wednesdays through Saturdays, 1-5 pm •No appointments necessary •Professional librarians are on duty during all public service hours •Please note: the entire Museum is closed on Mondays About the Research Library www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 6. Admission •Free to Museum members •$7.00 for all others •Because the Library doesn’t have children’s books, children’s furniture, or children’s activities, we urge you to bring kids to museum exhibits and events instead of the Library. Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 7. •Everyone must sign in with full name & address •We now have a tablet computer for digital sign-in A Few Rules Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 8. •Purses, backpacks, briefcases, etc., are kept behind the desk during your visit •Library materials may not be borrowed or removed from room •We supply cotton gloves for handling photographs •Staff does all photocopying, size & condition permitting •We are a closed-stack library, meaning that most pictures, books & manuscripts are shelved in staff-only areas. Retrieval takes only minutes. A Few Rules Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 9. Camera Use Policy •You may take pictures of museum buildings, grounds, exhibits, programs, and library scenery. Please add them to our Flickr group! www.flickr.com/groups/bechs/ •You may not take pictures of library books, photos, maps, documents, collections, etc., or bring in your own scanner. We now have tablet computers for limited picture- taking. Please check with staff. Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 10. Please turn off cell phones and step outside of the library to make phone calls Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 11. No Food or Drink Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 12. Pencils only. We have lots. Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 13. Technology on Site •Public computer with searchable online catalog, FRANK •Free WiFi, laptops welcome! •Two microfilm reader-printers, $.25/page •Two microfilm readers •Two Samsung Note tablets for limited picture-taking •Photocopies made by staff when size & condition permit, $.25 each Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 14. Our Most Popular Tool Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 15. What We Have for Genealogy •Part One: Basic Sources •Part Two: Unique Sources •Part Three: Online Sources •Part Four: What We Don’t Have Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 16. Part One: Basic Sources •City directories •Censuses •Church records •Cemetery records •Newspapers & obituaries •Military service records Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 17. City Directories •Great beginner starting place! •Buffalo: 1828 to 2001, with a few gaps •Years 1882-1932 are on microfilm, with a few gaps •Copies may be made only from film versions •Like a phone book Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 18. City Directories •Last name, first name, address, occupation or employer •Women usually omitted until the 1920s •Minors are not listed 1869 Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 19. City Directories Special section starting in 1929: Addresses, usually on pink or green pages in the back 1942 Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 20. Suburban Directories •Erie County & Suburban: 1927, 1929, 1931, 1949, 1959-2001 •Almost no rural or town directories were published before the suburban era of the 1950s Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 21. Federal Censuses on Microfilm Erie County: 1790-1880, 1900-1930 Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 22. •The backbone of American genealogy •Arranged geographically, so you need to know the town or ward where the family lived. •We have ward maps for the city of Buffalo •Starting in 1850, gives name, age, sex, race, occupation of everyone in the household Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org Federal Censuses on Microfilm
  • 23. Ward Maps Complete collection of Buffalo ward maps to expedite census searching Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 24. Our Federal Census Indexes •1790-1850: All of New York State •1850: Black Rock •1860: Erie County & Upstate NY •1890: NY State Union Veterans Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 25. Our Federal Census Indexes •These indexes list names in alphabetical order, so you can find a family or individual in the index before tackling film •The index will tell you the census film & page number where the individual or family is enumerated Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 26. Our NY State Censuses on Microfilm • We have Erie County: 1855, 1865, 1875, 1892, 1905, 1915, 1925 • State censuses are not as informative as federal ones Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 27. Our NY State Census Indexes •1855: Erie County towns outside of Buffalo •No other NYS censuses have been indexed in book or print form •Now online at FamilySearch.org Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 28. Our Church Records on Microfilm •Many are Roman Catholic or Episcopal •Include baptisms, marriages, deaths – a vital records substitute! •Sometimes in Latin, German, Polish, etc. •Not always indexed •Most of these films are also owned by the LDS Family History Library •We have no way of knowing which film might include your ancestor •Our list is online here: http://tinyurl.com/BECHS003 Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 29. Our Cemetery Records on Film •Mostly small rural cemeteries •Most of these films are also owned by the LDS Family History Library •There is no master index of burials in Erie County’s 200 or so cemeteries, so we have no way of knowing which film your ancestor might be on •Our list is online here: http://tinyurl.com/BECHS003 Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 30. •Buffalo’s first paper, The Buffalo Gazette, on microfilm starting in 1811. •Multiple daily, religious, and ethnic newspapers ever since •Nearly all are from the City of Buffalo •Our list of newspaper films is online here: http://tinyurl.com/BECHS002 Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org Our Newspaper Collection
  • 31. Our Newspaper Index A card file identifying some of the people, places, things & events covered by the Buffalo Evening News and the Courier- Express in the 20th century Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 32. Our Obituary Index •Card file to obituaries in Buffalo newspapers, 1811-2001, about 99,000 names! •Includes mainly obituaries, omits most death notices •Does not list everyone who ever lived or died in Buffalo or Erie County Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 33. Published Obituary Index •Our index, years 1811-1884, is published in book form •Available at many libraries across the US Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 34. Our Military Service Records •Index to War of 1812 Williamsville Hospital patients •Gives name, rank, unit, date, medical condition, fate Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 35. Our Military Service Records •Index of Erie County Civil War Enlistees •Gives name, age, enlistment date, unit, rank, battles Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 36. Our Military Service Records •Index of soldiers from Erie County who served in World War II •Gives name, rank, parents, fate Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 37. Our Military Service Records •Index of soldiers from Erie County who served in Korean War •Gives name, rank, parents, fate Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 38. Part Two: Unique Sources •Letters, diaries •Organizational records •Business records •Photographs •Papers of prominent residents & collectors Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 39. Some of our Letters & Diaries Search keyword Diaries in FRANK, our online catalog, and you will get about 120 hits, including familiar Buffalo names like Rumsey, Emslie, Fillmore, etc. http://tinyurl.com/frank-catalog Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 40. Some of Our Organizational Records For example… •Buffalo Orphan Asylum, 1836-1939 •Press Cycling Club, 1890-1957 •Buffalo Republican League, 1884-1896 Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 41. Our Business Records For example… •Larkin Company •These collections rarely contain personnel files •A list is online at: www.worldcat.org/profiles/BECHS/ lists/ Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 42. Our Photographs •About 200,000 in about 100 distinct collections •Most date from 1870-1980 •Popular with house researchers •We scan only for publication or exhibition •A detailed guide is online at: •http://tinyurl.com/BECHS014 Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 43. For example… •Letters received by Millard Fillmore •Grover Cleveland Papers •Peter B. Porter papers Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org Some of Our Personal Papers
  • 44. Part Three: Online Sources • FRANK • NewYorkHeritage.org • New York State Newspaper Project • Google Books • WorldCat.org • Delicious.com Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 45. FRANK Find Resources And New Knowledge. A free online catalog of our book & manuscript collections. Does not include images. http://tinyurl.com/frank- catalog Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 46. NYHeritage.org •Digital collections from us & our peer institutions across the state •War of 1812 documents •Crystal Beach photos •Buffalo address books •And a lot more Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 47. Google Books •Millions of searchable books •http://books.google.com Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 48. Google Books •Search for your name in quotes, as in “Smith Family” •Add your ancestral city, like “Smith family” Buffalo •Search for record types, like church records, city directories + name of city Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 49. New York State Newspaper Project •Lists all surviving Erie County newspapers on microfilm and who owns them •http://tinyurl.com/p6tfkp Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 50. WorldCat.org •One free database of 1 billion offline items in thousands of libraries around the world •Books, periodicals, newspapers, videos, films, sound recordings, archival collections, letters, diaries, etc. •Helps you decide whether an out-of-town research trip is worthwhile Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 51. •Over 1,100 useful links that we’ve collected & sorted by category or “tag” •Tags include Cemetery Records, Census Records, Military, etc. Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org Delicious.com/BufHistory
  • 52. Part Four: What We Don’t Have •Official vital records (birth, marriage, death certificates) •Passenger lists •Naturalization records •School or college attendance records •Deeds or property transactions •Employment or personnel records •Police or crime records Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 53. What We Cannot Do •We are not qualified to draw genealogical conclusions or do your family tree for you •We cannot provide open-ended research on a list of names or “fill in gaps” on your genealogy charts •We cannot appraise or establish the value of your books or other collectibles Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org
  • 54. Contact us •Email: library@buffalohistory.org •Phone: (716) 873-9644 x 306 •For best phone results, call Wednesdays through Saturdays, 1-5 pm Buffalo History Museum 1 Museum Court Buffalo, NY14216 www.buffalohistory.org library@buffalohistory.org The End