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Minisink Valley Historical Society
Genealogical Research Policy & Tips
Policy

Our organization is a small volunteer-run group that has a limited amount of resources and funds. As a result we are not in a position to answer genealogical requests. We will place your letter in our family file for future reference. Please give us as much information as possible and be precise in telling us what you are looking for.

If you wish you may visit our library facility which is located on the second floor of the Port Jervis Free Library at 138 Pike Street, Port Jervis, New York. The collection is open to the public on Thursday afternoons from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (open to the public) and from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (by appointment only). Volunteers are available to answer questions and give general guidance. If you would like we can send you a copy of our gift shop sales listing or you can find it in our Gift Shop.

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Research Tips

Genealogical research is one of the fastest growing hobbies in America. Since the airing of the movie, "Roots", millions have begun to search for their forebears. Most researchers conduct their genealogical queries by mail and many make contact with historical groups or government officials who have little time to conduct research.

For example, most researchers are looking for birth and death records that are usually located in village or town clerks' offices. Since the clerk's office is usually the busiest in local governments, queries are not answered immediately. In fact, most clerks answer letters on their own time.

In addition, local, county and regional historical societies many times operate only with volunteers who are at the archives several hours a week. These people are usually busy with their own research and probably trying to save local history as well.

In writing these officials consider their situations and do not become impatient with them. While your family research may be of great importance to you, it does not hold the same interest for those in far-off places. Try to give the person you are corresponding with as much information as possible to make their job easier. Also, consider making a donation to the organization. Some societies, charge a per-name, per-search fee to help cover the costs of research.

One may consider going to the historical or government agencies personally so that a thorough search can be made. Make an appointment in advance. If possible, describe the records you are most interested in seeing. Perhaps it is a birth record or, the minutes of meetings from a particular year. Be specific.

The most important thing to remember is that most research cannot be done quickly; it requires time and perseverance. Family researchers spend years collecting materials regarding their forebears and travel widely to get that information. If at all possible, visit the area you are researching. There is nothing as important as literally standing upon the ground where great-grandfather stood to understand the man and the period that he lived.

Also, to help our visitors with their genealogy research, we have a special topic called "Minisink Families" within our Minisink Forum. Please feel free to post questions and answers there, and be sure to spread the word about this special feature. The more people that we can get involved, the better the results will be!

Partial Listing of Materials Available at the Archives of
The Minisink Valley Historical Society
GENEALOGICAL COLLECTIONS
W. Coulter Genealogical Collection
Port Jervis Articles
Minisink Wallkill Chronicles
Wantage Articles
Church Files
Church Books & Records
Church Life Files
Obituary Files
Cemetery Files
Family Bibles
Family Files & Books
Biographies
DAR Patriot Index & Records
NY G & B Index & Collection
General Genealogical Files & Books
Genealogical Helper Magazine
LOCAL HISTORY COLLECTIONS
Maps/Atlases
WPA Local History Files
General Local History Files
Calvin Crane Local History Collection
MVHS Photograph Collection - (1875-1940)
Directories
County Directories
Pennsylvania
New York
New Jersey
City Directories
County Histories & Historical Material
Orange, New York
Sullivan, New York
Pike, Pennsylvania
Wayne, Pennsylvania
Sussex, New Jersey
Ulster Co. New York
Olde Ulster series
Upstate New York
GENERAL SUBJECT COLLECTIONS
Native American Collection
European History Collection
Colonial Period Collection
Am. Revolution Collection
Peter Gumaer Collection (Surveys & Maps)
D & H Canal Collections (RFL Collection, Books and Files)
Civil War Collection
Spanish-American War Collection
World War I & II Collection
Railroad Collection (Books, Files, Maps)
General NY State & NYC Collection
General PA & NJ State Collection
General US History
US Census Records on Microfilm - Sussex County, New Jersey,
Orange County, New York, Pike County, Pennsylvania
Mormon Library Records
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MVHS Resources on Microfiche
CHURCH RECORDS
Deerpark Reformed Church
Church Life Magazine
"Deerpark Days 1890-1905"
Minisink Valley Reformed Dutch Church Records
Reformed Dutch Church Records, New York Marriages, 1639-1801
GENEALOGICAL RECORDS
Index to Minisink and Wallkill Precinct Historical Chronicle by William Coulter
Minisink and Wallkill Precinct Historical Chronicle by William Coulter
Index to Port Jervis Union Gazette Genealogical Department Articles by William Coulter
Port Jervis Union Gazette Genealogical Department Articles by William Coulter
FAMILY HISTORIES
A Genealogy of the Quick Family
Isaac Kool (Cool/Cole) & Catharine Serven Families
Caudebec in America
The Decker Genealogy
The Swartwout Chronicles
History of the Kuykendall Family
The St. John Genealogy
CEMETERY RECORDS
The Burial Records of the Laurel Grove Cemetery, Port Jervis, New York
SPECIAL RESOURCES
Listing of Historical and Genealogical Groups in Area
AASLH Listing of Historical and Genealogical Groups in United States
SERVICES OFFERED AT THE SOCIETY'S ARCHIVES
MVHS Sales Items Catalog - Free
Listing of Historical and Genealogical Groups in Area - $15.00
Membership in Minisink Valley Historical Society - $15.00 Individual, $20.00 Family

MVHS has a photocopy machine at its library facility along with a microfiche machine. A limit of 25 copies can be made at any time.

MVHS does not participate in any interlibrary loan program and materials cannot be taken or borrowed from the library room.
minisink history
Great Resources on the Internet for Genealogy
Learn about My Ancestors research retreats at the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City! My Ancestors also has many other resources to help genealogists with their research, including FREE email consultations.
Everton's Genealogical Helper - http://www.everton.com
This magazine and Web page are the single most valuable resource that we can suggest to beginner genealogists. The amount of useful material packed into each bimonthly magazine is just amazing.
Family Tree Maker - http://www.familytreemaker.com
This site is said to have an amazing collection of 20% of the known people who have lived in America.
Ancestry - http://www.ancestry.com
Another family genealogy program and web site that is well worth visiting.
American Genealogical Lending Library - http://www.agll.com
This is an excellent source for borrowing and purchasing genealogical research materials.
Federation of Genealogical Societies - http://www.fgs.org
Are you looking for a genealogical society somewhere in America - this is the source to find it.
Genealogy Exchange and Surname Registry - http://www.genexchange.com
National Genealogy Society - http://www.genealogy.org/~ngs/
Church of Latter Day Saints - http://www.familysearch.org/
Copyright © 2015 The Minisink Valley Historical Society. All rights reserved.
Revised December 31, 2013