Researching genealogy is often complicated if you don’t know how or where to look for information. If you are doing research on someone born in New York State, your first thought might be to look at their birth certificate for information. However, it is important for you, the researcher, to know that New York State did not institute birth certificates until 1881. Therefore, if you are researching someone born before 1881 your best chance of finding information, such as parents’ names, would be in church records. The census records might be another place you might want to look, but the early census records only list head of house by name. It isn’t until the census in 1850 that you would find all members of a household listed by name.
Here at the Schenectady County Historical Society we do hold church records (not for every church or all years), and we may be able to help you locate those records for which we do not hold copies. We also have access to census records through ancestory.com and have census indices among our collection.