On February 27, 1869, at the home of Dr. David Parsons Holton, New York's largest genealogical organization, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B), was founded.

Less than a month later, on March 26, the group of seven founders filed a certificate of incorporation with the office of the Secretary of State of New York, providing the original focus of the organization, "to discover, procure, preserve and perpetuate whatever may relate to Genealogy and Biography, and more particularly to the genealogies and biographies of families, persons and citizens associated and identified with the State of New York." The first bylaws were adopted in April 1869 and the society's first officers were elected. Noted historian and genealogist Dr. Henry Reed Stiles was elected as the NYG&B's first president. The formal seal was adopted on May 8, 1869, which is still used today as a symbol for the organization.

Unlike other genealogical organizations during the time, the NYG&B elected both men and women to membership. The first female member of the NYG&B, Frances K. Forward Holton (the wife of founder, David Parsons Holton) was elected as a member on May 1, 1869. 

By the of end of 1869 the Society had established a library published an eight-page bulletin. Soon after, the NYG&B published the first issue of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record in January 1870. Since that time, publication, known as "The Record" would be issued quarterly, and is New York's longest running genealogical publication and the second-longest running publication in the field of genealogy and biography.