Guide to the Fundamentals of Using The Record Online

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Log in to view a members-only version of this document with additional search instructions and links, which can be found in The Record section of the "Welcome to the eLibrary" page of this website.

Continuously published since 1870, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record is the second oldest genealogical journal in the country and one of the most distinguished.  The entire run of The Record comprised 567 issues as of July 2011 and forms the largest single collection of published material on families that lived in New York State.  Access to the digital version of The Record is available exclusively to NYG&B members. 

Two Ways to Search The Record

The Record is searchable by the following methods, which are best used in tandem:

Worden’s Index to Family and Given Names

Mrs. Jean D. Worden painstakingly indexed over one million names that appeared in The Record between 1870 and 1998, providing an invaluable research tool that has been appreciated by genealogical scholars everywhere.   This index is updated every year after the fall release of the annual index by volunteers and interns and forms the basis of a search engine that will simultaneously search every issue of The Record since 1870.  Advantages: The Worden’s search engine is particularly useful when searching for a name that is also a common word, such as Brown or Farmer.  The search results will provide the volume and page numbers wherever the name appears.

Advanced Search

The Advanced Search function in the eLibrary will allow you to search by an exact phrase or by keywords.   Advantages:  Advanced Search is particularly useful when searching for an article by title, subject, or volume.  If you have used the Worden’s search engine and want to go to a specific volume and page number, Advanced Search will take you there. 

Please note: Mrs. Worden did not index such material as library accession lists, book reviews, society proceedings, and genealogical exchange (queries), which are covered in the volume indexes.  Nor did she index the names of witnesses to baptisms and marriages, which appear in the transcripts of church records. Therefore, the thorough researcher may want to use Advanced Search to identify any additional occurrences of a name.

Indexes to The Record

An Annual Index to names in each volume of The Record has been released every October since 1870.  The first 25 volumes were indexed only by surname, but from volume 26 on the indexes include every name.  If you want to search the annual index for a particular volume, you can use Advanced Search to go to the volume and the select the issue.

In addition to the annual index, the NYG&B has published several specialized indexes to The Record through the years, which are now available in our eLibraryWhile the following indexes vary in terms of their scope, they can be a source of useful information to the researcher trying to mine the rich body of information contained in The Record

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 113 Years Master Index 1870-1982

Published by Mrs. Jean D. Worden in 1983, this book is a subject index to articles that appeared in The Record from 1870-1982.  While it includes many index references to individuals, it is not meant to be a full name index.
Strengths: Index to articles by subject
Period covered: 1870-1982 (For subsequent years, see Harry Macy’s Subject Index, which follows.)

Subject Index to Articles in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 1983-2015 (Volumes 114-146), compiled by Harry Macy Jr., FASG, FGBS

This index is a continuation of Mrs. Jean D. Worden’s Master Index 1870-1982. It consists of three parts: compiled genealogies and family records, indexed by principal surnames; source records and collective genealogies, indexed by location; and other articles, indexed by subject. 
Strengths: Index to articles by subject and location
Period covered: 1983-2013.  This index will be updated annually following the release of the Annual Index to The Record in October.   (For previous years, see Mrs. Jean D. Worden’s Master Index above.)

Index to Articles in The Record by Title and by Author 

Previously available only on CD, this index provides a browsable and searchable list of titles and authors of articles that have appeared in The Record from 1870 through 2015. 
Strengths: Articles indexed by title and author
Period covered: 1870-2015.

Worden’s Index to Family and Given Names 

Previously available only on CD and covering the period 1870-1998, this is a browsable and searchable index of more than one million names that have been mentioned in The Record from 1870 through the present.  It forms the basis of our Worden’s search engine.  
Strengths: Family and given names
Period covered: 1870 to the present.  Updated every year after the fall annual index is released.

Standard Source Abbreviations

If you are reading an article published in The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record between 1933 and 1996, you will find that sources are cited in the text, and the citations use a standard set of abbreviations or acronyms for major New York sources.  Beginning in 1996, sources for Record articles are cited in footnotes.