Dec10

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UPDATE 12/11/2017: I’m updated to this older post again since I found that the Ancestry – New York partnership page on the NYS Archives site has once again changed: The old URL now is “not found.” However with some more searching on the site I was able to find another page that contains the zip code form so that New Yorkers can search these record sets at Ancestry without the “become a member” page.

First, a TL;DR: Use the NYS Archives link I have listed below, enter a zip code, go to Ancestry New York page and search the records that are free to NYers with impunity.

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It is probably not news to genealogy folks who research that, as the New York State Archives site says, “Several New York repositories have formed a partnership with Ancestry.com to digitize family history records and make them available on line for free.”

For several months I have accessed those records on Ancestry, probably most often the 1915 and 1925 NY State censuses, plus some more fun ones like the Sing Sing Prison admittance records. The only trick was that these records are officially free to New York State residents, and once logged into Ancestry, so I would visit the URL http://www.ancestry.com/newyork, enter my NY zip code, and thus would get in.

However, back in 2014, after a year or two of use I found that the Ancestry page no longer contained the NY zip code field. While it is still a search page titled “New York State Records”, i you use that search form, and try to view the images without the old zip code field submission, it brings you to the ubiquitous “Choose a membership to get started” sign up page.

Annoyed by that at the time, a little follow up Googling brought me to a NYSED.gov Archives page that outlined the partnership. Thankfully, on that page the zip code form field existed and using it brought you to Ancestry’s “New York: Where History Goes on Record” page, where you can again search the records and click through the results to view the images. (You are still required to have at a free Ancestry login to view images.)

However, now in 2017 I found that the original NYS Archives page that contained the zip code form is gone – although I have found another different page that still contains the form.

So, once again: Here is the URL for the NYS Archives site:
http://www.archives.nysed.gov/research/how-to-video-ancestry

I think it is disappointing that this change occurred, since it makes original NY State landing page more of a funnel to the subscription page.

While the Ancestry page now says “For free access to New York records, start your search then click on your results. You will be prompted to “Create a Free Account.” DO NOT click on the “Subscribe” button or the “14-day Free Trial Offer” unless you are interested in access to all of Ancestry…” I don’t see any way to actually GET TO the free records. And I don’t really feel like creating a new free account to test it out.

More than a bit confusing.

For later reference – the old, now UNWORKING URL as of 11DEC2017 is: http://www.archives.nysed.gov/research/res_ancestry.shtml

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