A Guide to Vital Records in the Collection of the

Saratoga County Historian's Office



Civil registration of births, marriages and deaths in the State of New York was first required by law in 1847. The record keeping under this law was to be done by the clerk of each school district, who would report these records to the appropriate town clerk who would in turn report to the county clerk. The records, or an abstract, would be then sent to the Secretary of State. The law was poorly written and not very easily enforced. On December 19, 1850 the Secretary of State wrote to all County Clerks:

"I have concluded not to forward the blanks for the Report of Births, Marriages and Deaths, until the law is so amended as to enable me to receive full and correct reports from the entire State. Therefore all action under the law will be, for the present, suspended."

The Saratoga County Historian's Office has in its files four towns' records collected under the 1847 law.

Another attempt by the state to collect death records was begun in 1864 in which the assessor of each town or ward was directed to accumulate the data. (Chapter 380) This law was repealed in 1865. (Chapter 723) The Historian has a partial record from only one town, Edinburgh, reported under this law: a photocopy of that report is included herewith.

An improved law for vital records was not subsequently enacted until 1880, when registration was put under the jurisdiction of the New York State Department of Health.

Vital Records have always been sought and collected by the County Historians. These records are found in various places throughout the collection, mostly in the form of typed transcriptions.

The records described in this guide are primarily those records produced by a government or by an agency of a government such as a school district. Records of churches are not included in this guide. Some substitute records are included, however, where official records are not in the collection.

Other sources found in our collection which include vital record dates, either explicit or implied, are:

            Town Clerks' Registers of Civil War Veterans

            Church Records

            Obituaries in scrapbooks (e.g., Durkee's scrapbooks)

            Cemetery epitaph transcriptions

             (e.g., Durkee's Saratoga County Epitaphs, on Microfilm reels #900-5, and 900-6)

World War I Draft Enrollment Cards

(three microfilms reels: an alphabetical section for each of two local

Selective Service Boards)

            World War II Enrollment Cards

            City Directories

            Bible records in Surname files

            New York Marriages previous to 1784

                                                (in General Reference bookcase)

            Birthdates taken from Guardianship Papers (see Microfilm reel #800-2)

            Census, Federal and State

Note: The only vital records kept at the Saratoga County Clerk's office are marriage licenses from 1908 to 1935.


1847-1850 Vital Records Law Registrations

Charlton                      see file 974.748--02,2600 in drawer with

                                                Charlton town files

                                                "Vital Records of the Town of Charlton"

Greenfield                  see file 974.748--08,2601

                                                "Vital Statistics"

                                                Births, Marriages and Deaths 1848-49

Saratoga Springs        see folder "Vital Records: Births, Deaths, Marriages 1847-1850"

                                                compiled by Henry Ritchie and published in "Tree Talks"                                                           beginning September 1970.

                                                See also Microfilm #800-2, item 6.

Stillwater                    "Births 1847-1850, 1852"

                                                published in magazine The Saratoga     volumes 6 and 7.

                                                (see "Directory" for that source published 1993.)


Vital Records Registrations after 1850

Ballston                                  Births, Marriages and Deaths

                                                            Births               1883-1908

                                                            Marriages         1883-1907

                                                            Deaths              1883-1908

                                                (see file 974.748--01,2600 in Ballston town files: indexed.

                                                Also Microfilm #800-1)

                                                            Burial Permits   1901-1926

Charlton                                  Vital Records               1847-1942

                                                            (green soft-cover binder in Charlton town files)

                                                Vital Records

                                                            Births               1847-49, 1870, 1875-1913

                                                            Marriages         1847-49, 1884-1907

                                                            Deaths              1847-49, 1883-1913

                                                (see file 974.748--02,2600 in   Charlton town files: indexed.

                                                Also Microfilm #800-1)

                                                            Burial Permits   1932, 1943, 1944, 1947-1957                                    

Clifton Park                            Vital Records

                                                            Births               1882-1900

                                                            Marriages         1882-1900

                                                            Deaths              1882-1900

                                    (see file 974.748--03,2600 in Clifton Park Town files: indexed)

Greenfield                              Vital Records               (two copies)

                                                            Births               1870-1901

                                                            Marriages         1882-1901

                                                            Deaths              1882-1901

                                                (see file 974.748--08,2600 in town files: indexed.

                                                see also Microfilm #800-2, item 4)

Hadley                                    Vital Records

                                                            Births               1873-1932

                                                            Marriages         1884-1907

                                                (also marriages from M.E. Church Conklingville 1865-1901)

                                                            Deaths              1883-1932

                        (filed in Hadley town files: 974.748-09,2600 '2601 and '2602. Alphabetized.)



Northumberland                     Vital Records

                                                            Births               1875-1913

                                                            Marriages         1887-1936

                                                            Deaths              1880-1913

                                                (filed in Northumberland town files: indexed.

                                                see also Microfilm #800-2, item 2)

                                                "Death Records: Northumberland, 1885-1890"

                                                (filed in Northumberland town files)

Providence                              Vital Records

                                                            Births               1880-1922

                                                            Marriages         1889-1912

                                                            Deaths              1889-1912

                                                see Microfilm #800-1, item 3.

Saratoga                                 "Town of Saratoga including Schuylerville and Victory Mills:

                                                            Births, Marriages and Deaths"

                                    (filed in Saratoga town files; indexed.    

                                    see also Microfilm #800-2, item 9)

                                                Village of Schuylerville

                                                            Births               1871-1924

                                                            Marriages         1891-1907

                                                            Deaths              1891-1913

                                                Village of Victory Mills

                                                            Births               1878-1915

                                                            Marriages         1893-1908

                                                            Deaths              1887-1913

                                                Town of Saratoga        

                                                            Births               1871-1926

                                                            Marriages         1891-1902

                                                            Deaths              1891-1919

Wilton                         Vital Records

                                                            Marriages         1881-1900

                                                see Microfilm #800-2, item 1. (Typed and indexed in                                                    "Microfilm Collection Reel 800-2" in Reference Table rack.)



Other Vital Record Sources


            Many census records included a Mortality Schedule      and some included marriages, but in both cases only listed those events occurring during the twelve months preceding the census. Transcriptions of some mortality schedules can be found here:

            Ballston                      "Vital Records from the 1865 Census" *

            Charlton                      "Vital Records from the 1865 Census" *

            Clifton Park                "Vital Records from the 1865 Census" *

            * NOTE: The three 1865 records above are in various issues of The     Saratoga.

            (see the "Directory," filed with this magazine, published 1993.)

            Greenfield                  "Deaths in Greenfield from

                                                            Mortality Schedules of 1875 Census"

                                                see Greenfield town file "Vital Statistics," 974.748--08,2601

            Northumberland         "Deaths from Mortality Schedule of 1850"

                                                see file titled "Town of Northumberland Vital Records"


            Providence                  "People who have died in Providence    during the year

                                                            ending June 31,1850"

                                                in Providence town files 974.748--16,2600 Vital Statistics

            [Also, see the census books in the County Clerk's record room, or microfilms in the       Historian's Office for the original handwritten schedules not yet transcribed.]

            Schuylerville   Census of 1906. Two handwritten enumerators' books:                                                                         census of January 2 1906. (Historian's Vault)

Justice of Peace Marriages

                        Day and                       "Marriages by George Hunt, J.P. 1826-1833"

                        Edinburgh                   see Day town files (974.748--05,2600)

                                                Also see microfilm #800-2, item 3 which is typed and                                                    indexed, in "Microfilm Reel 800-2" on Reference Table rack

                        Greenfield                  "Marriages by Charles Deake, J.P. 1811-1817."

                                                            see file labeled "Vital     Statistics"

                                                                        in Greenfield Town Files (974.748-08,2601)

                                                            also see microfilm #800-2, item 4

Epidemic Deaths List

                        Edinburgh       "Account of Deaths from Epidemic of November-

                                                December 1842, January 1843." in Edinburgh town files

Funeral List   

                        Saratoga Springs        "E. H. Holmes, Funeral Director Book"

                                    [Mostly just names and dates. Some of the surnames are known to be                           from Saratoga Springs and Greenfield and there are probably some                                       from other surrounding localities.]

School District Reports

                        Public schools recorded at various times lists of parents and of pupils. These                  lists often contain dates which may assist in determining birth dates. School                       Trustee Reports include parents' and childrens' names, year of birth, years                                attended and in which district.

            Ballston                      "Public School Pupils 1842--1863"

                                                 published in The Saratoga, see Directory, 1993

            Ballston                      "School Records" includes school census of District No. 1 for                                                    years 1872, 1875-1878;

                                                Census of Children in Ballston Spa High School 1901.

                        (Shelf 52, Historian's Vault; two boxes of records includes school tax lists.)

            Ballston                      "School Trustees Reports 1877-78 and 1895-1905"

`                                                           in Ballston town files 974.748--01,0803

            Charlton                      "Digest of School Census Reports 1852-1908"

                                                            in Charlton town files    974.748--02,0800

            Clifton Park                "Digest, School Trustee Reports 1877, 1878, 1897-1908"

                                                            in Clifton Park town files 974.748--03,0802

            Day                             "School Trustee Reports 1895-1908"

                                                            in Day town files 974.748--05,1908

            Edinburgh                   "Digest of School Trustee Reports 1895-1902"

                                                            in Edinburgh town files 974.748--06,0801

            Galway                        "School Trustee Reports 1877-78 and 1895-1908"

                                                            in Galway town files 974.748--07,0801

School District Reports (continued)

            Greenfield                  "School Trustee Reports 1895-1902"

`                                                           in Greenfield town files 974.748--08,0802

            Halfmoon                    "School Trustee Reports 1877-1908"

                                                            in Halfmoon town files 974.748--10,0800

            Malta                          "School Trustee Reports 1877, 1878,   1895-1908"

                                                            in Malta town files 974.748--11,0800

            Milton                         "School Trustee Reports 1877, 1878, 1897, 1908"

                                                            in Milton town files 974.748--13,0800

            Milton                         "School Records" Census of Children--Union Free School,                                                                   Milton 1880, 1908.

                        (Shelf 52, Historian's Vault; two boxes of records includes school tax lists.)

            Moreau                       "School Trustee Reports 1895-1902"

                                                            in Moreau town files 947.748--14,0800

            Northumberland         "Digest of School Trustee Reports, 1895-1908"

                                                            in Northumberland town Files 974.748--15,0800

            Saratoga                     "School Trustee Reports 1895-1902"

                                                            in Saratoga town files 947.748--18,0801


            Stillwater                    "School District Parents 1824, 1825, 1832, 1833"

                                                            published in The Saratoga, see Directory, 1993

            Stillwater                    "School Trustee Reports 1877-1908"

                                                            in Stillwater town files 974.748-19,0800

            Wilton                         "School Trustee Reports 1896-1902"

                                                            in Wilton town files 947.748--21,0801

Other Saratoga County resources:

            Naturalization Documents                 Some naturalization records contain ages and/or birth dates for the person being naturalized as well as for other members of the immediate family.

            Surrogate Court Records                  Some documents contain references to the age of the heirs, particularly of minor children, and wills frequently state the age of the testator at the time the will was written.

            Court Records                                    Some records contain references to the age of individual parties to the court action, particularly minor children.


(revised 24 Apr 2003)                                                              [c:\vitalrec.doc]