The Gross-Steinberg Family Tree presents:
Some NYC Research Info
by James Gross
I hope this info is of some help to you...
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 1996
Subject: NYC LDS:Assault on Hamburg lists
The following info is based on a 3/96 trip to the NYC LDS center.
Here I found myself doing an all out assault on the Hamburg film lists.
I had heard that this LDS has Jewish films on permanent file and I went
to investigate. While they do have some selected Jewish interest films
there, my interest was in the Hamburg passenger lists.
For those of you with zero idea of what I'm referring to, this is a list
of those passengers sailing from Hamburg directly or indirectly. In my
case, I was interested in those ships sailing to the US. The direct index
is for 1855-1934 and the indirect list is from 1854-1910. This film series
is very useful for those researchers looking for persons who landed in the
US, especially in NYC from 1894-1897. As you all know, there is no NYC
passenger index for these years.
To explain the process, you first look up your ancestors name in the
index, and there are two indexes: direct and indirect. I spent all day and
I wasn't even able to finish the direct index. The majority of time is
spent on deciphering the index names as some are hard to read. I worked on
certain surnames and copied all listed names. I photocopied all the entries
I was interested in. The entries give a page number. They are supposed to
also give the entire date, including month ,day, and year. Some of them do
and some of them don't. Be advised that the dates seen in the indexes are
COMPLETELY screwed-up. For example, a typical date given is 3/1/94. You
have to translate it into Jan 3, 1894. And, many of the listings do not
have the year written down at all. So, make sure you remember to add the
Be aware that some of the dates overflow into the next year. I had one
reel from 1894 which totally skipped my January 3rd entry. I finally found
it on the same reel at the very end. The only reason I knew it had to
exist is because I already know, from my notes, that my relative, Aaron
Neubauer, took passage on a Hamburg ship. An info page from the JGS of NY
called "Beyond the Basics III", written by Alex Freedlander, pg 32, gives a
brief summary on these films. Again, be prepared for your surnames to
overflow to the second half of the reel.
The second and far easier step is to pull up the actual passenger list.
The index entry which you already copied gave you the page number and you
know the year based on the year of the film reel you searched. So, you pull
the film for the ship list based on the known date. You go thru the ship
list til you reach the correct page number as seen in your photocopied
index entry. When you get to the correct page number, you may have to look
at one or two page before or after the stated page number. I found this to
be the situation on almost every lookup. Once you find the ancestors page
entry, I would photocopy it. And, I recommend that you copy the first page
of the section which lists the name of the ship and the date of
After I copied all that and went home, I pulled out my Morton Allen
Directory. If you don't have one, I suggest you pay the $20 and buy it. It
makes life easier for you. I think Avotaynu (e-mail: VHWC10A@PRODIGY.COM)
still sells it as I purchased my copy from them. Anyway, I checked each
Hamburg ship entry with the Morton Allen entries. All the dates of arrival
were on the money or close to it. As a result of all of this work, I now
have the ships name and date of arrival to NYC. Now all I have to do is
order that ship manifest or go to the National Archives in D.C.
I realize that everyone isn't near NYC or DC, but hopefully you will
still be able to benefit from these notes. I think that we all need to
post things with an assumption that the reader knows less than we do.
Other articles on this subject include:
1. "Jewishgen" FAQ
2. LDS Resource Guide on the Hamburg Passenger Lists
3. Compuserve, genealogy text file area.
4. "Mispacha" Fall 1995, pg 11.
5. Article entitled "Hamburg Passenger Lists", reprinted from "Generation"
JGS of Michigan, Fall 1995
6. "Avotaynu" Fall 1991, Vol 7, no. 3, "Lesser Known Records
of Emigrants in the Hamburg State Archives", by Jurgen Sielemann.
7. "Avotaynu" Summer 1990, Vol 6, no. 2, Column entitled
"Hamburg Records Aid Genealogists".
8. "Dorot" Spring 1990, article on Hamburg lists, pg 6.
Shared by James Gross
Member JGS of Phila
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 1995
Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 21:21:25 +0000
From: Phil Kornstein
Subject: FYI: Brooklyn Eagle
On 16 May 1997 Michoel Ronn posted that Brooklyn Public Library at Grand
Army Plaza had a morgue of the old Brooklyn Eagle paper. Our thanks to him
for that information but the phone number he listed is not a working
The collection is part of the History Dept.
To reach it by phone, call 718-780-7722. To request a search you will need
to fax or mail the details. They will not take the info over the phone.
They will reply by fax or you can provide your snail mail address if you
don't have fax.
Send fax to 718-783-1770, attention History Dept. I do have a name to
address it to but am not sure if it is right to post it. Perhaps the
moderator can advise me. I will be happy to provide it via personal e-mail.
I just sent my fax off today so I can't tell you yet how I made out.
Canoga Pk, CA
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 07:44:48 -0400
From: "Carol W. Skydell"
Subject: Re: Brooklyn Brides Index
According to an excellent post sometime in the recent past, Estelle Guzik
advised that there are complete bride and grooms indexes for ALL BOROUGHS
at the Municipal Archives in NYC for 1908-1929 as part of the City Clerk's
records. That's the good news...the not-so-good news is that you must come
to NYC and do the search yourself (or hire a professional), the MA staff
cannot do this for you.
More good news is that the records are being microfilmed so someday will be
avilable outside NYC.
Estelle's post is worth printing out and adding to your collection of how
to find what where...or however you categorize.
To retrieve the post visit the homepage http://www.jewishgen.org, click on
"new databases" right under the banner and select JewishGen Discussion
Group Archived Messages. Search under Guzik. Not sure when I saw the
post so set the search to go backwards from April 1997.
Final comment...for those researching anything in the New York metropolitan
area (the 5 boroughs, Long Island, Westchester, Northern NJ and both state
capitols - Albany and Trenton), an invaluable addition to your library is
"Genealogical Resources in the New York Metropolitan Area," edited by
Estelle M. Guzik and published by the Jewish Genealogical Society of NY
JewishGen Support Team
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 10:17:16 -0400
From: Amy Waldinger
Subject: Bride Index
The Brides Index as well as the Grooms Index can be found at the municipal
Building at Chambers Street. You should have a nice list of searching when
you go as they charge you $5.00 to use the microfilm reader. Each copy of
whatever you take is also $5.00. For this you will get a certified copy.
The good thing is that they will accept personal checks!
Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 11:18:48 -0500
From: MS PHYLLIS KRAMER
Subject: brooklyn brides
The marriage indexes for NYC can be quite confusing.
I had the following in my notes:
There are 2 sets of marriage RECORDS and INDEXES for NYC: (1) NYC
Health Dept (easier to use, also at LDS Family History Library) and
(2)City Clerk's records- available only at the Municipal Archives but
contain more information. There is a "Card index" for brides 1866-
1937 (but note that the brides INDEX for brooklyn is missing from
1911 to 1929), grooms 1866-1888, 1908-71. Indexes exist for all
Boros and for all years but these are difficult to use (only at
Municipal Archives, no mail service); this index is an alphabetical
ledger index for brides and grooms by first two letters of surname....
.......But the good news is that the Municipal Archives is currently
filming these records.
Date: Tue, 17 Jun 1997 20:05:42 -0700
From: Joan Edelstein
Subject: Re: NY Building Photos
While many of you may already know this, I came across a site for
photos of buildings in the five boroughs that were taken for tax purposes
from 1939-1941. It's the NYC Municipal Archives at:
Which says (scroll down the page quite a bit):
"Department of Taxes,1939-1941: photograph of every taxable building in
the five Boroughs. The collection is known as the "Tax Photographs."
These black and white pictures were taken by the City's Department of
Taxes (now called Department of Finance) as part of its real property
appraisal system. There is one photograph for each taxable building in
the five Boroughs; vacant land was not photographed. If you would like
to order a photograph of any house or building, please use the following
order form. You may download the form and edit it in overstrike mode or
print it blank and fill it out manually. If you do not know the block
and lot number of the property, provide the street address and a brief
description; e.g. 4-story brownstone. The cost is $25 for an 8"x10"
print and $35 for an 11"x"14" print. You may also come into the Archives
to view the photographs on microfilm free of charge. Please call
(212) 788-8580 if you have any questions."
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 1997 12:14:50 -0500
From: MS PHYLLIS KRAMER
Subject: finding more: a family business in NYC
Subject: Finding More Info About a Family Business in NYC
Cory Shaw asked about ...... other sources? Possibly information
dealing with taxes, or incorporation?
There is a strange and wonderful source in NYC called the The Old
Records Room of NYC located in the same building as the NYC
municipal archives, at 31 Chambers St., 7th floor. It is open
Tuesdays and Thursdays, and has limited hours. The fellows working
there are helpful and friendly.
The Municipal Archives is located at 31 Chambers Street and there's a
wealth of information there, listed on this website.
It has the old Business Records, that is, a computer printout of all
corporations. Once you locate the corporation's number, they will get
the incorporation documents for you. It also has an old card index to
suits in the civil court of manhattan, and again, once you locate the
number, they will get the folder for you, but sometimes it takes 2
This site also has the original books of naturalization from NY State
Supreme Court (only state, not federal) which took place from 1906
through 1924.There is an old alphabetical card index with names, a
volume and a page; then you can pull the volume off the shelf. Copies
can only be made through the microfilm printer (at 50 cents, and you
need the quarters).
They also have the NYS Census from 1855, some very old NYC
directories and a Name Changes Index 1847-1934.
NYC Orphan Records Research:
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 17:15:10 -0400
From: Fuji TV
Subject: Bar Admissions
To those of you who have lawyer ancestors:
I had been frustrated in my attempts to find the naturalization
documentation of my paternal grandfather. I did know, however,
that he was a lawyer, licensed by the Bar of the State of New York.
I wrote a letter to:
Mr. Sidney Gribetz
Office of Committee on Character and Fitness
Supreme Court of the State of New York
Appellate Division--First Department
60 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10010
and asked to have his bar admission application and documentation
unsealed and copies of it sent to me. When I spoke to Mr. Gribetz
at 212-779-1779 he told me that the last sentence of the letter
"I respectfully request that the Court unseal all documents related
to my [relative's] admission to the Bar of the State of New York
and send copies of all of these documents to me."
I recently received the documents that I requested along with a
bill for a mere $5.00 for this service.
The documents that I received included my paternal grandfather's
Sworn Statement to the Committee on Character, which included such
information as name, age, residence, birthplace, naturalization,
parent's names, occupations, schools attended, occupations pursued,
etc. as well as copies of all letters of recommendation and
affidavits of character submitted on his behalf. For me, this was
a gold mine of information--especially because it told me the exact
date of naturalization and court in which he was naturalized.
I strongly urge all Genners who have attorneys in their family
trees to obtain the Bar Admission documents. They can be a real
treasure trove of information.
Looking for names? check out my
To contact me please
send me an e-mail