My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Courthouse at Fonda, New York, A Great Place to do Research for Montgomery County

Of all the libraries, archives, or historical societies I’ve been to, this repository has made the biggest impression. The Montgomery County History and Archives, (New York) was formed in 1934 and is housed in an 1836 old Courthouse. It is this Courthouse that I decided to write about. Yesterday, I was at the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) talking to somebody and it was mentioned they had New York roots because she knew I was working on my Albany line. I asked if they had ever been to Fonda, and she didn’t know what I was talking about. Returning home, I knew immediately that I should write about this wonderful place. If you have ancestors in this area of New York, you are very fortunate.

In 2000, the year of my trip, I had no expectations of this facility, since the internet didn’t provide any information and I didn’t even have the catalog of their holdings. Somebody must have raved about it, or I read about it, either way, I wanted to visit Fonda, the Courthouse and Stone Arabia, NY.  When we went, I could have stayed for days, but the four hours had to do. One thing I absolutely loved was their huge collection of DAR books for cemetery listings, births and deaths, most were from the 1930s. (I bet it is the next largest collection of these books next to the collection in Washington, DC). The following year, I bought the catalog with thoughts of another trip. The cost is now $12.95, (my 2001 edition has 186 pages). Permission was granted to show my scanned pages, as well as to use the photo of the Courthouse.

From their web page, “Vital records, such as births, deaths and marriages, are indispensable to the genealogical researcher; Note that these records were not required to be kept by the State of New York prior to 1880 (only miscellaneous records in the city and town clerk offices prior to that date). The Montgomery County Department of History and Archive and research library contains the third largest collection of indexed genealogical records in the State of New York to meet these and other needs.

The historical and genealogical research library contains thousands of original county records - (common pleas, deeds, Supreme Court and Surrogate's Court), along with a vast collection of genealogical material - (census, cemetery, military, church, etc.) that are vital to the researcher. Also vital is our over 500 historical and genealogical folders compiled by the department over the past 54 years.” I believe I’ve shown why I loved this place.  See Wikipedia information about Fonda.

 The brochure was given to me in 2000, so I assume much of the information about prices and hours have been changed.