Staff at the Historical Society regularly receive inquiries from people interested in learning more about their family’s history. The Society is in the process of updating its website to more completely indicate both its own holdings of genealogical material and point researchers to pertinent material readily available to them. This article will summarize the current state of the Society’s holdings, other resources which may be of value and plans for additions to our holdings.
Family Trees – The Society has family trees for many families who have been a part of the history of the Village. We are currently at work to provide a listing of these trees for the website. At present, there is no plan to make the trees themselves available on the website. Until the listing is available online, feel free to call the Society to inquire.
Oral Histories – Over the decades, oral histories of 59 Village residents have been done as part of the still ongoing Italian Project. A list of the individuals recorded and the date of the recording can be found on the website on the “Ongoing Projects” by clicking on “The Italian Project.” It is not expected that the actual recordings will be placed online. Additional information can be obtained by calling the Society.
Little White Church Presbyterian Cemetery (Also known as the Presbyterian Cemetery or Methodist Cemetery) – For decades, the Little White Church Presbyterian Cemetery served the needs of the Village and surrounding communities. Having suffered from years of neglect, the cemetery was restored in 2013. Many of the headstones were found to be broken and were no longer associated with any discernable burial site. As part of the restoration project, a Society volunteer created a virtual cemetery using the Find A Grave website. The names of those buried in the cemetery, gleaned from a variety of sources, were identified and individual memorial pages for each person were created on the website. Where possible, a photo of the gravestone was added and related individuals were linked. The virtual cemetery can be accessed at https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/863857/presbyterian-cemetery
Dobbs Ferry Church records – Thanks to the cooperation of the leaders of several of the churches in the Village, the Society has scanned copies of the baptism, marriage and burial records maintained by these organizations. Records in the collection include those from the Zion, Presbyterian and Aldersgate United Methodist Churches. The images have been indexed so that they may be searched by name or date of the event.
Baptism – Records run from the 1850s to the early 1900s. They are available for all three churches
Marriage – Records run from the late 1850s to the late 1890s. They are available from all three churches.
Burial – These records are just available from the Zion Church. They cover the period from the early 1860s to the early the late 1890s.
There are no plans to make these records available on the website.
Dobbs Ferry Village death records – When a person dies in the Village, a record of the death in maintained in the Village hall. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, deaths were recorded in a register. This register is currently being indexed by Village employees. When the index is available, it will be placed on the Society’s website.
US Federal and NY State censuses – While the US Federal census can be searched through several commercially available sources, it is not possible to search across several different censuses by geographic location. A long term project of the Society is to create a master file of Dobbs Ferry residents who appear in the Federal and NY State censuses, thus permitting the researcher to track an individual or family across time. The actual census images will not appear in the listing, but the enumeration district will be given so that the original record can be easily located.
The Society welcomes suggestions for other genealogy sources which may be of interest to the community.