Acquired from the Dutch in the seventeenth century, New York became one of the most important English colonies in North America. This database is a collection of marriage records from the state prior to 1784. Each record contains the names of both bride and groom and marriage date, with the earliest marriage dating to 1660. For those seeking ancestors from New York prior to the American Revolution, this can be an informative database. Reference information is also provided to aid the researcher in obtaining the original record. Unfortunately, the New York State Capitol fire of 1911 destroyed 21 of the original 40 volumes of records from which this index was created, and severely damaged the remaining 19. Because of this extensive damage, the original records are limited in availability and additional informational value.
The New York State Archives was established in 1971 and opened its doors to the public in 1978. It is a program of the State Education Department, with its main facility located in the Cultural Education Center on Madison Avenue in Albany. There it cares for and provides access to more than 200 million documents that tell the story of New York from the seventeenth century to the present. From its main facility, it also administers statewide programs that reach out to state agencies, local governments and community organizations. Archives staff are located in nine regional offices around the State to address the archives and records management concerns of every area of the State.