Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Adoption Research in New York

Researching a family tree for someone who was adopted can be tough. It can be even more difficult if you are researching a family tree where one of your grandparents was adopted.

The New York Foundling Hospital began in 1869 by some Catholic nuns who were concerned about the number of children orphaned because of the Civil War. In the late 19th century, The Foundling Hospital found homes for children by using “orphan trains” to send children west.

There are a few ways to access the records of The Foundling Hospital. Ancestry has recently posted the censuses for The Foundling Hospital taken in the years 1870 to 1925. To access this database from the Ancestry homepage, click on the “search” tab. Then click on the state of New York found on the United States map. From the New York page, click on “New York Census Records”. Once there you will find a link for The New York Foundling Hospital. There is also a link for another New York orphanage, The Children’s Aid Society of New York.

The New York Foundling Hospital can provide you with the records of your ancestor. You must provide a death certificate for your ancestor and proof that you are a descendent. To request a record, write to: Yvonne Wintz, The New York Foundling, 590 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10011. Records that you receive may include adoption papers, letters, and notes from visits to the child while in the foster family or adoptive families home.

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