Ethnic Groups of New York

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This entry was originally written by Roger D. Joslyn, CG, FUGA, FGBS, FASG for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
the New York Family History Research series.
History of New York
New York Vital Records
Census Records for New York
Background Sources for New York
New York Maps
New York Land Records
New York Probate Records
New York Court Records
New York Tax Records
New York Cemetery Records
New York Church Records
New York Military Records
New York Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
New York Archives, Libraries, and Societies
New York Immigration
New York Naturalization
Ethnic Groups of New York
New York County Resources
Map of New York


African American

The best bibliography of material on African-American families in New York is Black Genesis (see page 15). Not to be overlooked is the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Lenox Ave., New York, NY 10037, with its extensive collection.

Native American

The two major Native American groups in New York were the Iroquois Five (later Six) Nations and their enemies, the Algonquins. Other groups were in the southeast and on Long Island. Among several works on the subject, research can begin in H. Leon Abrams, Jr., A Partial Working Bibliography on the Amerindians of New York (Greeley, Colo.: University of Northern Colorado, Museum of Anthropology, 1979); Russell A. Judkins, ed., Iroquois Studies: A Guide to Documentary and Ethnographic Records from Western New York and the Genesee Valley (Geneseo, N.Y.: Department of Anthropology, State University of New York and the Geneseo Foundation, 1987); Barbara J. Sivertsen, Turtles, Wolves and Bears: A Mohawk Family History (Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, 1996); “We Are Still Here!”: The Algonquian Peoples of Long Island Today (1996) and The Algonquian Peoples of Long Island from Earliest Times to 1700 (1997), both by John A. Strong and published by Empire State Books of Interlaken, N.Y.; and “Problems of American Indian Research in New York State,” from a talk by Elma Patterson, Indian Affairs Specialist for the New York State Department of Social Services, Western New York Genealogical Society Journal 12 (1985): 107-12. While it focuses on the Oneidas, James D. Folts, “Before the Dispersal: Records of New York’s Official Relations with the Oneidas and Other Indian Nations,” The Oneida Indian Journey: From New York to Wisconsin, 1784–1860, ed. Laurence M. Hauptman and L. Gordon McLester III (Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1999), 151-70, covers New York colony and state records that document all Indian nations in what is now New York State. See also E. M. Ruttenber, “Indian Geographical Names,” issued as a supplement and bound in the back of the New York State Historical Association’s Proceedings for 1906.

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