Helpful Hints to Develop Your Family Tree,
by Kelly Reader, Parish Town Clerk

Many thanks to Kelly Reader, Town Clerk for this wonderful information of "Helpful Hints to Develop Your Family Tree," and to Mary Lou Guindon, Parish Town Historical Society, for submitting this. 

*(Although this is for the Town of Parish, this is good information and most can be used anywhere).

As town clerk and vital statistic register one of my job duties,and most favorite is to aid people in finding information regarding their family Genealogy.
How do you start?
I have found some of the best information comes from our seniors, family bibles, or just looking at old photographs or albums. Somehow there is a story to be told, you just have to find the clues to piece the story together, to link you with your history. Sometimes, I think of it as putting a puzzle together. People are always delighted to find a piece of information that either I have in the Town Clerk’s office or our wonderful Historian, Bridget Swartz may have.

Secondly, try to verify dates and locations. This can be done many ways:

     Through vital statistics in local towns and villages

     Census records through our County Historian, Barb Dix

     Cemetery records and burial permits

     NYS Department of Health, Genealogy Section

     Local Church records

     Local Historian

A few other helpful hints of information that you may want to think about when
doing your research.

The state did not require municipalities to file records with them until 1881. Most
towns do not have information before that date. You will need to check with the
municipality that you are interested in. Sometimes you may get lucky.

Remember when searching for death records, the record is located where the
person was pronounced dead not necessarily where he lived.

State guidelines to release information is very strict to protect people’s right of
confidentiality. The clerks are not allowed to permit the public to personally look
through vital statistic books, the clerks will search for you.

What records are available: according to NYS Health Rules and Regulations:

     No information shall be released from a record of birth unless the record has
     been on file for at least 75 years and the person to whom the record relates
     is known to the applicant to be deceased.

     No information shall be released from a record of death unless the record
     has been on file for at least 50 years.

     No information shall be released from a record of marriage unless the record
     has been on file for at least 50 years and the parties to the marriage are
     know to the applicant to be deceased.

The time periods specified are waived if the applicant is a descendent or has been designated to act on behalf of a descendent of the person whose record is being
requested. All uncertified copies, abstracts, or information issued for genealogical
research purposes shall be clearly marked with the statement "For Genealogical
Purposes Only".

The fee- $11.00 includes search and uncertified copy or notification of no record.

The Parish Town Clerk’s office has:

Minute Books from 1912– present
Vital Records:
Birth – 1881-present a few prior births

Marriage – 1881– present

Death – 1881 – present

The Methodist Church has marriage and birth records before 1881.

Important Contact Numbers:

Kelly Reader
Parish Town Clerk 
(315) 625– 4507

M. Bridget Swartz
Parish Town Historian 
(315) 625– 7833

Barbara Dix 
Oswego County Historian 
(315) 349– 8460

I hope I have provided you with useful information to begin your family tree.

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Copyright ©  2001 Parish Town Clerk- Kelly Reader / Mary Lou Guindon
All Rights Reserved