Q: I’m doing my family genealogy. What records do you have for genealogists?

A: Genealogists are our most popular researchers.  There are many record series that contain information of interest to genealogists - census records (1790-1925); naturalization records (1830-1992); birth, death and marriage records (1847-1883), (1908-1935); City of Kingston Directories (1873-1998); Pauper and Poorhouse Records (1823-1956); Ashokan Reservoir Records (1906-1958).  These series and more are described in detail in our publication Genealogical and Other Resources of the Ulster County Archives . For access to some of the above, search our records database. Deeds, Mortgages, Liens, Judgments, Maps, Civil Action Cases, Criminal Action Cases, and Divorce Files are accessed through the County Clerk’s Office at 244 Fair Street, Kingston Monday through Friday.  No appointment is necessary.  Call 845-340-3288. Tax Rolls are available at the Department of Finance .  Call 845-340-3431. Wills are available at the Office of the Surrogate’s Court.  Call 845-481-9338.

Q: How do I get access to the records?

A: Access is available for most of the records described here through the Ulster County Records Management Program 845-340-3415.   However, there are some exceptions.  Deeds, Mortgages, Liens, Judgments, Maps, Civil Action Cases, Criminal Action Cases, and Divorce Files are accessed through the County Clerk’s Office at 845-340-3288, 244 Fair Street, Kingston, Monday through Friday.  No appointment is necessary to access records at the Fair Street location.  For records other than the County Clerk’s please contact those departments directly.  Go to the Ulster County home page for further information about other Ulster County departments and agencies.

Q: Do I need an appointment to use the Archives?

A: Yes, an appointment is recommended. To ensure that there is Archives staff available to assist with researchers needs, please telephone the Archives at (845) 340-3415. It is recommended that appointments be made at least twenty-four hours in advance. In addition, by telephoning the Archives a researcher will have an opportunity to speak with an Archives staff member regarding their specific search request. While appointments are recommended, walk-ins are welcome.  Requests for copies can be made in person and the copies will be mailed to you.  However, if you wish to view records from the Archives then you may have to return for an additional appointment.  Contact Us for more information.

Q: What kind of records do you have? What is an archival record?

A: A portion of the records produced or collected during the normal activities of the government of the County of Ulster have been identified as "archival" because of their enduring administrative, legal, fiscal, historical or research value. They include certain court records, naturalization records, estate records, poorhouse records, property records, or tax records, for example.  To search our online databases, visit our Search Records page. 

Q: What is the oldest record in the Archives?

A: On May 31, 1658, under the direction of Peter Stuyvesant, Dutch settlers of Wiltwyck agreed to build a palisade or stockade for protection from the Esopus Indians. That agreement or bond is the oldest record in the archives. The record is part of the series Kingston Court/Minutes in the 101 Box Collection.  Click here to view a digital image of this record.

Q: What is the 101 Box Collection?

A: The 101 Box Collection is an artificial collection of the Ulster County Clerk. In 1963, Resolution #30 of the Ulster County Board of Supervisors temporarily released "certain old records" of the County Clerk to the History Department of Queen's College for cataloging, indexing and microfilming. At the request of the Ulster County Legislature in 1969, the records were returned to Ulster County and rehoused in 101 boxes. The records are currently under the care and control of the Ulster County Clerk's Records Management Program, established in 1988.

Q: Why are some of the records in Dutch?

A: The Dutch were the first Europeans to colonize New York in 1614. The City of Kingston was originally called Wiltwyck and New York was called New Netherland. The English took over the colony in 1664 and changed the names to Kingston and New York, but the official records of the town were kept in the Dutch language until 1712. 

Q: Are all the records of the Archives described here?

A: Every record series described at this site belongs to the County Clerk’s Office.  Describing records is an ongoing project of the Archives and all completed descriptions are posted on this site. For records of other Ulster County Departments, you must contact those offices directly.  Go to the Ulster County home page for further information.

Q: How do I get copies of records from the Archives? What is the cost?

A: Copy requests can be made in-person (at a scheduled appointment) or through the mail.  In person payment can be made in cash, check or money order payable to the "Ulster County Clerk".  Off-site requests for copies must be made in writing and sent to the Ulster County Records Center, Attn: Archives, 300 Foxhall Avenue, Kingston, New York, 12401.  Requests must include payment by check or money order made payable to the "Ulster County Clerk" and be in the exact amount. If the exact amount is not known, please call the Archives at 845-340-3415.  Copy fees are $0.65 per page for black and white copies up to 11 x 17 inches. Copies of full-size maps are $5.00 each.

Q: How do I know if my request is custom research? And what is the charge for this?

A: Your request is a custom research if we must search for specific information about or within a record. The fee is $20.00 per hour and is applied regardless of the success of the search. Copy fees associated with a custom search are additional. Please contact the Archives if you are unsure if your search is a custom search.