Local History & Genealogy 2017-10-18T17:09:48+00:00

genealogy & local history doorsLocation and Hours

The Genealogy room and the Local History room are located on the the first floor of the Adriance Memorial Library at 93 Market Street in Poughkeepsie. The Genealogy Room is open to the public during all hours of library operations. Access to the Local History Room is by appointment only. Call (845) 485-3445 x3350 or email localhistory@poklib.org for more information or to make an appointment.


Main and Market

Check out our digital archives! Click on the Main & Market tab above to explore our collection of historic photographs and postcards from Poughkeepsie and the Hudson Valley.

Local Newspapers

The Library District owns a complete run, on microfilm, of the Poughkeepsie Journal and its antecedents going back to 1785. The Library District also owns microfilm copies of several other local newspapers, now defunct. All are available during regular library hours and their use does not require a Local History appointment. The library maintains an obituary index to these papers going back to 1826; all other content is not indexed.

genealogy signGenealogy

Resources that can be found in the Genealogy Collection include:

  • Federal Census for New York State – Print Indexes. The census, on microfilm, can be viewed in the Library’s Periodicals Room. You can now search the Federal Census using our database HeritageQuest.
  • Obituary Indexes (Poughkeepsie Newspapers)
  • Family histories/genealogies
  • County and Town Histories and Biographical and Genealogical Records
  • Military and immigration records
  • Church Records
  • Periodicals, including The New England Historical & Genealogical Register, New York Genealogical & Biographical Record, and The Dutchess 
  • Palatine & Huguenot information

All items in the Genealogy Room are linked to our online catalog. Particular collection emphasis is placed on surnames/genealogies of families who settled in Dutchess County, but the collection also contains information regarding families from the greater Hudson Valley and New York State.

Materials in the Genealogy Room do not circulate and cannot be loaned via interlibrary loan Additionally, many items, due to their fragile nature, are subject to photocopying restrictions.

Genealogy Databases

  • HeritageQuest – Census records and other documents for genealogy and family research. Offsite access limited to Poughkeepsie Public Library District cardholders.
  • Ancestry.com – Find census, birth, marriage, death records and more. Onsite access only (both branches). Regrettably, license restrictions no longer allow for off-site access to this service.
  • Newspapers.com – Contains full-text, digitized, keyword searchable newspapers, including the Poughkeepsie Eagle News (November 30, 1861 – December 30, 1922, with some gaps), the Kingston Daily Freeman (1873-1977) & the Middletown Herald (1894-1970s). Offsite access limited to Poughkeepsie Public Library District Cardholders.

local history signLocal History

The Local History Collection houses materials documenting the history of Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, & adjoining areas within the Mid-Hudson Valley. The collection contains both published secondary & valuable primary source materials dating from the late 1700’s to the present. This diverse collection includes:

  • Maps
  • Correspondence
  • Records of local civic, social & fraternal organizations
  • Town & village histories
  • Local government information
  • Information on local public & private schools (current & defunct)

Most materials in this collection can be searched via the online catalog, others through the use of specialized finding aids. Because many Local History items are unique, fragile, and/or valuable, physical access to this collection is restricted, generally requiring an appointment. The Local History room is not staffed during all hours of operation, so it is strongly recommended that you call prior to making a visit, especially if you require specialized assistance. Local History materials do not circulate or leave the Local History Room.

Additional resources:

The Dutchess County Clerk Ancient Document Search allows you to explore digital images of 37,000 pages of eighteenth-century legal documents. These records comprise the oldest surviving manuscripts from the Dutchess County Court of Common Pleas and General Sessions, which began operation in 1721 through 1786 (document numbers 1-11400). These documents detail daily life in Dutchess County as seen through both civil and criminal cases that came before the judges and justices of the peace.

Local History & Genealogy
Local History staff entertains queries via telephone, mail or email regarding information contained within these collections. Due to staff limitations, however, in-depth research cannot be undertaken. If you wish to pose a question, please make it as specific as possible & include all pertinent background information. When requesting obituaries, please limit the number to three (3) per request. When requesting newspaper articles, please provide the exact date & page, when possible. If this is not known, staff will search a specified fourteen (14) day period.