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Huntington Historical Society

 A Guide to the Collections of the

Resource Center and Archives

 209 Main St.
Huntington, NY 11743
631-427-7045

 

 

Researching in Huntington New York:

The Resource Center and Archives of the Huntington Historical Society

  

Spawned by the success of Huntington’s 250th birthday celebration in 1903 a group of women, many of them Huntington founding families, met to organize a society to “perpetuate an interest in things historic;…in fact all historic items relating to the Town of Huntington since 1653.”  The first embodiment of the Huntington Historical Society came on December 3, 1903 when the group received a State Charter for the Colonial Society of Huntington.  Active membership was restricted to women, but the charter was revised eight years later with membership open to all.

            The focus of the present Society continued with the new charter issued on April 19, 1911 renaming it the Huntington Historical Society.  The organization continues the policy of collecting and preserving artifacts, original documents, photographs, account books, and records relating to non-governmental history involving individuals, families, organizations, churches and cemeteries, and local businesses.  The Society is the focal point for preserving the ongoing heritage of the Town of Huntington through educational programs that maintain museums, collections, and a regional research center.

The Resource Center and Archives is located on two floors of the historic Sewing and Trade School Building at 209 Main Street, Huntington..  The following brief descriptions list the variety of collections and indexes available for researching local families.  In addition the collections are useful for obtaining copies of photographs, ethnic studies, local history, collectables, and information on historic houses and neighborhoods,

 The Nellie Ritch Scudder Collection of Long Island Genealogical Records-

(1890-1920)

            Nellie Ritch Scudder (1862-1920) collected genealogical records from churches, cemeteries, town records, local newspapers and publications, and libers at the County Center for about 9000 individuals.  The family gave her material to the Society after her death.  The materials were typed and put into 7 loose leaf books listing sources used.  In addition a card index was created by CETA (Comprehensive Employment and Training Act) workers, who consolidated all of the citations per individual family member.  Details appear in the Historical Documents Inventory data base available through the New York State Library or Archives website.

 The Edwin L. Soper Family History Records Collection

             Edwin L. Soper (1917-1990) collected information about local families and their allied lines.  He donated copies of his material on a regular basis and upon his death the remainder of his material was donated to the Resource Center.  He used records similar to Nellie Ritch Scudder plus correspondence and occasionally assumptions, which are so noted.  The collections are listed below:

            Bunce Family----------------------------------------- 4 volumes
            Carll Family------------------------------------------- 2 volumes
            Creiger Family ---------------------------------------- 1 volume
            Gardiner Family--------------------------------------- 1 volume
            Gildersleeve Family (other than Richard 1, 2, 3)-- 5 volumes
            Gildersleeve Family (Richard 1, 2, 3)  ------------- 3 volumes
            Jarvis Family------------------------------------------- 1 volume
            Ketcham Family--------------------------------------- 10 volumes
            LaFort Family------------------------------------------ 1 volume
            Elizabeth Scudder Lathrop Family------------------ 4 volumes
            Lewis Family------------------------------------------- 1 volume
            Oakley Family------------------------------------------ 1 volume
            Platt Family--------------------------------------------- 1 volume
            Rogers Family------------------------------------------ 5 volumes
            Rogers Family in England---------------------------- 1 volume
            Scudder Family-descendants of Thomas Scudder
                        who settled in Salem, Ma. 1632
                         (includes 2 volume index) ------------------ 35 volumes
            Scudder Family (Oklahoma & Georgia Scudders)- 1 volume
            Scudder Family III-------------------------------------- 1 volume
            Soper Family descendants of Henry Soper,
                         of Huntington, New York---------------------- 3 volumes
            Soper Family miscellaneous branches---------------- 1 volume
            Richard “Bull” Smith Family-------------------------- 1 volume
            Valentine Family (Nathan branch) ------------------- 1 volume

 Records of the Presbyterian Church (Old First) in Huntington, NY

            Volume I, 1766-1834, Volume II, 1794-1940.  The records were copied from the microfilm copy of the church records.  Two Index books were created from these records. The records vary over time and include early Church Session records (1767-1771), brethren and sisters (1785-1800), burials in the graveyard (1832-1834), admissions and dismissals, lists of church members and communicants, deaths, funerals, marriages, and a brief list of early black members.

 Church Records

            The collection of church records include minute books, membership lists, baptisms, deaths, marriages, burials, programs, ministers notes, clippings, and church histories.  This material can be found in the manuscript vertical file, Special Collections, and in loose leaf books on the library shelves.  The time periods vary from the 1840’s to 1913.  The local Huntington area church records and registers are available for St. Johns Episcopal Church, St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Quarterly Conference of the Methodist-Episcopal Church Circuit Records, Woodbury Methodist Church, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and the Cold Spring Harbor Baptist Church.

 Index to the Huntington Rural Cemetery, 1853-1990

            Members of the Society’s Genealogy Workshop extracted records from a microfilm copy of the internment records of the Huntington Rural Cemetery.  The index includes over 9,000 names of people from Maine to California who are buried in the cemetery.  The index shows five fields (surname, given name, last residence, burial date, volume and page in the burial book.)  Volume and page numbers refer to detailed records usually giving age at death, date of death, cause of death, location of the grave, names of others buried in the same plot and in some cases, owner of the plot with an address and funeral home.  Information can be provided for a small fee.

 Cemetery Records

            Over the years various individuals and organizations visited local cemeteries and copied the information from the tombstones in family plots, churchyards, rural cemeteries and association plots.  The library has transcriptions and notes from 91 burial grounds and sites.  The records span burials from 1723 to 1990.  The William A. Eardley records also include transcriptions from the bibles of William Covert (1753-1911) and Seth Purdy (1752-1800).  The records primarily cover the present area of Huntington but also include entries from Cold Spring Harbor, Syosset, Woodbury, Amityville, Farmingdale, Babylon, Brentwood, Wyandanch, Brookhaven and Flanders.  There is a consolidated index of 13,000 names.

 World War I and II Military Service Information

            In 1920 and 1921 Society members created a card file for individuals from Suffolk County who served in the military, stored in 6 card file drawers.  The cards are filed by post office name and there under in surname alphabetical order.  The cards vary in information from name of individual and post office, date of birth, parents or spouse, enlisted or drafted, branch of service, rate or rank, military action, death or wounded, military action, date of discharge and on a rare occasion activity after discharge.  It should be noted that the list includes some women.  The honor roll of Huntington’s 3,860 men and women who served in World War II which was compiled by the Official Honor Roll Committee American Legion Huntington Post 360, Huntington, NY the project started April 1942 and was completed November 1946.

 Atlases, Travel, and Land Ownership Maps

            This collection includes: J. Chace Jr. Map of Suffolk Co. 1858, F. W. Beers, Comstock, and Cline Atlas of Long Island 1873, E. Belcher Hyde Atlases of Nassau County 1906 & 1914, Suffolk County 1909 & 1917 and Real Estate map of Suffolk County Westerly part, Dolph & Stewart Road & Land Ownership Map of Nassau County 1939, Hagstrom Co. Inc. Hagstrom’s Road and Land Ownership Atlas of Suffolk County, L.I., N.Y (Western Half) 1941 & 1944, Street and Road Atlas of Suffolk County, N.Y., 1952 and Atlas of Suffolk County, N.Y., 1961.  In addition there are 284 national, state, and local maps from 1639-1997 and19 United States Geological Survey Maps.

 James R. Reilly Collection

            The James R. Reilly (1921-2000) Collection was donated to the Society by the family.  The collection consists of 344 books primarily dealing with Irish history and genealogical research, Irish Journals, articles from Irish journals and books, 159 “Townland Index Maps” showing the boundary of townlands including a useful selection of roads, railways, major rivers and public buildings.  The collection also includes a fiche collection of “Index of Surnames of Householders in Griffith’s Valuation and Tithe Applotment Books” and fiche of the Griffith’s Valuations Record Books.

 Special Collections

            The Special Collections are comprised of materials dating from 1653 to 2008.  The 225 collections range in size from 3 inches to 60 linear feet and consists primarily of original materials stored on 900 linear feet of shelving.  The collections cover individuals, families, businesses, estates, homes, farms, clubs and organizations.  The collections vary in content and can contain individual and family genealogical records, business and institutional papers, ledger, day and account books, diaries, programs, correspondence, post cards, newspaper clippings, bills and receipts, probate information, deeds and bonds, bible records, scrapbooks, minute books, architectural drawings.  The Guide to Historical Resources for Suffolk County was never published, therefore, the descriptions of the 107 collections surveyed by a field archivist can only be found on the New York State Archives or Library website or by accessing a copy at the Society’s Resource Center.

 Books

            The non-circulating collection of over 5,000 books covers Huntington, New England, and New York City and includes genealogies, town records, local and county histories, churches, the colonial period, the American Revolution, the Civil War, profiles of early settlers, church and ecclesiastical records, the historical documents inventory, how and where to find genealogy information, US National Archives publications and books from state and local historical agencies and societies.  There are also books pertaining to hobbies and craft work.

 Microfilm and CD ROMS

            The collection consists of microfilm of newspapers including The Long Islander, Suffolk Bulletin, The Suffolk Democrat, Huntington Times, The Virginia Gazette of Williamsburg and The Portico.  There are select copies of the census of state and federal records, city directories, H. F. Seversmith’s Long Island Families, Emigrant Savings Bank Records and the Huntington Official Honor Roll for WW II.  The CD collection includes North American, Irish, British, Scandinavian and European source records.

 Photograph Collection

            The collection contains over 250,000 images documenting the history of the Town of Huntington its people, places, industry, and events.  They are in various formats such as prints, negatives, glass plates, slides, tintypes, daguerreotypes and postcards.  The material includes collections from several local professional photographers, collectors and local individuals.  Images may be accessed with the assistance of the Archivist Karen Martin.

 Newspaper Collection

            Microfilm copies of: The long Islander-July 12, 1839 to present; The Portico-March 1826 to march 1827; Virginia Gazette-6 rolls-1736; The Suffolk Democrat-Feb 1846 to Sept. 1864 with missing issues.  Bound volumes containing portions of 36 local and regional newspapers-1822 to 1934.  Unbound newspapers, 106 titles from local regional and various states-1704 to today.

 Oral History Collections

            These collections are comprised of local history oral interviews conducted with 51 local citizens, historians, small groups and Society members from 1966 to1979.  The record of the interviews includes an abstract listing of topics with the topics ranging from personal experiences to memories of events and activities.  In 1987, the Huntington Historical Society, in collaboration with the Town of Huntington, began an oral history project to record the history and traditions of some of the Town’s various ethic and racial communities.  These 62 interviews provided the basis for the Historical Society’s exhibition and publication, Reaching For A Dream: Huntington’s Ethnic Heritage.  The ethnic groups were African-American, Italian-American and the Latino communities

 Town of Huntington-Historic Site Survey

            A survey requested by the State of New York to list all structures that have historic connections and or to represent a unique period of American architecture.  It was used by the Town of Huntington as a basis to create local historic districts or individual land marks.  The survey covered four types of data: 1) all extant structures appearing in Beers, Comstock, and Cline’s Atlas of Long Island (1873) would be listed individually 2) more recent vernacular structures 1880-1920 would usually be listed where their numbers and integrity were sufficient to create a sense of neighborhood; 3) structures of considerable architectural merit and integrity would be listed regardless of age; and 4) archeological sites would be listed if subsequent development had not obliterated all traces.  The Resource Center and Archives has copies of the 802 forms describing nearly 1500 structures or sites.  For further details read the article by Gay Wagner “Huntington’s Survey of Historic Structures” in The Quarterly of The Huntington Historical Society, Volume 19, Number 2, Winter 1979-1980.

 Index and Abstracts of Land Titles-Primarily in the Town of Huntington and a few in Southold [1763-1949]

            The collection is housed in 6 archival boxes or 3 cubic fee of material.  This select group of records is primarily of 20th century title searches that go back to the 17th and 18th century records of earlier sale of the land in question and copies of wills which transferred title to other individuals.

 Vertical File Collections

Family History and Biography File

A vertical file collection of 178 individuals or families containing an assortment of materials.  The materials may include: newspaper clippings, business notes and records, bible information, personal correspondence, military records and organizations, foundation material, clergy and church records, estate information, fire department information, school attendance records, ancestor charts, genealogies, small publications, tributes, shipping information, photo images, and maps.


Huntington Vertical File

          A collection of clippings, brochures, pamphlets, reports, and articles about organizations, businesses, activities, local communities, and events that deal with the Huntington area.  There are over 500 separate listings that appear in the on-site Guide.

 Vertical File

            A collection of clippings, brochures, pamphlets, reports, magazines, and advertisements about the activities and history of various towns , villages, communities organizations, ethnic groups, hobbies, covering the four counties of Long Island, excluding Huntington.  There are over 275 listings in the on site Guide.

 Manuscript Vertical File

            The material is primarily individual original items (primary) thus could not be included in Special Collections.  The files include small account books, booklets, magazines, mementos, almanacs, exhibit brochures, correspondence, atlases, broadsides, reception tickets, receipts, 1790 census of Huntington, cemetery booklet, commemorative church histories, deeds, directories, minute books, Huntington Alumni Records, and items dealing with activities and individuals on Long Island.

 Genealogy Vertical File

            The collection includes articles, brochures, newsletters, and booklets dealing with genealogy organizations, localities, events, and techniques.  There are over 150 separate listings that appear in the on-site Guide.

   

Access to Materials

            All of these collections are available when visiting the Resource Center and Archives.  The collections are housed at the Society’s Sewing and Trade School Building at 209 Main Street, Huntington, New York.  Access to the Resource Center is free to Society members.  There is a $4.00 daily use fee for non-members.  For information about remote research fees, contact Richard Holliday at the Society address noted above or through our website.

 

Hours: Wednesday and Thursday 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

Appointments are recommended to confirm staff availability

Phone: 631-427-7045 Wed. ext. 407 and Thurs. ext 406.

Fax: 631-427-7056

Society website: www.huntingtonhistoricalsociety.org

Archivist Email: kmartin@huntingtonhistoricalsociety.org