Dutchess County Genealogical Society

Vital Records


Please review the "Details" section below for an explanation of how best to proceed in your search.

Click Vital Records - Registrars if you want to know how to request Dutchess County vital records from local town, village and city registrars.

Click Vital Records - Communities if the community you seek is not in the Registrar table.

Click Locating Places for information regarding the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) and how to find localities via that tool.

Click Forms for NYS Genealogical forms accepted by many Dutchess County Registrars.


Vital Records - Registrars: Simply search the Registrar table and click on the town, village or city name from which your ancestors hailed. For each municipality named, there is information regarding the Registrar: street address and mailing address, phone number, and hours. In some cases you will find an e-mail address or fax number. Additionally, there is information about the records themselves - what types of records are available within what dates? Are there indexes available? How much will copies cost? What is the nature of the data you will receive - transcripts? Photocopies? And approximately how long might you expect to wait?

Vital Records - Communities: Search this list of community names and, if you find the name you are looking for, click on it. This will link you to a page that contains information regarding the town, village, or city that is most likely to hold the vital records for that community. Be certain to make note of the name of that municipality (from the top of the page you link to) - in many cases it will differ from the community name you started with!

This is an attempt to list names, past and present, by which areas in Dutchess County have been known. Most of these place names are not and never were incorporated. Some didn’t even exist as hamlets or crossroads, but rather as rural “areas” self-defined by the residents. Names change for various reasons - perhaps a place was named after residents no longer living in the area, so new residents’ names take over (especially mill seats); the post office requests a name change; a rural post office is closed, so its name disappears; the name of a train station/stop takes over an earlier name. The name of an old population center can be overtaken by a new name as people shift, even if the two names don’t cover exactly the same territory (for example, a train station was set about a mile from South Dover and named Wing Station, that area became known as Wingdale and the “South Dover” name faded away as the Wingdale name took over).

If you know of other community names that are not listed here, please click here to contact us. We will try to correlate your information with the municipality that holds the vital records and add it to our table.


Vital Records - Registrars: The data regarding the Registrars and which records are available for each municipality is based on a survey of all Town Clerks and Registrars in Dutchess County, taken by the Dutchess County Genealogical Society in the summer of 2002 and updated in October, 2005.

Vital Records - Communities: The Community names were compiled by past President and Librarian, Linda Koehler. County histories and other sources can be used in searching for the names and location of Dutchess County places. Sources used for this compilation include:

  • Smith, Philip H. General History of Duchess County from 1609 to 1876 inclusive. Published by the author, Pawling, NY, 1877. [text online at the Cornell University "Making of America" site ]
  • Smith, James Hadden. History of Duchess County, New York: with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers. Interlaken, N.Y.: Heart of the Lakes Publ., 1980. (Reprint of original: Syracuse, NY, 1882.) With new index by the Dutchess County Genealogical Society.
  • French, J.H. Historical and Statistical Gazetteer of New York State. Interlaken, NY: Heart of the Lakes Publishing, 1980 (Orig. publ. 1860)
  • Remington, Gordon L. New York State Towns, Villages, and Cities. A Guide to Genealogical Sources. NEHGS, 2002.
  • Herrick, Margaret E. Early settlements in Dutchess County, New York. Rhinebeck, NY: Kinship, 1994.
  • Bahn, Gilbert S. American Place Names of Long Ago. A Republication of the Index to Cram's Unrivaled Atlas of the World as Based on the Census of 1890. Baltimore: Gen. Pub. Co, c1998.
  • Ahlquist, Roy. Postal histories published 1992-1995 - a series of pamphlets (16 to 33 pages long) with postal histories of towns in Dutchess County discussing the names and locations of known post offices within the town and lists of postmasters - including Amenia, Clinton, Dover, Fishkill, Hyde Park, Pawling, Pine Plains, Pleasant Valley, Poughkeepsie, Northeast, Red Hook, Rhinebeck, Union Vale.
  • Koehler, Linda C. Dutchess County, NY Churches and Their Records: An Historical Directory. Rhinebeck, NY: Kinship, 1994.
  • Poughkeepsie Journal 'Fact Book', April 2000 (lists basic facts about the county and its towns, insert usually published annually in April).

The Geographic Names Information System, also known as GNIS, is a website maintained by the US Geologic Survey (home page http://geonames.usgs.gov). Clicking on the link "Query GNIS: U.S. and territories" will take you to a query form. To find a locality, all you have to do is type in the name of the locality you are looking for and the type of feature it is (populated place). If found, the database will give you the name, possible alternative names, elevation, state and county it is found in, and one or more links to mapping services, so that you may view the area. Although the map and the database do not show what town the locality is in, it does give you latitude and longitude. You can also search for canals, post offices, cemeteries, churches, streams and many other types of natural and man-made features.

The New York State Genealogy Application form is required or accepted by almost every Dutchess County municipality. It can be obtained from the links on the "Genealogy Records & Resources" page of the NYS Department of Health website at New York State Genealogy Records & Resources. Here you will find the latest information regarding vital records access in New York State and you will be able to access and print the New York State Genealogy Application form. You can then provide the completed form to the local registrar, as needed. Please keep in mind that if the local registrar indicates a fee different from that on the New York State website, the local fee applies when working with the local registrar.