Dutchess County Genealogical Society

The Dutchess Quarterly

Guide Vol.1 - 6 Vol.7 - 12 Vol. 13 - 18 Vol. 19 - 24 Vol. 25 - 30 Vol. 31 - 36 Order Form

Guide to the Table of Contents of The Dutchess Quarterly

You are strongly advised to review this Guide for a better understanding of exactly what has been published in The Dutchess and the sources. In some cases, terms within an article are defined here also.

Should you see an article that may be of interest, back copies of The Dutchess are available for review at the Library or can be purchased for a small fee. Purchase requests can be made by using The Dutchess Order Form (click on link to access pdf document).

Type of Articles

From its beginning, it has been the intent of the Dutchess County Genealogical Society to publish records useful for doing original research in the records of Dutchess County. These have included indexes to original or hard to find material such as state and federal census records and court records; abstracts of vital records from churches, newspapers, Bible and family records; and abstracts of records showing residence in the area such as store ledgers, tax lists and membership lists of churches.

This editorial choice means that there are virtually no "how-to" articles, compiled family histories and genealogies, or descriptive/biographical articles about Dutchess County and its residents.


The majority of the records appearing in The Dutchess cover a relatively long period of time, or a long list of alphabetized names, and thus have been serialized over more than 1 issue of the quarterly. In fact, one of our longest running series - obituaries in Poughkeepsie newspapers - was started in 1979 and not completed until 1997.

For the longer-running series, especially if the abstracts include abbreviations, a complete description of the source record and how it is presented is given here in the introductory section, before the contents listing.

In the contents listing below, we have tried to indicate which part of the record is being published in any particular issue. A description of the record source is usually included only with the first article beginning the serialization (other than those described here in the introduction). At the end of the title and description in each issue, there is an indication if the article continues in future issues:

  • tbc = to be continued; first part of an article to be serialized over more than 1 issue
  • cont = continuation; part of a series started in a previous issue, to be continued in the next issue
  • concl. = concluded; end of record being serialized

Omitted Contents

Some material that has been published in The Dutchess has been omitted from this listing. Every issue of the quarterly includes Queries sent in by members. Quite often, especially in the earlier years of publishing, there were library reports announcing additions to the library. Occasionally there are brief reviews of new books and materials relating to Dutchess County. Some editorial comments, notes from the president of the society, or news about the activities of the society that are no longer relevant have also been omitted.

Descriptions of Some Sources or Articles

Index of Aliens - "Naturalization Records 1794-1802, 1810-1812" [coverage 1802-1844]
Started Vol.3 #1 (September 1975) ; Ended Vol.4 #1 (September 1976)

The title of the article is somewhat misleading. A note at the beginning of the source stated that Minutes of the Court of Common Pleas from 1794-1802 and 1810-1812 were searched to produce part of the Dutchess County Clerk's Index volume; but information was also "taken from the files of the proceedings of Aliens separate and distinct from other files in the office". This naturalization record source is an index volume and all the information it provides is published as found; the records themselves are buried among other court proceedings. Although it is stated that minutes from 1794-1802 were searched, the earliest naturalizations indexed are in 1802, and the index goes up to 1844. The Index is arranged alphabetically by the first letter of the surname, then by year, and includes Name, Date of action and a code letter for type of action (Key: A = Applied ; D = Declaration ; N = Naturalized).

1850 FEDERAL CENSUS ABSTRACT Town of Pleasant Valley
Started Vol.5 #1; Ended Vol.6 #2

The abstract starts with a list of the heads of families (including the census family #) in the order in which they were enumerated. This is followed by an abstract in column format, in alphabetical order by head of household (with cross-references for anyone with a surname different from the head of household). Information includes: Family # (as it appears in the original record), Name of everyone in the household, Age, Occupation (if given), Value of property, and Where Born (most are New York, so info here is listed only if it is other than NY).

Long-Running Series (Usually taking more than 2 years to complete)

Started Vol.2 #4 (June 1975); Ended Vol.4 #2 (December 1976)

The entire 1810 census for Dutchess County was extracted and published. Since Dutchess County still included the towns later set off as part of Putnam County in 1812, these towns are also included here. Names are listed in enumeration order, with extracted data. The first 5 numbers following the name are the count of males, the second 5 numbers are females. From left to right the 5 columns represent 5 age categories - under 10, 10-16, 16-26, 26-45, and over 45 respectively, for men, then women. The 1810 census for Dutchess county was later published by DCGS as a separate book with an index.


Pleasant Valley Vol.4 #2 to Vol.4 #4
Milan Vol.6 #3 to Vol.6 #4, Vol.7 #2
Union Vale Vol.7 #2 to Vol.8 #2
Washington Vol.8 #3 to Vol.10 #1
Red Hook Vol.10 #3 to Vol.12 #3
Clinton Vol.12 #4 to Vol.13 #4
Hyde Park Vol.14 #1 to Vol.16 #1
[a correction Vol.16 #3]
Beekman Vol.16 #2 to Vol.17 #4

For each town, the abstract starts with a list of the heads of families (with family # in the census) in the order in which they were enumerated. This is followed by an abstract in column format, in alphabetical order by head of household (with cross-references for anyone with a surname different from the head of household). Information includes: Family # (as it appears in the original record; D istrict 2 residents preceded by "2"; occasionally the numbering is inconsistent - duplicated or gaps - as it was in the original record); Names (of everyone in the household), Sex (only given if not obvious), Age (in years), Relationship (second person is usually the wife, then children listed; info stated here only if it is not obvious), Occupation (if given; male servant usually has additional occupation listed such as farmer), Birth Place (most are Dutchess County, only listed here if not in the county), Number of Children (number in parentheses, for females only) and Value (of dwelling; many are not given in the original). At the end of town listings, there are usually included a list of deaths and marriages that occurred in the town in the previous year ending 1 June 1865; and military deaths (Officers and Enlisted Men) from the beginning of the Civil War in April, 1861.

DUTCHESS COUNTY WILL BOOK ABSTRACTS - published under different titles including "Abstracts of Wills Recorded at Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, N.Y.", and "Dutchess County Wills"

Format - within each willbook, abstracts are published in alphabetical order by the name of the testator, and may include the following information (if given): name of testator, place of residence (usually a town), date of will, date of probate, page recorded in the will book, wife, sons, daughters, O/R (other relations), O/M (others mentioned), Executor, witnesses, and occasionally "Other Info" - codicils, property named or described, if will was contested - testimony of witnesses, etc.

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYB&G) published abstracts of the first 2 Dutchess county will books A (probated 1787-1796) and AA (probated 1773-1797) which included wills dated 1752-1795. The Dutchess series started with a listing of testators whose wills were abstracted in the NYG&B Record. Information, in column format, includes Vol. & page in the Record, Name & locality of testator, Date of will, and Date of probate [Vol.4 Issue #2 (Dec, 1976)].

Below is a table showing what years each abstracted Will Book covers and when it was published in The Dutchess:

B 1795-1806 Vol.4 #3 - Vol.6 #4
C 1806-1812 Vol.7 #1 - Vol.8 #3
D 1812-1815 Vol.8 #4 - Vol.10 #2
E 1815-1819 Vol.10 #3 - Vol.11 #4
F 1819-1824 Vol.12 #1 - Vol.13 #1
G 1824-1827 Vol.13 #2 - Vol.14 #2
H 1827-1831 Vol.14 #3 - Vol.16 #2
I 1832-1834 Vol.16 #3 - Vol.18 #2
J 1834-1837 Vol.18 #3 - Vol.20 #2
K 1837-1839 Vol.20 #2 - Vol.21 #2

Started Vol.7 #1 (Fall, 1979); ended Vol. 24 #3 (Spring, 1997)

This data was abstracted by Helen Wilkinson Reynolds from newspapers published in Poughkeepsie. She collected it (both marriage and death notices) in the form of an extensive 3 x 5 card file, now housed in the Local History Room of Adriance Memorial Library in Poughkeepsie, NY. Abstracts for the period 1778-1825 were published by the Dutchess County Historical Society in 1930 as "Notices of Marriages and Deaths About 4,000 in Number Published in Newspapers Printed at Poughkeepsie, NY 1778-1825", compiled and edited by Helen Wilkinson Reynolds, as part of the series "Collections of the Dutchess County Historical Society", Vol.4 (usually referred to simply as "Marriages & Deaths 1778-1825"). In 1983, Arthur C.M. Kelly published a continuation of the marriage extracts as a book - "Marriage Notices from Dutchess County, NY Newspapers 1826-1851".

The Dutchess published a continuation of the obituary/death notices (1826-1871). It is arranged in alphabetical order by surname. A two-line abstract of the obituary or death notice will include, if given: date of death, date notice or obituary appeared in paper, a code for the newspaper in which the notice appeared, age, place of death, other info in 5-10 words which may include relationships, occupation, burial place, special circumstances, etc. The series title varied over time as "Dutchess County Newspapers, Deaths", or "Poughkeepsie Newspapers, deaths" or just "Poughkeepsie Newspapers".

Newspaper abbreviations: DD (Dutchess Democrat), DFP (Dutchess Free Press), DI (Dutchess Intelligencer), I&R (J&R) (Intelligencer & Republican), PDE (Pkpse Daily Eagle), PE (Pkpse Eagle), PJ (Pkpse Journal), PJ&E (Pkpse Journal & Eagle), PT (Pkpse Telegraph), RT&C (Republican Telegraph & Observer).

Other abbreviations:

a/h/r at his/her residence jnd joined
a/r/o at residence of Luth Lutheran
b born m month(s)
b-i-l brother-in-law mar marry, married
Bap Baptist mem member
brd bride Meth Methodist
brth brother mov moved
bur buried mth mother
cem cemetery Pkpse Poughkeepsie
ch child(ren) Pres Presbyterian
Ch Church Put Putnam
Co County r/o residence of
Cong Congregational Regt Regiment
d died, day res resident, residence
dau daughter Rev Revolutionary
Dut Dutchess sis sister
eldst eldest sn son
Epis Episcopal sn-i-l son-in-law
f-i-l father-in-law w week(s), wife
fth father wid widow(er)
gr-(__) grand-(__) yng young
husb husband yngst youngest
inf infant    

Vol.14 #2 (Winter, 1986-1987) to Vol.21 #1 (Fall, 1993)

This general store ledger is in the custody of Chancellor Livingston Chapter, DAR, Rhinebeck, NY. The ledger listed store transactions chronologically. Starting with 23 March 1848, the published abstract includes Date, Name with account number and items bought, cost of items, and total. Key: # = account number (appears before the name); cr = credited to account; db = debited to account.

Started Vol.21 #2 (Winter, 1993-1994); in progress

"Ancient Documents" is the title given to a collection of the earliest Dutchess County court records, now deposited at the County Archives. The miscellaneous filings consist of loose papers starting in the early 1700's. They include case papers for the Courts of Common Pleas, General Sessions, and Oyer & Terminer. Eighteenth century court records, such as warrants for arrest, court cases, statements of debt, bonds, etc. related to actions heard by the County Court and included assault and battery, perjury, debt, slander, trespass, bastardy, adultery, breach of the Sabbath, speaking against the Reformed religion, etc. (as described by Helen Wilkinson Reynolds). The records may also include, for example, jury lists and naturalizations.

The index consists of 4 columns of information. The date is usually the year in which the legal action was done. The File# is the number assigned to each individual document. Under the heading "Name/Town" you will usually find the name of the plaintiff in civil cases or the defendant in criminal cases. (There may be other names mentioned in the text of the document, but only one name is indexed.) The place in the index is the first used in the complaint, often the place of residence of the person named. "Record Type" describes the legal document in 1 or 2 words and is usually taken from the terms written on the back of the document when it was originally folded and filed. They are legal terms, whose meaning can be found in any law dictionary. Occasionally, another party involved in the action will be named in the column for Record Type. Some of the more common abbreviations and terms include:

account detailed statement of grounds of action for debt
affidavit, affd declaration on oath
bail, bail piece name of surety, entry of recognizance
bastardy action establishing father of illegitimate child
bill formal complaint
bill penal statement under bond
bond instrument binding the signer
confession of judgment debtor's acknowledgment to avoid further legal action
declaration, decla. first pleading of a plaintiff in legal action
indictment accusation by grand jury
inquiry writ to secure damages by jury report
inquisition inquiry initiated by sheriff
judgment confessed see confession
narration, narra. same as declaration
orders of court directions other than judgments
plea usually, the defendant's first action
recog. or recognition for peace, for evidence, for bastardy, for fidelity a recorded obligation before a magistrate binding a person to do a certain act - as to keep the peace, to give evidence, to pay costs of bastardy, to give faithful service, etc.
refusal declining of a legal privilege
report formal statement to court
sci.fac., scirefacias a requirement to show cause why an action should not be taken, etc.
venire the list from which jurors may be selected
warrant writ ordering a certain officer to do a certain act
writ letter to a sheriff having the force of a warrant

started Vol.23 #4 (Summer, 1996); in progress

Lists the names of residents that appear on town maps in the New Illustrated Atlas of Dutchess County, New York by C.W. Gray & Son and F.A. Davis, Reading Publishing House, Reading, PA, 1876.

Started Vol.24, #3 (Spring, 1997); Ended Vol. 29, #3 (Spring, 2002)

This index is extracted from the Master Index to Dutchess County Wills, 1790-1905, and includes only those wills recorded after 1837 and up to 1905. It does not include wills recorded before 1837 because abstracts for those wills were previously published in The Dutchess or the New York Genealogical & Biographical RECORD. In column format, it is arranged in alphabetical order by the first letter of the surname and then by year. Information includes the name of the testator (the person writing the will), Year (when it was recorded, not date the will was written), Lib & Page (Liber/Willbook letter or number in which the will is recorded and the page number), and Remarks.

Started Vol.28 #4 (Summer, 2001) ; in progress

The 1820 census for Dutchess County is being extracted and published. Names of head of household are listed in enumeration order, with extracted data. The columns are labeled, with the first 6 pertaining to the count of males, the second 5 columns are females. From left to right the 6 male columns represent 6 age categories - under 10, 10-16, 16-18, 16-26, 26-45, and over 45 respectively; for women - under 10, 10-16, 16-26, 26-45, and over 45 respectively.

OLD ST. JOACHIM'S CEMETERY, Matteawan (now Beacon), NY
Started: Vol.22 #4 (Summer, 1995) Ended: Vol.25 #3 (Spring, 1998)

The cemetery record was transcribed by Eagle Scout Mark Stevens, who directed Boy Scout Troop #24 in the project. The information is listed in column format: Surname; Given Name/Remarks (including relationships, military record, etc from gravestones); Birth (date); and Death (date, may include age). It is inclusive of all burials in 17 sections, and is recorded i n the order read. To locate the cemetery, travel down Main St. in Beacon to East Main St., turn left on Liberty St. and the cemetery is on the left.

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