Types of Records Searched

Family History Searches

Individuals researching their family genealogy may request information on individuals and families from the list of available records below. Several types of searches are offered for the records of the New York Juvenile Asylum (records available for 1853-1923) and New York House of Refuge (records available for various years between 1825-1935). The New York Juvenile Asylum primarily took in children who were residents of New York City, but the New York House of Refuge took them in from all over New York State. Keep in mind that the children may have very recently immigrated to New York or moved to New York from elsewhere in America not long prior to being placed in one of the aforementioned institutions.

Mr. Kidder also offers general genealogical research in supplement to or not related at all to the aforementioned institutions.

Note: If your ancestor appears in the index, but you aren’t sure if he/she was in the New York Juvenile Asylum or the New York House of Refuge, please fill out the Contact Form and ask Mr. Kidder to confirm prior to placing your order. Please select from one of the research services below:

1. Family Discovery Search – $15 Flat Fee
This research is for those not certain if their ancestor was in the New York Juvenile Asylum (records available for 1853-1923) or New York House of Refuge (records available for various years between 1825-1935).
Base Fee $15 per individual or family being researched.  The names of each child’s parents or siblings or aunts and uncles are usually listed in the original Asylum records. If a match is found, Mr. Kidder will let you know which of the research services below could be ordered to receive copies of the documents related to your ancestor. Please allow up to 1 week for completion of the “Family Discovery Search.”   CLICK HERE TO ORDER THIS RESEARCH SERVICE

 

2. Detailed Family Search – $145.00 Flat Fee (1-2 related individuals who were in the New York Juvenile Asylum)
This research is for those already certain they had an ancestor in the New York Juvenile Asylum (records available for 1853-1923). Provides a thorough search of  the records  of the New York Juvenile Asylum and the identification of all relevant case files and related records for 1-2 related individuals. Images of original pages will be provided. There is no refund on the flat fee if no records are found in the original records Mr. Kidder has access to so please be certain your ancestor was processed through one of the aforementioned institutions. If unsure, please utilize Mr. Kidder’s Family Discovery Search first (Level 1 above). Mr. Kidder will (when applicable) identify additional possible avenues of research at other archives, etc. that may have pertinent information on the individual or family being researched as part of his report.  Please allow 1-2 weeks for completion of the “Detailed Family Search.” Documents will be delivered digitally. CLICK HERE TO ORDER THIS RESEARCH SERVICE

 

3. Detailed Family Search – $245.00 Flat Fee (3+ related individuals who were in the New York Juvenile Asylum)

This research is for those already certain they had an ancestor in the New York Juvenile Asylum (records available for 1853-1923). Provides a thorough search of  the records  of the New York Juvenile Asylum and the identification of all relevant case files and related records for three or more related individuals. Images of original pages will be provided. There is no refund on the flat fee if no records are found in the original records Mr. Kidder has access to so please be certain your ancestor was processed through the Asylum. If unsure, please utilize Mr. Kidder’s Family Discovery Search first (Level 1 above). Mr. Kidder will (when applicable) identify additional possible avenues of research at other archives, etc. that may have pertinent information on the individual or family being researched. Please allow 1-2 weeks for completion of the “Detailed Family Search.” Documents will be delivered digitally. CLICK HERE TO ORDER THIS RESEARCH SERVICE

 

4. Detailed Family Search – $50.00 Flat Fee (Your ancestor’s case file from the New York House of Refuge only)

This research is for those already certain they had an ancestor in the New York House of Refuge (records available for various years between 1825-1935). Provides a transcription of your ancestor’s case file at the New York House of Refuge. There is no refund on the flat fee if no records are found in the original records Mr. Kidder has access to so please be certain your ancestor was processed through the Refuge. If unsure, please utilize Mr. Kidder’s Family Discovery Search first (Level 1 above). Mr. Kidder will (when applicable) identify additional possible avenues of research at other archives, etc. that may have pertinent information on the individual or family being researched. New York House of Refuge case files consist of between one and four pages. Please allow 1-2 weeks for completion of the “Detailed Family Search.” Documents will be delivered digitally. Images of original pages will be provided. CLICK HERE TO ORDER THIS RESEARCH SERVICE

 

5. General Genealogical Research – $37.50 per hour (minimum of two hours)
Genealogical Research that is either in supplement to or not related at all to the New York Juvenile Asylum or New York House of Refuge records. $37.50 per hour (minimum order of two hours). When ordering, increase the quantity entered by one for each hour you’d like to add over the minimum of two hours. Please email Mr. Kidder for an estimate of how many hours he feels it would take to do your research based on the information you provide. Be advised that he will not take your money for this “General Genealogical Research” unless he truly feels that there is a decent chance he can be of assistance on your research. This research is either in supplement to, or not related at all, to the New York Juvenile Asylum or New York House of Refuge records. Mr. Kidder draws on his experience with doing genealogical research on his own family and for others for thirty years. Whether you are just beginning or need help knocking down one of those infamous genealogical brick walls, Mr. Kidder can be of assistance. Kidder has published several genealogies on various lines of his family tree and has developed a keen eye for spotting clues and solving mysteries. He even recently reunited an adoptee with her birth family. Mr. Kidder will conduct your research with the same passion as he would if it were his own family.  CLICK HERE TO ORDER THIS RESEARCH SERVICE

 

PLEASE NOTE:  Mr. Kidder has spent countless hours indexing the record books of the New York Juvenile Asylum and New York House of Refuge, making it extremely easy for him to quickly ascertain which books your ancestor appears in (a task that would take other researchers a great many hours to accomplish as they would have to go through many ledgers page by page).

 

Whose records may be on file?

• Children born in the U.S. or any foreign country who were residents of New York City and its boroughs who were admitted to the New York Juvenile Asylum between 1853 and 1923 or children born anywhere in New York State who were placed in the New York House of Refuge (records available for various years between 1825-1864).

• Children who, during the process of being vetted in the New York Juvenile Asylum’s House of Reception, were deemed to not meet the criteria for being sent on to the Asylum proper.

Reasons children were placed in the New York Juvenile Asylum

• Children who were apprehended by the New York City police for committing a crime and committed by a Court Magistrate.

• Children who were deemed disobedient or incorrigible by their parents, siblings, friends, or an extended family member (for temporary rehabilitation, or fully surrendered).

• Children who were truant (from school) or homeless and/or vagrants.

• Children of destitute or intemperate parents, or children who had one or both parents who were deceased (i.e. orphans or half orphans).

• Children who voluntarily admitted themselves (yes, it did happen on occasion).

Reasons children were placed in the New York House of Refuge

• Children who were apprehended by the police for committing a crime and committed by a General Sessions court in a county located anywhere in New York State.

Who may request and obtain information?

• Relatives and descendants of children admitted to the New York Juvenile Asylum or New York House of Refuge.

• Professionals engaged by any of the preceding individuals.

Why hire Mr. Kidder to conduct the research?

Mr. Kidder has spent countless hours indexing the record books of the New York Juvenile Asylum and New York House of Refuge, making it extremely easy for him to quickly ascertain what books your ancestor appears in (a task that would take other researchers a great many hours to accomplish as they would have to go through nearly every ledger page by page). Mr. Kidder has been doing genealogical research on his and other families for thirty-seven years. He is considered to be one of the leading authorities on America’s Orphan Train Movement. After discovering his paternal grandmother, Emily (Reese) Kidder, was placed on an orphan train by the New York Children’s Aid Society and sent to the Midwest in 1906, he began researching the subject and his grandmother’s life. He has since authored two books related to the orphan trains, has co-written and co-produced an Emmy-winning documentary West by Orphan Train (based on his book Emily’s Story, which chronicles the life of his Grandmother), has written an award-winning article on the subject for the Wisconsin Magazine of History, and has spoken to libraries, historical and genealogical societies, and various other organizations on the subject for nearly twenty years. While researching his grandmother’s life story he discovered two of his grandmother’s brothers were placed in the New York Juvenile Asylum. During the last two years Mr. Kidder has done extensive research in the records of the Asylum – making him uniquely qualified to conduct research for those who may also have a relative that was once placed in the NYJA or the New York House of Refuge.

Please contact Mr. Kidder with any questions via email at cokidder@hotmail.com or via phone at 608.931.6004.

 Member of the Association of Professional Genealogists

 

Specific New York Juvenile Asylum records that will be searched

Minutes–Committees:

  • Indenturing, 1853-1901, 1920-1923
  • Admissions, Indentures, and Discharges, 1862-1872, 1889-1893
  • Applications, House of Reception, Visiting, 1854-1863
  • Visiting, 1864-1871
  • Visiting, Books, 1887-1897

Apprenticeship Records:

Register of Children (Alphabetical Index with Case Numbers)

Case Records, 1853- 1854:

Case Registers–House of Reception, 1860-1923

Register of Children Sent to the Asylum (Chronological)

  • Case Numbers 11700s-18100s, 1867- 1875

Indentures/Case Notes, 1854-1888 (with Case Numbers)

Indentures/Case Notes, 1888-1906 (with Case Numbers)

Indentures/Case Notes, 1868-1879

Indentures/Case Notes, 1871-1876 (Arranged by Date and Group)

Indentures/Case Notes, 1876-1880 (Arranged by Date and Group)

N. Y. Juvenile Asylum Agents Record, 1862-1868 (with Case Numbers)

Record of Employer and Apprentice, 1869- 1870

Correspondence:

Indentures-Outgoing, 1868-1870

Admissions, Indentures, and Discharge, with Invoices – Incoming and Outgoing, 1873-1880

General, 1897-1908

Discharges:

Applications for Discharge, 1862-1894

Home Visit Records:

Visitor’s Record (Admissions/Discharges), 1898-1917

Annual Reports of the NYJA, 1852-1923:

These Annual Reports featured letters written by the children and their foster parents, but just initials for names and locations were used for the first twenty years. By carefully examining the records of the children I have been able to match the initials to full names and locations.

Newspaper Articles:

Articles related to the children placed in the East, and to companies of children sent West by the NYJA. Some articles were affixed to the pages of the old registers – others have been gleaned from libraries and online newspaper archives.

Parent Surrender Forms, 1853-1861, 1867-1870, 1873-1875, 1876-78, 1878-1880, 1888-1891:

Parent Surrender Forms were used when parents or family members relinquished control of their children to the institution. They provide the name and age of the child, the signature of a parent, family member, or guardian, and that of a witness.

Photographs:

A few photos have survived and are primarily found in the Annual Reports. Most interesting to family historians would be the West Company (groups of children sent West on orphan trains) photos that were usually on the steps of the House of Reception in New York prior to departing for the West.

 

Examples of pages from some of the ledgers listed above

 

 

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