By the time you read this, Saratoga County Clerk Kathy Marchione should already have been sworn into her new job as a state senator.
But she hasn’t slacked off in her final weeks in the clerk’s office, announcing a couple of new initiatives.
The most interesting — given the widespread interest in family genealogy — is that census and naturalization records kept in the clerk’s office are now available for viewing online.
The database includes county census records from 1850 through 1925, as well as state census records from 1845, 1865 and 1875 and the 1870 Federal Statistics of Population, Marchione said.
For researchers, records prior to 1892 are particularly valuable because it wasn’t until Ellis Island opened in that year that reliable records on immigration were kept. As anyone who has tried to look up mid-19th century immigrant ancestors knows, records from Castle Garden Immigration Depot in lower Manhattan, whose inadequacies led to establishment of the larger and more systematized Ellis Island, aren’t to be found.
The clerk’s office also has digitized naturalization records from 1906 to 1928 — a period when millions of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe arrived and altered the demographics of the Northeast.
The records can be accessed by going to the county clerk’s page on the Saratoga County website, www.saratogacountyny.gov. There, people can file an “online records application” and receive the needed password.
The census and naturalization records can also be seen on the public computers in the county clerk’s office in Ballston Spa.
In all, the clerk’s office now has 12.5 million pages of documents online, including deeds going back to 1791, mortgages, lawsuits and other civil records, and incorporation papers.
The office is also setting up a system so many legal documents can be filed electronically. It is expected to be available around Feb. 1.
Meanwhile, we await word on who will replace Marchione in the $99,590-a-year clerk’s position. The Republican, Democratic and Independence parties have all submitted nominees to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who will appoint someone to serve until an election next fall.
Cuomo’s office so far has been mum on the matter.
JOHNSON AT CDTC
Marchione isn’t the only local official moving on to higher office next week.
The elevation of Cohoes Mayor John McDonald to the Assembly seat previously held by Ron Canestrari means he’ll also give up his post as chairman of the Capital District Transportation Committee’s policy board, which plans federal transportation spending in the region.
The new chairman will be Saratoga Springs Mayor Scott Johnson. It’s the first time someone from Saratoga County has chaired the board.
CDTC manages millions of dollars in transportation spending in Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties.