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The AJHS Manuscript Catalog

New York (County) Hall Of Records

Type / Call #LEGAL / I-153MICROFILM AND BOUND PHOTOCOPIES OF ALL INSOLVENT DEBTORS' CASES NOW DEPOSITED IN THE HALL OF RECORDS, NY CITY, IN WHICH JEWS OR JEWISH NAMES APPEAR, IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER.
Years1787-1861
LocalityNY, NEW YORK
Size9 folios, 5 film reels
ScopeNew York Court Records
David Kohen, 1995 (part of the AJHS-JGSGB Project)

[This report contains both: SPECIFIC notes regarding THIS collection; and GENERAL notes regarding all four "New York Court Records" Collections, which notes help greatly in understanding THIS collection.]

SPECIFIC NOTES REGARDING:
COLLECTION I-153

Selected Insolvent Debtors Cases 1787-1861, I-153
I-153 Selected Insolvent Debtors Cases, ca. 1787-1861
Approximately 2,000 Cases
In Nine Bound Volumes or Five Reels of Microfilm
Arranged: Alphabetically
Indexed by: Last Name of Debtor
Index Location: Interfiled in Main Card Catalogue

Collection I-153 consists of documents filed with the Supreme Court of the State of New York for the City and County of New York in insolvency cases. The bulk of the documents consist of Insolvent Assignments each of which, like a modern bankruptcy, involves a discharge of the debtor's debts and an assignment of his assets to be sold or managed for the benefit of his creditors. The documents sometimes contain a reference to a legal notice published in a newspaper or a schedule of creditors. A small number contain an inventory of the debtor's assets.


GENERAL NOTES REGARDING:
NEW YORK COURT RECORDS
A better title for the collections in this group, all of them genealogically important, would be: "Manhattan Court Records of Cases with Jewish Names." They consist of microfilm and bound photocopies of court records now in the New York City Hall of Records. The first three collections contain material primarily of interest for the pre-1860 period (I-151, I-152, I-153); the fourth, Incorporation Papers (I-154), deals with all Jewish or Jewish-related organizations incorporated in New York City between 1848 and 1920. These four collections are indexed--the index is on cards which are interfiled in the main card catalog. There are two more groups of materials which have never been fully processed which span approximately 1830's -1910.

All of this material was described and inventoried in 1995 by David Kohen, a member/volunteer of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston. It was anticipated that the un-processed material will be processed and indexed in time for the 1996 Summer Seminar in Boston.

The collections are copies of selected court records from the County of New York, New York, that is, from the Borough of Manhattan in New York City. The history of these copies is somewhat obscure, but apparently, in the early 1960's, Professor Leo Hershkovitz of Queens College and the Institute for Early New York History went through older records on file at the New York Hall of Records and extracted those records with Jewish sounding names. The records selected were then indexed and copied. AJHS has duplicate copies of the extracted records in two different formats: bound volumes of photocopies, and reels of micrcofilm.

At some later date, AJHS was offered boxes of original court papers relating to litigants with Jewish sounding names. The court was going to dispose of these papers, but AJHS accepted them as part of the historical record. These original documents have never been fully catalogued.

All AJHS manuscript collections must be accessed in person on-site at the American Jewish Historical Society. For information on how to research the AJHS archival collections, essential information about their Reading Room and Regulations can be found at http://www.ajhs.org/reference/readingrooms.cfm.

The AJHS collections themselves are not available in any electronic form, on this website or elsewhere. The AJHS has been collecting this material for over 100 years, and preserves it in its archives in the original format, be it handwritten, typewritten, or printed. For more information on the AJHS' genealogical holdings see the article "Genealogical Resources at the American Jewish Historical Society".

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