Specialized Research Tools

Resources in this list are valuable, but tend to have a more specialized focus than those in the General Research Tools. 

(a)  For instance, the first 2 items in the list, along with the Patchogue WW I Veterans' Survey, are geared mostly to genealogists with Long Island or more local ancestors.

  • L.I. Genealogy Reference Works in the Local History Room is an update and expansion of Toni Raptis' earlier work, this time online, with new classifications, and surnames appearing in more than a few sources have been listed, and are searchable using Control + F(ind).  There are links to some full text online sources, and links to our catalog entry for our holdings, when they have not been found readily online.
  • L.I. Advance Genealogical Index, 1879 to 1926 is the product of volunteers of the Patchogue Medford Library Genealogy Research Group, and includes listings of births, marriages, engagements, wedding anniversaries, and deaths.
  • Patchogue WW I Veterans' Survey -- A small 9-point survey form was sent out to veterans from Patchogue & vicinity, between the Armistice and the time the U.S. declared peace, in 1921, by the village historian.   Responses were usually hand-written and varied in length and completeness.   Some wrote on the back of the form, as well, sent letters, postcards or photos, even a report.  Once in a while a typewritten form was returned.   The Historian, Wellington E. Gordon, requested photos, and many sent them.   In a few poignant cases, a relative wrote for a fallen or disabled individual.  Handwritten material was transcribed, and material returned is available online, searchable and printable.

(b)  Genealogists, even moreso, house history hunters may find these 2 works of particular interest:

  • Researching Your House -- How old is my house?  What architectural style of house is it?  Who lived in it?  This online version of our pamphlet explains what is available at Patchogue-Medford Library and what is available elsewhere.   
  • Sanborn Maps  -- Sanborn Co. (Chicago, IL) specialized in accurate detailed maps of villages and cities, for fire companies and insurance agents.   They showed exact locations, orientation of buildings to the street, major features and fire hazards within, and nearby risk factors.  (Sometime, exterior or interior features of the house or building changed, the building was reoriented or picked up and moved elsewhere, outbuildings were added, torn down, or a building's function changed, esp. a business.  Street renumbering occasionally yields the old number/new number, as per South Ocean Ave., Patchogue, in the 1910 atlas, by which time Pine St. had become North Ocean Avenue.) Atlases were compiled on an irregular basis, as of a given year and month.   The Library currently subscribes to the New York State set.  Pull-down menus allow you to select New York [State], then the village [e.g., Patchogue], then one of the years, listed chronologically, in a drop-down menu.   Maps are in black and white, can be enlarged, and re-centered, to the point that you can usually focus one particular building.  Some atlases may include street numbering changes, (old street number/new street number).  Some public buildings and businesses may indicate the name of the business or a name or abbreviation of the general type of business.   Rarely is the name of the owner provided.

(c)  Informal Subject Guides to Resources in the Local History Room  so far include:   

(d)  Historical Celebrations and Commemorations -- Includes current, recent, and archival material prepared for various observations, usually themed history months,, often emphasizing related L.I. aspects and experiences.

(e)  L.I. Espionage & L.I. in the Revolution  -- Our extensive Hollywood and History in AMC's TURN on one hand weighs the historical accuracies and far greater inaccuracies of AMC's recently completed (40-episode) dramatic series TURN:  Washington's Spies.  The TV series was in theory focused on Long Island's Culper Spy Ring.  But it also centered on the experience and dangers of the American Revolution behind British lines, on and near L.I., and L.I.'s impact along the tortured path to U.S. independence.  So our web page is classified alphabetically by subject, place, event, or person, and provides an aid to greater appreciation of L.I.'s true role in the Revolution.  If you view the AMC series, there is also a True/Flase quiz prepared after each episode.   The classified web page provides answers in greater depth than just True or False.

(f)  The Librarians' Corner presents a number of  resources to help libraries and librarians interpret local history from a L.I. viewpoint.