City Guide: New York City
6/14/2011
Whether your Big Apple ancestors arrived in the city's infancy or later, you can easily connect with them through a treasure trove of records, repositories, historical groups and museums.
Since its beginnings, New York City has had a unique pull on people from all over the globe. One of the first Europeans lured there was Giovanni da Verrazzano, who, exploring for the French, encountered the area and its native Lenape inhabitants. Englishman Henry Hudson, in the employ of the Dutch East India Co., was seeking a passage to Asia in 1609 when he sailed into the river now named for him.

People worldwide have since journeyed to the tiny island of Manhattan seeking a better life, fame and fortune, or excitement. Whether your Big Apple ancestors arrived in the city's infancy or later, you can easily connect with them through a treasure trove of records, repositories, historical groups and museums. Consider this your official guide.

Big Apple seeds
The Dutch who settled in the area around 1624 named it New Amsterdam. Others began arriving in what's now Brooklyn and The Bronx in 1636. Queens had a few farms and rural settlements. Staten Island remained unsettled.