The Children's Aid Society of New York was the primary sending institution involved in the orphan train movement from 1853-1930 which "placed out" by railroad 200,000 orphans, abandoned, or homeless children to 48 states and Canada. In some cases they have records of birth parents.
Children's Aid Society office in the Bronx, New York.
- Children's Aid Society
- 105 East 22nd Street
- New York, NY 10010
- Re: adoption search request
Map: Google Map.
Internet sites and databases:
Archived records of the Children's Aid Society are housed at the New-York Historical Society. The CAS programs which placed children in homes outside of the city make up the bulk of the CAS collection. These records may be found in Series XI, box numbers 45-971 and volumes 362-473. Boxes 56-971 are restricted and need special permission to be viewed. Many of the volumes in this series are also restricted. Restricted volumes are noted in the container list. Most records involving specific children require special permission to be viewed. Boxes 45-971 include the case files and correspondence of foster or adopted children sent to the country, and of boys who had completed the CAS farm school program and who were then placed on farms for wages.
674.0 Linear feet (996 archival boxes; 490 bound volumes)
$25 fee for research conducted by the Children's Aids Society.
Researchers who wish to personally view restricted children's files or restricted volumes should contact the library of the New-York Historical Society (Phone: 212-873-3400; Fax: 212-595-5707; E-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org>). These researchers will be referred to a designated specialist from the Children's Aid Society who will interview the potential researcher to determine what he or she may consult and will then supervise the reader's use of the appropriate material. Guidelines currently in place for family history research at CAS, as determined by legal restrictions on the accessibility of adoption and foster care records, will be followed. Such researchers will follow as well the general registration procedures of the New-York Historical Society.
Researchers who wish to view open materials will register at the New-York Historical Society as Manuscript users, and be allowed access to the unrestricted materials in the collection.
Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to twenty exposures of stable, unbound material per day. (Researchers may not accrue unused copy amounts from previous days.)
- Guide to the Records of the Children's Aid Society 1836-2006 (bulk 1853-1947) MS 111 at the New-York Historical Society. This guide contains materials pertaining to emigration programs such as the Orphan Train, foster care and adoption programs operating between 1853-1947, annual reports to 2006, a small collection of materials from 1948-1951, and The Children's Aid Society lodging houses, industrial schools, convalescent homes, health centers and farm schools.
- Inskeep, Carolee R. The Children's Aid Society of New York: An Index to the Federal, State, and Local Census Records of Its Lodging Houses (1855–1925). Baltimore, Md.: Clearfield, 1996. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.71 J3i. Includes 1855, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890 (police census), 1900, 1905, 1910, 1915, 1920, and 1925 censuses.
If you cannot visit or find a source at the Children's Aid Society, a similar source may be available at one of the following.
- New-York Historical Society, NYC, houses the Children's Aid Society archives, and some New York Foundling Hospital records, both orphan train sending institutions, as well as has the largest manuscript collection in New York State, many town records, colonial records, newspapers, periodicals, biographies, histories, directories, maps, photos.
- National Orphan Train Complex, Concordia, Kansas, preserves the records of the children and agents who rode the trains, history of the orphan train movement, stories of the children, photos, artifacts, a rider registry, a speakers' bureau, and the organization's online news.
- New York City Department of Records has New York County Manhattan births July 1847-1848, July 1853-1909, marriages July 1847-1848, July 1853-1937, deaths 1795, 1802-1804, 1808, 1812-1948, the 1890 police census; city directories; voter registrations; almshouse records; and municipal government records. 
- NYC Health Department has New York County (Manhattan) births 1910-present, and deaths 1949-present.
- The City of New York: Office of the City Clerk has New York County (Manhattan) marriages 1930-present.
- Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County Clerk has New York County (Manhattan) divorces and other civil case records.
- New York County Surrogate's Court has New York County (Manhattan) probate records.
- NYC Office of the City Register has New York County (Manhattan) land records.
- New York City Municipal Reference and Research Center can provide street name origins, city council minutes, serials, books, and 400,000 documents focused on the history of New York City.
- U.S. District Court Southern District of New York has recent civil, criminal, and bankruptcy cases for New York County (Manhattan).
- New York City New York Family History Center has premium online services for free and offers research guidance.
- Holland Society of New York, NYC, has 7,000 New Netherland family and local history books, Dutch Reformed Church records. Good collection for other ethnic groups along the Atlantic coast.
- Huguenot Society of America, NYC, open by appointment: history, settlement, genealogy, biography, theology. They have the largest Huguenot collection outside London, including 1600s records of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and colonial America.
- Leo Baeck Institute, NYC, preserves family and community histories about Jews in German speaking countries.
- National Archives at New York City, has Holland Land Company deeds, federal censuses, Ancestry.com, military, pensions, bounty land, photos, passenger indexes, New York port records, naturalizations, inventions.
- New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, NYC, has donated their collection to the New York Public Library. NYG&BS now offers educational programs, publications, and digital communication.
- New York Public Library, NYC, has one of the best genealogy collections in the USA, including Revolutionary War soldiers and Irish research. The Genealogy Division has an outstanding collection of American history at national, state and local levels; international genealogy and heraldry in Roman alphabets; Dorot Jewish collection; photos; New York censuses, directories, vital records, and the Holland Land Company deeds.
- Repositories in surrounding counties: in New York State: Bronx, Kings, Queens, Richmond (Staten Island), and in New Jersey: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union.
- Albany Institute of History and Art with the best indexes and colonial Albany records of the 1600s.
- Archives of the Archdiocese of New York, Yonkers, includes parish register births, confirmations, marriages, and deaths, school records, and leadership papers.
- Bronx County Historical Society has a large manuscript collection, biographical files, family folders, obituaries, cemetery transcripts, city directories, and marriages.
- Brooklyn Historical Society includes finding aids and collections guides to archives, manuscripts, oral histories, photographs, paintings, oral history database, and maps. They have sources for New England immigrants to Long Island, NY.
- Buffalo and Erie County Public Library has a good collection with good indexes including biographies, family folders, county and local histories for all of New York.
- Cornell University Library, Ithaca, has a large collection of Protestant church records for western New York as well as an excellent collection of histories, maps, newspapers, and New York censuses. Rare books and manuscripts are outstanding, and they publish the best research guides to New York counties.
- Historic Hudson Valley Library, Tarrytown, has unique early Hudson River migration sources such as steamboats, industries, and culture.
- Montgomery County Department of History and Archives, early Montgomery (formerly Tryon) County had jurisdiction over much of upstate New York. These archives have an extensive genealogy section.
- New York State Archives, Albany, has manuscripts, vital record indexes, land grants, maps, military, court, alien depositions, prisoners, Erie Canal passenger lists, wills, estates, and state censuses.
- New York State Library, Albany, has local histories, genealogies, atlases, church, cemetery (including DAR), city directories, microfilmed newspapers, censuses, passenger lists, periodicals, and copies of the Holland Land Company deeds.
- Onondaga Historical Association, Syracuse, has the best collection of family folders (10,000) on the East Coast
- Queens Historical Society, Flushing, This large facility has many indexes to biographical and historical sources in their collection.
- SUNY Fredonia Reed Library preserves most of the original deeds of the Holland Land Company in western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania.
- Staten Island Historical Society is the best place for Staten Island research. Because many immigrants settled there, they have a strong immigration collection.
- Steele Memorial Library, Elmira, has a good collection of indexes to biographies, genealogies, family folders, books, periodicals, and manuscripts.
- Vital Records Section of the New York State Department of Health, Menands, NY, for outside New York City births and deaths (1881-present), and marriage licenses (1880-present). Also, all divorces since 1963.
- Repositories in surrounding states (or provinces): Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Quebec, and Vermont.
- Library of Congress, Washington, DC, the Holland Land Company deeds are part of the world's largest library including 50,000 genealogies, 100,000 local histories, and collections of manuscripts, microfilms, maps, newspapers, photographs, and published material, strong in North American including New York, British Isles, and German sources.
- New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), Boston, Massachusetts, is national in scope. Over 100 million name database, of vital records, genealogies, journals, over 200,000 books, 100,000 microfilms, and over 20 million manuscripts with emphasis on New England and a good New York collection since the 1600s.  
- Stadsarchief Amsterdam (Amsterdam Municipal Archives in the Netherlands) Some of the earliest New York City (New Netherland) records are also stored here. Also, the earliest European New York settlers often lived in Amsterdam before their move to the New World. Includes the Holland Land Company 1801-1840 deeds from western New York state, and northwestern Pennsylvania.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Contact Us at The Children's Aid Society (accessed 27 September 2012).
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Guide to the Records of the Children's Aid Society 1836-2006 (bulk 1853-1947) MS 111 at The New-York Historical Society (accessed 28 September 2012).
- ↑ The Orphan Trains at The Children's Aid Society (accessed 28 September 2012).
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 William Dollarhide, and Ronald A. Bremer, America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, UT: Heritage Quest, 1988), 81. WorldCat 39493985; FHL Book 973 J54d.
- ↑ NOTC Home at National Orphan Train Complex, Inc. (accessed 26 September 2012).
- ↑ Guide to the Records of the New York Foundling Hospital 1869-2009 MS 347 at New-York Historical Society (accessed 28 September 2012).
- ↑ List of Holdings in NYC Department of Records (accessed 8 May 2016)
- ↑ Birth Records in NYC Health (accessed 8 May 2016).
- ↑ Office of the City Clerk in The City of New York (accessed 8 May 2016).
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 890. WorldCat 50140092; FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- ↑ Introduction to Family History Centers in Family History Research Wiki (accessed 29 February 2016).
- ↑ Home in Leo Beck Institute (accessed 5 May 2016).
- ↑ Dollarhide and Bremer, 125-26.
- ↑ History of the NYG&BS in The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (accessed 5 May 2016).
- ↑ Irma and Paul Milstein Division of U.S. History, Local History and Genealogy in New York Public Library (accessed 16 October 2010).
- ↑ Collections in Archives of the Archdiocese of New York (5 May 2016).
- ↑ Dollarhide and Bremer, 83.
- ↑ Vital Records in New York State Department of Health (accessed 6 May 2016).
- ↑ Dollarhide and Bremer, 4.
- ↑ New England Historic Genealogical Society in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia (accessed 30 August 2010).
- ↑ Using the NEHGS Library in American Ancestors (accessed 21 September 2015).
- ↑ Dollarhide and Bremer, 5, 57, and 59.
- ↑ Gwenn F. Epperson, New Netherland Roots (Baltimore: Genealogical Pub., 1994), 37-43. WorldCat 29980509; FHL Book 974.7 D27e.
- ↑ Holland Land Company in SUNY Fredonia (accessed 22 November 2013).