Too bad I just bought most of them on e-bay for 20 to 30 bucks apiece!

Every college archive, archaeologist, researcher, geographer needs to have these.  Some libraries already have them, but they are in the special collections, and if you have as much luck as I did in finding them you could spend years just getting a copy.  Then you find out that the map is missing, or are restricted by various repository rights!

I have used them in many of my archaeological and historical researches, and once I discovered them I felt a loss if I couldn't find it for the project area.  Think of them as the "Land Ownership" maps for the early 20th century (they show the occupants, not the owners, though!)

I am in the process of entering the 1939 Madison County Rural Index into a larger database I am working on, and for a friend who does not have the map I have scanned and put the Oneida Co. Maps on line.

Check these samples out and convince yourself of their value!

(I am in no way connected to this project, just committed to letting people know about the resources that are available.)

        Dan W.

At 04:56 PM 1/16/2004 -0500, you wrote:



The Research Library of  the New York State Historical Association has recently obtained the surviving inventory of Rural Registers published from 1937 to 1940 by Rural Surveys, Inc. of Ithaca, N.Y.   Registers were published by that company for 29 counties in the state and were a directory of all of the farms in those counties.  The paper covered registers give the names of the head of each family living in rural areas in the counties, if the person is married, the Compass Systemaddress of each one, and coordinates for finding the farms location on an accompanying map.


Copies of these registers are uncommon. The information in them would be of interest to local historians in identifying area residents, genealogists in finding ancestors, and agricultural historians interested in farming in New York State just before World War II.  We would like to disseminate copies of the registers to make the information available to researchers in the local areas.  We have copies of 26 countiesregisters available as follows:




Broome (no map available)



Cortland (no map available)

Erie (no map available)

Fulton and Montgomery (no map available)


Herkimer (Southern)










Orleans (no map available)





Schenectady and Southern Saratoga

Schuyler  (photocopy only)

Seneca (photocopy only)




Copies will be made available as long as the supply lasts according to the following price schedule:


            A countys register and a map  -   $10.00 per copy

            A countys register for which no map is available -  $8.00 per copy

            An order of five or more registers -       $  8.00 per copy


Each register was issued in three slightly different versions with the same map accompanying each.   The Rural Guide (sometimes called Rural Index) gives names of farmers, the Compass Systemaddress of each one, and coordinates for finding the person on the map.  The Rural Register (sometimes called Farm Register) adds the postal address for each person listed.  The Special Classified Rural Register adds the number of persons living in each home and other information on each farm.   Orders will be filled with copies of the Special Classified Rural Register as long as the supply lasts, then we will fill orders with the Rural Register or Farm Register, and finally the Rural Guide or Rural Index.  There are many good copies available, but there are also some with water stains or torn covers.  Orders will be filled with the best copy available.  


Checks should be made out to New York State Historical Association.  Orders may be sent to:


Research Library, New York State Historical Association, P.O. Box 800, Cooperstown, NY  13326. 


If you have questions, please contact library staff at 607-547-1470 or send e-mail to the Research Library at [log in to unmask]





Melissa McAfee

Research Library Director

New York State Historical Association

The Farmers' Museum

PO Box 800  Lake Road

Cooperstown, NY  13326

607 547 1473 (tel)

607 547 1405 (fax)