Ancient Document Search



The County Clerk Ancient Document Search allows you to explore digital images of 37,000 pages of eighteenth-century legal documents. These records comprise the oldest surviving manuscripts from the Dutchess County Court of Common Pleas and General Sessions, which began operation in 1721 through 1786 (document numbers 1-11400). 

These documents detail daily life in Dutchess County as seen through both civil and criminal cases that came before the judges and justices of the peace. 

How do I search the Ancient Document Portal?

You can search our documents using any one or a combination of the items listed here. 


  • Enter the name of an individual for which you are searching or the party identifier (a party identifier is the role a person played in a documented case – for example, a justice of the peace).

Record Type

  • Enter the type of record for which you are searching. These include:
    • Bonds
    • Arrest warrants
    • Recognizances (when a person promises a court or magistrate to observe some condition – for example, to appear in court when asked)

Type of Offense 

  • Enter the variety of crime.  Examples include:
    • Debt
    • Assault
    • Bastardy (A child born out of wedlock)


  • Enter the municipality in which you are interested. Whenever possible we include where an incident occurred.

Year or Date

  • Enter the target year, full or partial date (month/day/year format)  to search specific  periods of time. (The dates reflected in our system are when the document was created and not necessarily when an event happened).


Continue to Ancient Document Search

If you encounter any technical issues, please contact internet support.  If you have questions about the actual data, please use Your Dutchess Direct  to contact the County Historian.

Generous support from the New York State Archives Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund supported the digital imaging portion of this project.



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Bradford Kendall,County Clerk Bradford Kendall
County Clerk
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