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Ancient Document Search

The County Clerk Ancient Document Search allows you to explore digital images of 167,000 pages of legal documents dating from 1721 to the 1840s.

These records compromise the surviving legal filings of the Dutchess County Courts of Common Pleas and General Sessions, which operated between 1721 and 1889. The Ancient Document Project Team continues to process new parts of the collection with the goal of placing all of the filings online.

Continue to the Ancient Document Search

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 the Ancient Document Search

If you encounter any technical issues, please contact internet support.  If you have questions about the actual data, please 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.