Families of Newtown, New York, 1642-1790 (ICPSR 35005)

Published: Jun 22, 2016

Principal Investigator(s):
Jessica Kross, University of South Carolina



Version V2

This dataset focuses on economic, social, and geographic mobility of town residents, and life events (marriage, birth and mortality). Church records supplemented with genealogies, wills, inventories, probate records, cemetery data, town books, court books, censuses, and tax lists were used to reconstitute families along the lines of previous French and English work (e.g. Fleury, M. and L. Henry, Nouveau manuel de dépouillement et d'exploitation de l'état civil ancient (1965) and Wrigley, E.A, "Family Reconstitution" in E.A. Wrigley, ed. An Introduction to English Historical Demography (1966). Family reconstitution is a method for studying demographic behavior in the absence of modern censuses and vital registration, providing for both observation of demographic events, as well as the population and time at risk. This dataset includes information about 202 couples and their 1094 children. The data on couples focus on demographic details for mothers and fathers, including birth, baptism, marriage and death dates, residence and religion. The data on children includes demographic information for the child, as well as marriage age and residence. Not all families have complete information.

Kross, Jessica. Families of Newtown, New York, 1642-1790. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2016-06-22. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR35005.v2

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1642 -- 1790

The ICPSR Codebook features variable descriptions and frequencies for Part 1: Families of Newtown: Parents Data and Part 2: Families of Newtown: Children Data. Parts 3 through 7 are Intermediate Data Structure (IDS) formatted tables and associated documentation, and are not represented in the Variable Description and Frequencies section of the ICPSR Codebook.

The Principal Investigator's original family reconstitution records are held in the Long Island Division of the Queens Library, New York.

The Intermediate Data Structure (IDS) Manual includes descriptions for all IDS table types, including the INDIVIDUAL table, the INDIVIDUAL to INDIVIDUAL table, the CONTEXT table, the INDIVIDUAL to CONTEXT table, and the CONTEXT to CONTEXT table; this release does not include each IDS table type.

The IDS Metadata file (DS5) is currently unavailable for download. This collection will be updated to include the IDS Metadata file when it is received.

ICPSR is distributing the Families of Newtown demography data in two formats: (1) as a standard ICPSR full product suite (including ASCII data files, setup files, and SPSS, SAS, and Stata data files) with datasets in rectangular format; and (2) as Intermediate Data Structure (IDS) formatted files.

IDS files are comma delimited with column headings in the first row; text strings are surrounded by double quotes ("), and some strings include commas (,) and other non-alphanumeric characters. The IDS package consists of two data files (or "tables" in IDS database terminology), including:

  1. An INDIVIDUAL table (35005-0003-Data-indiv.txt) which consists of attributes belonging to a person.
  2. An INDIVIDUAL to INDIVIDUAL table (35005-0004-Data-indiv-indiv.txt) which characterizes relationships between persons.

The IDS formatted files are included to facilitate analyses of the longitudinal data contained within this collection. Filesets 5 through 7 are IDS metadata, entity mapping, and relationship mapping files. For a detailed overview of the IDS table composition, please see the ICPSR Intermediate Data Structure (IDS) Manual.

Along the lines of family reconstitution undertaken by historical demographers Louis Henry (France) and E.A. Wrigley (England), the purpose of the Families of Newtown, New York was to reconstruct the population and demographic events of all families within this community during the Colonial era. The data are potentially useful for historical analyses of patterns of marriage, fertility and mortality.

The data are drawn from the records of the various churches in Newtown operating during the study period, supplemented with information from published genealogies, cemetery data, town books, court books, censuses, and tax lists. A total of 202 families are included; not all have complete data.

An attempt was made to include the entire population of Newtown, without sampling. However, due to the incompleteness of extant records and potential under-enumeration on censuses, the entire population is most likely not included in the data.

Longitudinal: Cohort / Event-based

Families living in Newtown (Elmhurst), Queens County, NY.


administrative records data

census/enumeration data

event/transaction data



2016-06-22 The ICPSR Codebook has been updated, as well as filesets 3 through 7.

2014-03-28 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

The data are not weighted.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

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