UAlbany Center Sponsors Genealogy Challenge
Largest Study Conducted of New Yorkers’ Lives, 1900-1920, Invites Public to Test their Research Skills

Contact: Karl Luntta (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 21, 2003) -- The University at Albany Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research announces the Genealogy Challenge, a contest aimed at bolstering the center’s project, “Twenty Years in New Yorkers' Lives: 1900 to 1920.”

Directed by John R. Logan, the center is currently tracing a sample of individuals from 1920 back to 1900 to better understand how members of different ethnic groups were integrated into jobs and neighborhoods in New York City at the turn of the last century. This is the largest study ever conducted of how people’s lives changed during that period.

Logan began with a sample of several thousand people whose individual and household characteristics were found in the 1920 census. All people in his sample lived in New York City in 1920 and were somewhere in the United States in 1900, although not necessarily in New York City. Logan recalls, “Genealogists are expert at tracking a family back several generations, and I thought we could use the same methods to find a large sample of people in the manuscripts of the 1900 U.S. Census.” In fact, Logan’s Center has already found more than 1,500 individuals from the 1920 sample in the 1900 Census.

The idea of a contest was born of necessity, since the remaining cases are becoming harder to trace. The Genealogy Challenge allows anyone in the country to become part of this research project through the internet. The contest is open to both amateur and professional genealogists.

“If you’d like to test your skills while supporting a worthy project and earn yourself some recognition and our Mumford Challenge Cup, we invite you to take the Mumford Genealogy Challenge,” said Logan.

To learn more about entering the challenge and the chance to earn both recognition and prizes visit the Mumford Center web site at

For more information e-mail or call (518) 442-2579, (518) 229-4403 (cell).

About the Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research
Recognized as one of the great urbanists of the 20th century, Lewis Mumford endorsed the creation of the Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research in 1988. Under the leadership of Director John Logan, the Center currently focuses on four key initiatives: 1) Global Neighborhoods, 2) the Urban Historical Initiative, 3) the China Urban Research Network; and 4) the Hudson-Mohawk Regional Workshop. Each of these projects examines the impact of global changes on the U.S. metropolis and civil society, probes the 19th and early 20th Century roots of present-day cities and suburbs, and addresses urban change in other parts of the world, mostly notably China. Visit the Mumford Center at

Established in 1844 and designated a center of the State University of New York in 1962, the University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in eight degree-granting schools and colleges.

For more information about this nationally ranked University, visit

Back to News Releases page | University at Albany Home Page