The NY newspapers that have been digitized at Fulton History are a wonderful resource. Information I've uncovered has led to some wonderful discoveries. But I found the Search function there very frustrating.
Okay, maybe it was a "Doh!" moment, but after a lengthy period of frustration, I stumbled onto an easier way to search the archive. Maybe everyone else already thought to do this, but in the event there is some poor soul out there struggling like I was, I wanted to share this tip:
Instead of going directly to Fulton History, use Google search instead. Just use "fultonhistory" as a keyword, along with whatever you are searching for. I found this provided fewer--thus more manageable--and more targeted results. (In one case this approach actually provided hits where the Fulton History search had found none.) In addition, the Google Preview function on the search results page allows me to see a snapshot of the PDF. I can tell from photos, illustrations, page design, fonts, etc if the paper roughly fits in the era I'm looking for. It's not exact, but does help eliminate some wasted effort.