I'm hoping someone could suggest where I could find an adoption record of my great great grandfather, John Peterson. He lived his adult life making & caning chairs in New York City, NY, USA. My cousin found on a NYCity census he claimed Peru as his birth country, born in 1831. Family lore is he was Spanish and adopted by an English or Dutch couple.
Is it possible that the churches recorded these things? How would I find records without traveling? We can't afford to pay for services or travel.