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This page describes sources of genealogical data about Onondaga County, New York families, including links to smaller localities in the county. New York-related pages show useful statewide sources. United States pages explain the terminology and contents of genealogical records.

link=http://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/New York_Online_Genealogy_Records New York
Online Records


Onondaga County, New York
Map
Map of New York highlighting Onondaga County
Location in the state of New York
Map of the U.S. highlighting New York
Location of New York in the U.S.
Facts
Founded March 5, 1794
County Seat Syracuse
Courthouse
Ny-onondaga-ch.jpg
Address 401 Montgomery Street
Syracuse, NY 13020
Onondaga County Website

Contents

Onondaga County New York Historical Facts

Parent County

5 March 1794: Created from Herkimer County.[1]

Formation of Onondaga County USGenWeb history and law citation.

Neighboring Counties

Cayuga · Cortland · Madison · Oswego[2]

Boundary Changes

8 March 1799: Cayuga County set off.
8 April 1808: Cortland County set off.
1 March 1816: Oswego County set off.

Record Loss

Onondaga County New York Genealogy Resources

Bible Records

  • 1581–1917 New York, Family Bible Records at Ancestry– ($); Index. Database is a collection of genealogically important records taken from the Bibles of colony and state residents. Reveals the Bible's original owner, brief record of descendants,and a particular event such as birth or marriage as recorded in Bible.

Biography

Business Records and Commerce

Cemeteries

Cemetery records often reveal birth, death, relationship, military, and religious information.

Online Grave Transcripts Published Grave Transcripts County Cemetery Directories
Findagrave.com* Family History Library* Findagrave.com*
Interment.net* WorldCat* Tombstone Transcription Project*
Cemetery Site*   NYGenWeb Cemeteries*
New York Gravestones*   epodunk*
NYGenWeb Cemeteries*   Billion Graves*
Billion Graves*   Names in Stone*
Names in Stone*    
Linkpendium*    
Ancestry*    
Woodlawn Cemetery
   *See the New York Cemeteries page for details about each site.


Census

For information and tips on using and accessing online census records, see New York Census.

1820 United States Census: The American Pomeroy Historic Genealogical Association (APHGA) found that the 1820 census was incorrectly microfilmed, with several pages out of sequence for Onondaga County. Both the Ancestry and Heritage Quest indices placed household from Manilus in neighboring Cicero. Corrected indices are free of charge from APHGA and are posted online.

Federal

U.S. Census Mortality Schedules for New York, 1850-1880:

  • Available online at Ancestry ($).
  • Deaths are included for the 12 months prior to the census, 1849-50, 1859-60, 1869-70, and 1879-80 beginning 1 June and ending 31 May of the census year.[3]
  • Basic contents of the records include: Name, sex, age, color, marital status, place of birth, month of death, occupation, and cause of death. 1870 also has parents' birthplace. 1880 lists how long a resident of the county.
  • Also on FHL Films 1415128–42 which can be ordered through any Family History Center.
State
Source 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1892 1905 1915 1925
Ancestry.com - - - - - - Yes - Yes Yes
Family History Library Films - - - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
FamilySearch Images - - - - Yes Yes Yes Yes - -
New York State Library Films - - - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Onondaga County Public Library Yes Yes

New York State 1865 and 1875 Census Marriage, Mortality; and 1865 Soldier Mortality records:

  • Images available online at New York State Census, 1865 and New York State Census, 1875. Click on the link to go to the page, then click on the ‘Browse through images’ link and select your county, then select an ancestor's town and browse to the end of the population schedule until you find the Marriage, Mortality, and 1865 soldier mortality schedules.
  • Includes marriages and deaths for the 12 months prior to the census, ending 1 June of the census year.
  • Marriage entry content: Husband's name, wife's name, ages and previous marital status, month and day and place of marriage, and church or civil ceremony.
  • Death entry content: Name, age, sex, color, marital status, month and day of death, native state or country, occupation and cause of death.
  • 1865 deaths of officers and enlisted men entry content: Name, age, marital status, citizenship status, enlistment date, original regiment, original rank, regiment at death, rank at death, promotions, death date and place, manner of death, surviving associates, and burial place.
  • Also on microfilm. See the Family History Library line in the above State Census Chart. These can be ordered through any Family History Center.

Church Records

Church records are good substitutes for birth, marriage, and death information and are most often found on a local city/town or county level.  Published and manuscript church records can be found at public, university, and private libraries.

For a brief general history of denominations and a guide to finding various New York denomination's records, see New York Church Records Wiki page.

Ann Mensch's Local Catholic Church and Family History & Genealogical Research Guide is a free online resource that identifies the parishes of Onondaga County, years parishes were created, contact information, as well as links to online records and research tips. Onondaga County parishes fall under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Syracuse.

Cornell University's Study Center for Early Religious Life in Western New York has an online guide to Onondaga County church records in their library.

Additional Church Records

Additional church records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Onondaga County, New York Church Records  in online catalogs like:

Court Records

Ancestors may have also been involved in municipal, state, or federal court cases. See also New York Court Records and United States Court Records.

Directories

  • 1868 - Gazetteer and Business Directory of Onondaga County, N.Y., for 1868-9. Digital version at Don's List - free.

Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups

Gazetteers

Genealogy

  • Rootsweb message board for Onondaga County, New York has many information threads about families that resided in that county. There is a search engine that allows you to search by surname and topic.

History

Land and Property

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See New York Land and Property for more details, especially about the papers generated in New York State by large speculative land companies.

Original land records in Onondaga County, New York began in 1794. These records are housed at the Onondaga County Clerks Office in Syracuse.

Online

Microforms

Books

Additional land records can sometimes be found using these catalogs:

  • Onondaga Land Records. Includes grantor indices for property transactions in the towns of Manlius, Pompey, and Tully; as well as bounty land records.

Additional resources

Additional resources for Onondaga County, New York land records may be found in the Onondaga County, New York – Land Records topic page of the FamilySearch Catalog . Copies of records on FHL microfilm and microfiche can be ordered for viewing at Family History Centers. Copies of books found in the FamilySearch Catalog may be found in WorldCat catalog and ordered from your local library through interlibrary loan. Explore how to search the FamilySearch Catalog and the Worldcat Online Catalog.

Maps

Migration

Early migration routes to and from Onondaga County for European settlers included:

Military

Military Records including Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, Indian War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War.

American Revolution

War of 1812

Civil War

Town registers. The New York town clerks kept a bound register of all soldiers from their town serving in the Civil War 1861-1865. Registers are arranged by county, and town. Some town registers are missing. The registers include an index at the start of each town.

Content. Many register entries include full name, residence, date and place of birth, parents names, marital status, date of enlistment and muster and rank, discharges, death, or promotion.

Access. The original registers are at the New York State Archives in Albany, New York. Microfilm copies are found at the Family History Library (FHL Film 1993401-37) and can be ordered for viewing at your local Family History Center. They are also indexed and available at Ancestry.com ($).

Available towns. Registers are available for: Camillus · Cicero · Clay · DeWitt · Elbridge · Fabius · LaFayette · Manlius · Otisco · Pompey · Salina · Syracuse - 1st thru 8th Wards · Skaneateles · Spafford · Tully · Van Buren.

Regiments. Service men in Onondaga County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county.[5]

- 122nd Regiment, New York Infantry
- 149th Regiment, New York Infantry
- 176th Regiment, New York Infantry
  • Murray, R. L. Letters from the front : Onondaga County troops in the Civil War. (Wolcott, New York : Benedum Books, c2002) FHL 974.765 M2m
  • Parsons, David K.; Parsons, Marie K.Bugles echo across the valley. (Sandy Creek, New York : Write to Print, c1994-1995) FHL 974.742 D3w

World War I

World War II


Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

Old Fulton NY Post Cards has the largest online collection of 400 New York 1795-2007 newspapers. The instructions for this quirky site are needed to get the most out of it.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards has the following Onondaga County, New York newspaper images:

  • Baldwinsville NY Gazette Farmers Journal 1879-1965
  • Baldwinsville NY Gazette Anniversary 1846-1896
  • Baldwinsville NY Messenger 1941-1988
  • Baldwinsville NY Onondaga Gazette 1846-1857
  • Baldwinsville NY Republican 1843-1846
  • Fayetteville NY Bulletin 1901-1989
  • Fayetteville NY Luminary 1840-1842
  • Fayetteville NY National Citizen & Ballot Box 1878-1881
  • Fayetteville NY Onondaga Independent 1899
  • Fayetteville NY Thrift News 1935-1941
  • Fayetteville NY Weekly Recorder 1866-1897
  • Marcellus NY Observer 1879-2007
  • Skaneatles NY Columbian 1835-1853
  • Skaneatles NY Democrat 1843-1921
  • Skaneatles NY Free Press 1892-1989
  • Syracuse NY Daily Courier 1856-1898
  • Syracuse NY Daily Journal 1847-1921
  • Syracuse NY Daily Star 1847-1852
  • Syracuse NY Empire State Democrat 1843-1844
  • Syracuse NY Evening Chronicle 1853-1855
  • Syracuse NY Evening Herald 1877-1897
  • Syracuse NY Evening Telegram 1898-1922
  • Syracuse NY Gazette & General Advertiser 1828-1829
  • Syracuse NY L'UNIONE (Italian Newspaper) 1908-1909
  • Syracuse NY Onondaga Standard 1841-1849
  • Syracuse NY Post Standard 1900-1921
  • Syracuse NY Religious Recorder 1851-1853
  • Syracuse NY Republican 1853-1854
  • Syracuse NY Standard 1851-1899
  • Syracuse NY Sunday Times 1876-1880
  • Syracuse NY The Carson League 1851-1854
  • Syracuse NY The State League 1851-1869
  • Syracuse NY Weekly Express 1887-1892
  • Syracuse NY Wesleyan 1853-1856
  • Tully NY Independent 1967-1978
  • Tully NY Times 1855-1945

Obituaries

Courtesy of the Onondaga County Public Library:

  • Necrology: Deaths of Onondaga County Residents from Syracuse newspapes, etc. before 1900
  • Obituary Clippings: Collection of selective obituaries clipped from Syracuse newspapers for 1862-1992

 

Periodicals

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

  • 1827–1962 Onondaga County Poorhouse Ledger and Onondaga County Hospital Ledgers FHL Film 1993147(first of 12 films). Microfilm of original ledgers at the town hall, Onondaga, New York. Includes town, date, name, age, admission and discharge, nativity, cause of pauperism, charges per inmate, deaths and transfers, pauper children bound out, their ages and to whom bound, and other reports. Birth records include baby number, name, date of birth, sex, alive or stillborn, sex, legimacy; and parents' name, nativity, occupation, nativity, age, color and number of other children. Death records include number and name of corpse, date of death and burial, relative's name and residence, and who claimed body. Onondaga County poorhouse, located on Onondaga Hill four miles from Syracuse opened for the reception of paupers, December 17, 1827.

Probate Records

Probate records including original estates and wills for New York are held in the office of the Onondaga County, New York County Surrogate Court beginning in 1787, or when the county was formed. Prior to 1787, most are housed at the New York State Archives. See New York Probate Records for more information about using probate records.
Content:  Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.
Record types:  Wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distribution.

Probate Petitions

In 1830, state law required the Surrogate Court clerk to issue a probate petition for a deceased individual with property. This petition, unique to New York, usually lists the deceased's death date. It also lists the heirs, their relationship to the deceased, and their residence. [6] [7]

These petitions are often found in the estate files and can be obtained from the Onondaga County Surrogate Court.

Online Abstracts and Indexes


Online Probate Records

Original county-by-county New York, Probate Records, 1629-1971 are available free online at FamilySearch. To access these records, click Historical Records below, then click "Browse through 1,630,900 images". Then select the county name, and then the probate records and time of interest.

  • Historical Records - Onondaga County: Decrees, Orders, 1821-1868; Dower records, 1830-1879; Guardianship appointments, 1824-1873; Guardianship index, 1824-1960; Letters of administration, 1852-1866; Letters of guardianship, Proceedings, 1824-1829; Letters of testamentary, 1852-1867; Letters, 1830-1852; Probate index, 1802-1923; Proceedings, Real estate records, 1831-1881; Wills, 1796-1867

Probate Records on Microfilm
Probate records found at Historical Records and described in Online Probate Records above are also found on microfilm as follows:


Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

Additional probate indexes or abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Onondaga County, New York probate wills in online catalogs like:

Repositories

Cornell University, Guide to Historical Resources in Onondaga County, New York Repositories. ([Ithaca, New York]: New York Historical Resources Center, Olin Library, Cornell University, 1985). At various libraries; FHL Book 974.765 A3g v. 1–3 and film 1320833 Items 1-3. Includes index. Includes references to some family histories and genealogies. Contents: v. 1. Resources in Syracuse University Special Collections, George Arents Research Library -- v. 2. Resources in Syracuse University Archives -- v. 3. Resources in public libraries, museums, historical societies and medical centers.

Archives, Libraries and Museums

 

Onondaga Historical Association Museum and Research Center
321 Montgomery St.
Syracuse, NY. 13202
Phone: 315-428-1864

Genealogical resources: Research Center and Online Database of archival holdings. Research service for remote patrons available for a fee. Vertical files include biographical and genealogical information as well as town files for all towns in Onondaga County.

Onondaga County Public Library.
The Galleries of Syracuse
447 S. Salina St.
Syracuse, NY 13202
Phone: 315–435–1900
Hours: Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 11am–4:50pm;Tuesday and Wednesday: 11am – 7:20pm
E–mail: lhg@onlib.org

Genealogical resources: Newspapers, Histories, Maps, Atlases, Directories


County Historian's Office

A Historian has not been located for Onodaga County, New York. View the towns for the Town Historian. Also see Onondaga Historical Association Museum and Research Center  for further information.

Courthouses

The Onondaga County Clerk's office has land, divorce, court, naturalizatoin miliatry and state census records. The Surrogate Court has probate records. For further information about where the records for Onondaga County are held, see the Onondaga County Courthouse page.

 

Family History Centers

Family History Centers (FHCs) are branches of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and are located all over the world. Their goal is to provide resources for family history research.

The main FHC for Onondaga County, New York is the Syracuse New York Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.

Societies

The Masonic Trowel.

Syracuse Chapter Empire State Society Sons of the American Revolution. Linkpendium Societies Genealogy and Family History.

Central New York Genealogical Society[9]
Box 104, Calvin Station
Syracuse, New York 13205
E-mail: CNYSG@yahoo.com

Member queries; surname research list; online resources; six meetings/year; publishes Tree Talks (At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.7 B2t) quarterly with annual index.
Counties served: Albany, Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Oreleans, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Washington, Wayne, Warren, Wyoming, and Yates.

Syracuse University Hall of Languages.jpg

Schools


Syracuse University Hall of Languages

Social Groups Online

Taxation

Town Records

Town records in New York may include early births, marriages, deaths, divorces, local histories, selected military records, and town meeting minutes. For further details, try the links to individual town Wiki pages found in Places. See also:

  • Gordon L. Remington, New York Towns, Villages, and Cities: A Guide to Genealogical Sources (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2002). NEHGS online edition; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.7 D27r. Alphabetical list including date founded, if a town history exists, church and cemetery sources, and if a Civil War register (TCR) exists.


Vital Records

Onondaga County is unusual in New York state because birth, and death records and some marriage records for Onondaga County are on file with the Office of Vital Statistics in Syracuse. Search request forms are available at the Office of Vital Statistics, or may be found online or requested by mail. (Fees apply for both a record search and for a document copy.)

Marriage records are usually found at the office of the town clerk. See the heading Places on this wiki page for links to local community wiki pages and their available records. See New York Vital Records for a discussion about beginning dates and availability of vital records in New York.


Birth

Birth certificates for the City of Syracuse are available beginning in 1873, and for the rest of Onondaga County as early as 1883. Reporting of births was required beginning in 1914, so persons born before that year may not have a record on file. If a record has been on file for over 75 years, and the person is known to be deceased, anyone may request it. If the record has been on file for less than 75 years, the requester must be able to prove that he or she is in the direct line of descent by providing identification and other supporting documentation (e.g. birth certificates showing descent). Contact the Office of Vital Statistics for more information.

  • 1827–1962 Onondaga County Poorhouse Ledger and Onondaga County Hospital Ledgers FHL Film 1993147(first of 12 films). Microfilm of original ledgers at the town hall, Onondaga, New York. Includes town, date, name, age, admission and discharge, nativity, cause of pauperism, charges per inmate, deaths and transfers, pauper children bound out, their ages and to whom bound, and other reports. Birth records include baby number, name, date of birth, sex, alive or stillborn, sex, legimacy; and parents' name, nativity, occupation, nativity, age, color and number of other children. Death records include number and name of corpse, date of death and burial, relative's name and residence, and who claimed body. Onondaga County poorhouse, located on Onondaga Hill four miles from Syracuse opened for the reception of paupers, December 17, 1827.

Birth Substitutes

  • See Town Clerks' Registers of Men who Served in the Civil War in the Civil War section of Military for birth information and parents' names.
Marriage

Early marriages were sometimes recorded on the town level and the years vary by town. (List of towns) In 1880, town clerks were to record the marriage and a copy was sent to the New York State Department of Health (state level). Town clerks continue to record marriages. Marriages were recorded by the Onondaga County clerk starting in 1908 and go until 1938.

Marriage Substitutes

  • 1800–1855 New York Marriage Notices at Ancestry– ($); Index. This database is a collection of marriage notices published in newspapers around the state. Contains name of bride and groom, marriage date, marriage location, residence, and newspaper found in.
  • 1864-5, 1874-5 See Marriage Schedule information in the State Census section of Census for marriage information for 1864-5, and 1874-5.
Divorce

Pre–1787

All divorces were granted by the governor or legislature and were very rare.

1787–1847

All divorces were granted by the court of chancery. These records are found in the New York State Archives or for the New York City area at the New York County Clerk's office.These divorces were granted only on the grounds of adultery.

1847–present

All divorces are handled by the county Supreme Court where the divorce was granted. Divorce files in New York are sealed for 100 years. Contact the County Clerk for information about divorce records.

Divorce judgment papers often include date and place of the marriage and the names and birthdates of any children. Local newspapers may publish notices of divorce actions. 

Death

Death certificates for the City of Syracuse beginning in 1873, and for the rest of Onondaga County as early as 1883. If a record has been on file for over 50 years, anyone may request it. If it has been on file for less than 50 years, the requester must be able to prove that he or she is in the direct line of descent by providing identification and other supporting documentation (e.g. birth certificates showing descent). Contact the Office of Vital Statistics for more information.

  • 1827–1962 Onondaga County Poorhouse Ledger and Onondaga County Hospital Ledgers FHL Film 1993147(first of 12 films). Microfilm of original ledgers at the town hall, Onondaga, New York. Includes town, date, name, age, admission and discharge, nativity, cause of pauperism, charges per inmate, deaths and transfers, pauper children bound out, their ages and to whom bound, and other reports. Birth records include baby number, name, date of birth, sex, alive or stillborn, sex, legimacy; and parents' name, nativity, occupation, nativity, age, color and number of other children. Death records include number and name of corpse, date of death and burial, relative's name and residence, and who claimed body. Onondaga County poorhouse, located on Onondaga Hill four miles from Syracuse opened for the reception of paupers, December 17, 1827.

Death Substitutes

  • 1849-50, 1859-60, 1869-70, 1879-80 See Mortality Schedule information in the Federal Census section of Census for death information.
  • See Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War in the Civil War section of Military for death information.
  • 1864-5, 1874-5 See Mortality Schedule information in the State Census section of Census for death information for 1864-5, and 1874-5.

Additional Resources

Additional resources for Onondaga County births, marriages and deaths may be found in the New York, Onondaga– Vital Records topic page of the FamilySearch Catalog . Copies of records on FHL microfilm and microfiche can be ordered for viewing at Family History Centers. Copies of books found in the FamilySearch Catalog may be found in WorldCat catalog and ordered from your local library through interlibrary loan. Explore how to search the FamilySearch Catalog and the Worldcat Online Catalog.

Voting Registers

Onondaga County New York Places

Onondaga County New York Genealogy Websites

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject: Onondaga_County,_New_York

Onondaga County New York Genealogy References

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 490. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Handybook, 478.
  3. Arlene Eakle, and Johni Cerni, The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1984), 103. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27ts.
  4. Compare the more northerly route in Handybook, 849, with the more southerly route described in Wikipedia contributors, "New York State Route 5" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_State_Route_5 (accessed 28 June 2011).
  5. Frederick Phisterer, New York in the War of the Rebellion, 3rd ed. (Albany, N.Y.: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912). Internet Archive digital copy; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Film 1486494-96; Fiche 6083559-64; Book 974.7 M2p.
  6. Alice Eichholz, Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Pub., 2004), 479. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004.
  7. Henry B. Hoff, "Navigating New York Probate," American Ancestors 12 (Fall 2011): 57.
  8. About Abstracts of Wills, Admins. and Guardianships in NY State, 1787-1835 at New York Ancestors, accessed 8 December 2011, http://newyorkancestors.org/.
  9. Central New York Genealogical Society at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nycnygs/index.htm (accessed 1 November 2011).


 

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