Difference between revisions of "Niagara County, New York Genealogy"

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==== Church Records  ====
==== Church Records  ====
:*'''1869-1897''' - [http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nyniagar/extras/stmrybap.htm Baptisms of St. Mary's German Catholic Church, Lockport, Niagara Co., NY, Vol. 2, 1869-1897], courtesy: [http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nygenweb/ NYGenWeb].  Index at [http://files.usgwarchives.org/ny/niagara/churches/catholic/stmrybaptisms.txt USGenWeb Archives].
==== Court Records  ====
==== Court Records  ====

Revision as of 19:57, 6 December 2011

United States Gotoarrow.png New York Gotoarrow.png Niagara County

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

Niagara County, New York
Map of New York highlighting Niagara County
Location in the state of New York
Map of the U.S. highlighting New York
Location of New York in the U.S.
Founded March 11, 1818
County Seat Lockport
Address 175 Hawley Street
Lockport, New York 14094-2740
Niagara County Website

Historical Facts

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Niagara County, New York

Parent County

Niagara Falls, New York.jpg
11 March 1808: Created from Genesee County.[1]

Neighboring Counties

Erie | Genesee | Lake Ontario | Orleans | Ontario counties: Lincoln | Welland · Lake Ontario[2]

Boundary Changes

2 April 1821: Erie County was created from southern part.[1]

Record Loss


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.


Business Records and Commerce


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*    
   *See the New York Cemeteries page for details about each site.


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


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.
Source 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1892 1905 1915 1925
Family History Library - - - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
FamilySearch Historical Records - - - - Yes Yes Yes Yes - -
New York State Library - - - Yes Yes Yes - Yes Yes Yes
Ancestry.com - - - - - - - - - -

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.

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.

Crime and Criminals


Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups




Land and Property

Additional resources

Additional resources for Niagara County, New York Genealogy land records may be found in the Niagara County, New York Genealogy – 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.



Early migration routes to and from Niagara County for European settlers included:[4]


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: Hartland · Newfane · Pendleton · Somerset.

Regiments. Service men in Niagara County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Niagara County:[6]

- 105th Regiment, New York Infantry
- 129th Regiment, New York Infantry
- 132nd Regiment, New York Infantry
- 151st Regiment, New York Infantry
- 153rd Regiment, New York Infantry
- 164th Regiment, New York Infantry

Naturalization and Citizenship





Poorhouses, Poor law, etc.

Probate Records

Probate records including original estates and wills for New York are held in the office of the 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.

  • 1820-1901 - SAMPUBCO Browsable index of testators of wills.
  • Parker, Arthur Caswell. Seneca Myths and Folk Tales. 1978. Digital version at World Vital Records ($). Includes Niagara County probate records.[7]

Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

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


Cornell University, Guide to Historical Resources in Niagara County, New York Repositories. ([Ithaca, New York]: New York Historical Resources Center, Olin Library, Cornell University, 1984). At various libraries; FHL Book 974.798 A3g. Includes index. Includes references to some family histories and genealogies.

Archives, Libraries and Museums

Niagara County Community College Library Special Collections
Henrietta G. Lewis Library, Fourth Floor
3111 Saunders Settlement Rd
Sanborn NY 14132
716-731-3271 ext. 401

Native America Collection includes reference books, biography, history, and tribes.
Periodicals: Native Peoples, Journal of Cherokee Studies, Northeast Indian Quarterly, Akwekon Journal, Turtle Quarterly, Southern Indian Studies


County Historian

Niagara County Historian
Civil Defense Building
139 Niagara Street
Lockport NY 14094-2740
Email: historian@niagaracounty.com
Hours: Wednesday - Friday 8:30am - 12:30pm and 1:30pm - 4:30pm
Facebook Niagra County Historian's Office 


The Niagara County Clerk's office has marriage, divorce, court and land records. The Surrogate Court has probate records. For further information about where the records for Niagara County are held, see the Niagara County Courthouse page. Template:RAOGKcourthouse

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 Niagara County, New York Genealogy is the Buffalo New York Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.

The following centers are accessible to residents of Niagra County, New York:

Niagara County (Lockport)

St Catharines Ontario Canada Family History Center
351 Glenridge Avenue
St Catharines, Ontario L2T 3K6, Canada
Hours: T 6:30pm-9:30pm; Th 10am-4pm
Closures: Closed for Christmas and New Years
Call to verify hours

Buffalo New York Family History Center
1424 Maple Rd
Williamsville, New York 14221
M, W 10am-2pm; T, Th 10am-9pm; Sat 10am-2pm
Closed Holidays
Call to verify hours


Central New York Genealogical Society[8]
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.

Niagara County Genealogical Society
215 Lockport Street
Lockport NY 14094-2605
Hours: Thursday - Saturday 1:00 - 4:45 pm
Closed holidays

The Niagara County Genealogical Library is located on the second floor of the Niagara County Historical Society Museum. Access to the collection is free to both members and non-members of the society. It includes many unpublished genealogies and manuscripts, 2000 books, cemetery records, census records, city directories, DAR books, maps, atlases and a vertical file.  Record holdings relate to Niagara County, other New York Counties, New England, Pennsylvania, and Ontario, Canada.  Those who can not personally travel to the research library are invited to join the society and use the look-up service.

"We love visitors..."

Send general questions or comments to comments@niagaragenealogy.org
Join us on Facebook - Niagara County Genealogical Society

Niagara County Historical Society, History Center and Musuem
The Outwater Memorial Building
215 Niagara Street
Lockport NY
Museum open Monday - Saturday 9 am - 5 pm

The Niagara County Historical Society complex presents a glimpse of life in Niagara County over the past 175 years.

Find us on Facebook -The History Center of Niagra

Social Groups Online

Facebook - Niagara County Historian
Join us on Facebook - Niagara County Genealogical Society
Find us on Facebook -  The History Center of Niagra, Niagara County Historical Society
Facebook - Town of Newfane
Join the conversation on Twitter - Town of Pendleton


Town Records

Town records in New York may include early births, marriages, deaths, divorces, local histories, selected military records, and town meeting minutes. Vital records from 1880/1882 are kept by town and village clerks, although some (Kent’s and Putnam Valley’s) are available in the County Historian’s Office. For further details, try the links to individual town Wiki pages found in Places. See also:

The County Archives has the following records:

  • 031 Petitions, Licenses, and recognizance to sell liquor (Tavern licenses) 1813-1878
  • 139 Monthly Reports of Hunting and fishing licenses, 1908-1938
  • 165 Certificates of Qualifications as Examiner in Lunacy, 1883-1947

Vital Records

Vital records of birth, marriage or death were first recorded at the local level in the village clerk, town clerk, or city clerk’s ledger book. If you know where a birth, marriage or death took place, a copy of the certificate or record may be obtained by writing to the town, village or city clerk. See also How to order New York Vital Records or order electronically online.

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.

Use substitute records for birth, marriage, and death information. These substitute records include Bible Records, Cemeteries, Church Records, Newspapers, and Probate Records.


Early births were recorded on the town level and the years vary by town. (List of towns) The New York State Department of Health (state level) began recording births in 1881. Births were not recorded on the county level.

Birth Substitutes

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

Early marriages were sometimes recorded on the town level and the years vary by town. 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. The marriages in this county were recorded by the county clerk from 1908 until 1935.[9]

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.


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


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.


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.


Early deaths were recorded on the town level and the years vary by town. (List of towns) The New York State Department of Health (state level) began recording deaths in 1881. Deaths were not recorded on the county level.

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 Niagara County births, marriages and deaths may be found in the New York, Niagara– 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




  1. 1.0 1.1 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. Handybook, 847-61.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. Niagara County, New York: Genealogy, Census, Vital Records, Linkpendium, accessed 10 November 2011, http://www.linkpendium.com/genealogy/USA/NY/Niagara/.
  8. Central New York Genealogical Society at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nycnygs/index.htm (accessed 1 November 2011).
  9. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 488-493. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.