A project spanning several years has resulted in a database of more than 40,000 records detailing all known burials in the County, in nearly 100 cemeteries. These range from the village-owned Lakeview Cemetery in Penn Yan, with more than 14,000 burials, to tiny family plots with one or two graves; and every conceivable type and size of burial ground in between.
Readings were made of every stone, and where possible either confirmed or reconstructed from census records, obituaries, vital records registers, and earlier readings. An effort has been made to document "lost" cemeteries and other recorded but now missing graves.
New York State did not require the recording of deaths until after 1880, and researchers have been forced to turn to other methods and sources of documentation. The gravestone may give clues to birthplace, family ties, the ever-elusive maiden names of married women and other facts about the deceased person's life. Because of Yates County's small size and population it was possible to imagine the completion of such a project within a reasonable amount of time. Even though a few previously-unknown graves continue to turn up, the vast majority are now recorded in this database and available only by writing or visiting the Office.
For those who wish to have the database available in printed form, a set of six volumes has now been published and may be purchased. A copy of one or more volumes may be reserved via email; see the detailed description elsewhere, in which a list of the County's cemeteries may also be found.
For those who are searching only one name, or one cemetery, buying the book might not be cost-effective. The corrected text of all six books will eventually be posted on-line. At this writing, only the towns of Benton, Milo and Torrey (including Dresden) are available, but the others will (probably slowly) be added.