Federal and New York State Census Resources
A federal census has been taken in New York every 10 years beginning in
1790. The state took additional censuses, also at 10-year intervals, from
1825 to 1875, then again in 1892, 1905, 1915 and 1925. Only the head of each
household is actually named in the earlier censuses, but beginning in 1850
every person is named; additional information is also given, depending on the
year. In general, the more recent the census, the more information it
Copies of all extant state (through 1925) and federal (through 1910)
censuses taken in Yates County towns are available for public use in the
Record Room of the Yates County Clerk; all are indexed.
Some of these indexes are now online, and more are being added. The Office
of Public History will upon request make copies of original census listings
referencing one of these online indexes. See the table
Using census records
In 1790, when the first federal census was taken, Yates County did not
exist. However, there were inhabitants, and they were enumerated in districts
which were then part of Ontario County. To use census records properly, you
must know the name changes that have occurred as new towns were formed.
Some of the original censuses held by the County are available only on
microfilm, because they are too fragile for routine use by the public. Some
other censuses exist only on microfilm, or the originals are held by other
counties, so too in these cases the film must be used.
Use the charts below to help navigate these changes and different
1790-1820 microfilm only; Ontario or Steuben County, depending on the
1825, 1835 and 1845 microfilm and recreated paper copies; 1825 missing
Barrington and Starkey (towns not yet part of Yates County; photocopies
available from Steuben County originals). 1845 missing all towns except
Barrington, Italy and Potter.
1850-1875 original books; 1870 book missing Benton and Potter (all towns
on microfilm of federal copy).
1880 long form on microfilm only; recreated book contains names and ages only.
1892-1925 state censuses are original or recreated (photocopied) books;
1900 and 1910 federal censuses on microfilm only.
The county now has nine towns. The four incorporated villages are enumerated as part of their respective towns: Dundee in Starkey; Dresden in
Torrey; Rushville (the part of it in Yates County) in Potter; and Penn Yan in Benton and Milo.
All the towns except Jerusalem have undergone at least one name change.
You must know what town the subject of your search lived in, and what its name was at the time you are searching.
Barrington: 1790 Erwin (part); 1800 Frederick's Town (part);
1810-1820 Wayne (part); 1825-1925 Barrington.
Benton: 1790-1800 Jerusalem (part); 1810-1850 Benton (part);
1855-1925 Benton; missing 1845.
Italy: 1790 Canandaigua (part); 1800 Middletown (part); 1810 Naples
(part); 1820-1925 Italy.
Jerusalem: 1790-1800 Jerusalem (part); 1810-1925 Jerusalem; missing
Middlesex: 1790 Canandaigua (part); 1800 Augusta (part); 1810-1830
Middlesex (part); 1835-1925 Middlesex; missing 1845.
Milo: 1790-1800 Jerusalem (part); 1810 Benton (part); 1820-1850
Milo (part); 1855-1925 Milo; missing 1845.
Potter: 1790 Canandaigua (part); 1800 Augusta (part); 1810-1830
Middlesex (part); 1835-1925 Potter.
Starkey: 1790 Erwin (part); 1800 Frederick's Town (part); 1810-1820
Reading (part); 1825-1925 Starkey; missing 1845.
Torrey: 1790-1800 Jerusalem (part); 1810 Benton (part); 1820-1850
Benton and Milo (part); 1855-1925 Torrey; missing 1845.