Penn Yan Democrat
The Penn Yan Democrat was in its first incarnation the Penn Yan Herald,
the first paper published in the village. Its first issue was in 1818,
its first publisher Abraham H. Bennett. Unfortunately, there are very few
issues of the paper still extant from this early period. The Yates County
Genealogical & Historical Society does have a few scattered copies.
The paper became the Democrat soon after its founding, The first
good runs of the paper begin in the 1850s and exist both in the original
and on microfilm.
The Yates County Historian has custody of original copies of the paper's
last half-century of publication, from 1898 through 1949. The last two
years the name of the paper was the Courier. Like all papers, the
notices of weddings, births and deaths of note to the local public. The
Historian has undertaken a project to index these records from the papers
in the County's possession; these indexes will be posted at this site,
a year at a time, as they are completed.
The index lists the name of each person as it appears in the paper,
followed by the issue date, the type of event (W, B or D) and the role
each played in that event. Some peculiarities must be noted: the obituaries
of many married women give only the name of their husbands, and that is
how they appear in the index; most birth notices give only the name of
the father (the child's name is included if given in the notice; even more
rare is the mother's maiden name).
Wedding notices are often quite long and detailed, but not always. Birth
notices are nearly always very short, simply noting that a son or daughter
was born on a certain date at a certain hospital to Mr. and Mrs. So-and-so.
Death notices give the names of survivors, and only sometimes yield much
more; occasionally an actual obituary was printed, which can yield a great
deal of information about the deceased person. The index will only tell
you whether a notice was printed, not how detailed it is.
As with other records indexed at this site, the Yates County Historian
will upon request send a copy of the record for $1 each. A print will be
made from the microfilm, as the original papers are too fragile to copy
in most cases. Where the print is illegible, a transcript will be sent.
To receive your prints, you must include:
The prints will be sent to you, along with a bill.
the issue of the paper as it is given in the index;
the name of the person you're interested in, what the event is and
what his or her role was;
your postal address.
Submit a request