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 Published Records

Besides the primary source public records that are available from local governments in the County, a number of published secondary sources also exist.

Newspapers: A number of weekly newspapers have been published in Penn Yan and in Dundee, and since the state did not require vital events to be registered, deaths and marriages were instead often noticed in their pages. They are nearly always well worth searching through, not only for genealogical material, but because nowhere else can a researcher get such detailed and delightful information about the times their people lived in.

Penn Yan Herald (later the Democrat) 1818-1949

Yates County Republican 1824-1833; Penn Yan Whig 1840-1855; Yates County Republican 1855-1883; Yates County Chronicle 1883-1905; The Chronicle-Express 1905-present

Penn Yan Express 1878-1905

Dundee Record 1841-1879

Dundee Observer 1878- present

Cemeteries: Genealogical researchers rightfully regard cemeteries as valuable historic documents in themselves, even above their value as monuments to those who have passed. Yates County, though it is one of the smallest in the state, has over a hundred burial grounds, and more than 40,000 dead. These have all been read and published. The books are available in five volumes, with a sixth serving as general index to the whole; for information about purchase, use the link in the panel to the left.

Reference works: Two histories of the County were written during the 19th century. One was published in 1873 by the editor of the Chronicle, Stafford Canning Cleveland. An index to this work, containing more than 24,000 names, is available on line. 

The second county history, by Lewis Cass Aldrich, was published in 1892, and with the exception of the chapter on the town of Starkey, is very repetitive of Cleveland's work without the extensive genealogical information. Aldrich's book does bring events up to date 20 years later, and covers the agricultural industry, the steamboat era and other business-related topics much more thoroughly than Cleveland's. The last third of the book comprises a number of biographical and family history- oriented sketches, and a name index may be consulted at the County Historian's office.

In 1895 Dr. Walter Wolcott published his Military History of Yates County, in which he attempted to name all the veterans of the nation's various wars who had lived in the County. The book is best known for its lists of Civil War soldiers and the short regimental histories with which they are grouped. However, there are also lists of veterans of the Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Mexican War.

The most comprehensive attempt to list soldiers who fought in the Civil War is Robert Graham's Yates County's "Boys in Blue" 1861-1865, published in 1923. This book also contains very complete regimental histories, plus lists of draftees, bounty jumpers, deserters, men who served as substitutes and so on. Cornell University has posted a scanned copy of the book on its web site, and a name index to it may be accessed by using the link in the left-hand panel of this page.