The Historian's Office


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An index to the first book of municipal vital records (generally, from about 1880 to about 1913) in the nine towns and four villages located within the county has been on this site for years. A new and much better index has now been posted. It is a consolidated index across all the county's municipalities, arranged alphabetically by surname.

The format of each entry is the same as before: it will begin with a capital letter indicating whether the record is a birth (B), a marriage (M) or a death (D). Following this will be the record number, which may be a simple number or one followed by a capital letter; these last are interpolated between the numbers, so they are an integral part of the entry. Last will be one or two lower-case letters indicating the role that person played in the recorded event.

Births have three persons involved: the mother (m), the father (f) and the infant (i).
Deaths also have three persons involved: the decedent (d), his or her mother (m) and father (f).
Marriages have six persons: the bride (b) and her parents (bm, bf); and the groom (g) and his parents (gm, gf).

Entries are preceded by a bold-faced three-letter code indicating the town or village where the event was recorded:

BAR (Barrington)   MIL (Milo)             TOR (Torrey)
BEN (Benton)        MSX (Middlesex)    DUN (Dundee)
ITA (Italy)              POT (Potter)           PYV (Penn Yan)
JER (Jerusalem)     STA (Starkey)         RVL (Rushville)

It should be pointed out here that there were many opportunities for error, and every effort has been made to find and fix them. These records are on microfilm, and quite evidently legible handwriting was a disqualification for holding the office of clerk. We did the best we could, and compared names to find out which were equivalent; this is a completely new index, done from scratch, and all married women for whom maiden names were given were listed twice, once with their maiden surname in parentheses immediately following the given names, under the married surname; and second with their married surname in parentheses at the end of the entry, under the maiden surname. Many immigrants from Scandinavia used patronymics in the first few years, and these will generate an additional occurence of a particular person's name, as will the fathers of children born out of wedlock, if the baby is listed under his mother's name. All names referred to in this fashion should be tracked down in the index, so all the participants in each event can be located, and perhaps their parents or children.

One must remember that nearly every entry used phonetic spelling to some degree, and that the registrar got his information from a doctor or clergyman, or some other third party, thus introducing ever more chances for the name to be spelled wrong; and this does not account for name variations. We have tried to account for this in the index, but even so, we welcome any correction that is submitted to us. No change will be made however, without an indication of where the correct information comes from.

The index is very large, so is split up into eight large PDF files as follows:



Transcripts of these records will be made upon email request, at $2 each. Put "Vital Records Request" in the subject line, and give the entire entry, including the name of the municpality and the entire alphanumeric code. Make sure you include your postal address so we know where to send the transcripts.