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An indictment is a charge handed up by a Grand Jury for a felony offense. The papers generally give a great deal of information about the crime and the circumstances under which it was committed. They are filed chronologically, and up through 1950 were in Yates County filed separately from other papers related to the case. Cases up through 1930 have been indexed. The database is available in the County Historian's office.

The part of the index covering about 1200 nineteenth-century cases (1823-1899) has been posted on line. The index gives the name of the accused, the year of indictment and the charge, plus a locator number so the file can easily be found. 

It should be noted that some very respectable local names appear in these records; perhaps the most common charge was violation of the excise laws, though riot, assault and larceny seem also to have been not uncommon. Rape, manslaughter and murder were not unknown. It's evident from perusing these papers that everyday life was much more hazardous in this rural area during the past than it is now. 

The index has been divided into relatively small alphabetical sections. Use a link in the table below. The papers are of course public information, and photocopies can be made on request, for $1 a page.



To get your copies, you must include the following in your request: 

  • the name, year and locator number as listed in the index, 
  • your name and postal address 
  • the phrase "Indictment" in the subject line.
Your copies will be sent to you with a bill.

To submit a request, click here: