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