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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 Democrat published 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 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.
The prints will be sent to you, along with a bill.

Submit a request

1899 1910 1920 1930 1940
1901 1911 1921 1931 1941
1902 1912 1922 1932 1942
1903 1913 1923 1933 1943
1904 1914 1924 1934 1944
1905 [missing] 1915 1925 1935 1945
1906 [missing] 1916 1926 1936 1946
1907 1917 1927 1937 1947
1908 1918 1928 1938 1948
1909 1919 1929 1939 1949