The Historian's Office


  • County records

Land records
Estate records
Immigration records
Military records
Court records


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    Basic Research Resources

    WHAT WE HAVE ...

    The Historian can help researchers looking for information on family or local history, on specific structures or persons, ethnic groups, commercial and industrial activities; in fact the list of possible research topics is almost literally endless. The County holds many public records and reference materials that can be of great use to researchers. Among them are:

    • Census: A complete collection of federal and state censuses from 1790 to 1925, all indexed; some of these indexes are on-line;
    • Land records: Deeds, mortgages and survey maps from 1788 to present, all indexed;
    • Cemetery records: A computer database of all known cemetery burials in the County and a few from neighboring towns in other counties; the database has been published in a series of six volumes;
    • Tax rolls: A complete set of existing town tax rolls, some starting as early as the 1790s, most from the 1860s, all from the 1890s to present;
    • Military records: The 1863 Civil War draft roll is extant for all nine towns; so is the 1917 World War I militia roll. Discharge papers recorded with the County Clerk have been filed by veterans since the 1860s. The County Historian has some pension rolls as well, from the Revolution and the War of 1812.
    • Newspapers: Microfilm or original copies of most Yates County newspapers from 1823 to present; genealogical references in Penn Yan papers 1823-1867 can be looked up on-line;
    • Court records: Complete set of records from all county courts, including the Surrogate Court, which handles estates and guardianships; and other civil and criminal courts from 1823-present;
    • Immigration and naturalization records: Complete set of records filed by aliens seeking citizenship, from 1823-1965 when federal courts took over the function from local courts;
    • Microfilm: A large and growing collection of town and village records on microfilm, including minutes, vital records, road surveys, district school records, and much more.
    • Reference books: A small collection of local and regional references. The best 19th century history of Yates County for genealogical purposes is Stafford Canning Cleveland's History and Directory of Yates County of 1873. A name index with some subject references is on line.
  • These records and others complement the holdings of the County's libraries and historical societies. Some are primary government records and will be found nowhere else; many are unduplicated and may be accessed only in their original form here at the repository.