Essex County, New York Genealogy

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Guide to Essex County, New York ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.

This page describes sources of genealogical data about Essex County, New York Genealogy families, including links to smaller localities at the bottom of this page. New York, United States Genealogy-related pages show useful statewide sources. United States Genealogy pages explain the terminology and contents of genealogical records.

Essex County, New York
Map of New York highlighting Essex County
Location in the state of New York, United States Genealogy
Map of the U.S. highlighting New York
Location of New York in the U.S.
Founded 1799
County Seat Elizabethtown
New York, Essex County Courthouse.png
Address 7559 Court Street
PO Box 247
Elizabethtown, NY 12932
Essex County Website

Essex County New York Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for the English county of Essex. The County is located in the northeast area of the state. [1]

Essex County, New York Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1880 1908 1880 1799 1799 1799 1663
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1880. General compliance for births by 1915 and deaths by 1890.

Parent Counties[edit | edit source]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For animated maps illustrating New York County boundary changes, "Rotating Formation New York County Boundary Maps" (1683-1915) may be viewed for free at the website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[4]

Census-designated places

Essex County New York Genealogy Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

  • 1581–1917 New York, Family Bible Records at Ancestry($); Index. Database is a collection of genealogically important records taken from the Bibles of colony and state residents. Reveals the Bible's original owner, brief record of descendants,and a particular event such as birth or marriage as recorded in Bible.
  • Daughters of the American Revolution. Jane McCrea Chapter (New York), Bible and Cemetery Records for Warren and Essex Counties (Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1971). FHL film 860335 Item 3

Biography[edit | edit source]

Biographies for Essex County, New York are available at:

Biographical Review Containing Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens of Clinton and Essex counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Pub. Co., 1896.) available FamilySearch Digital Library; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL film 599522 Item 1

Business Records and Commerce[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Online Grave Transcripts Published Grave Transcripts County Cemetery Directories* Family History Library*** WorldCat* Tombstone Project*
Cemetery Site* Names in Stone*
New York Gravestones* Billion Graves*
NYGenWeb* FamilySearch Places
Billion Graves*
Northern New York Tombstone Transcription Project
*See the New York Cemeteries page for details about each site.

Cemetery records often reveal birth, death, relationship, military, and religious information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1810 9,477
1820 12,811 35.2%
1830 19,287 50.6%
1840 23,634 22.5%
1850 31,148 31.8%
1860 28,214 −9.4%
1870 29,042 2.9%
1880 34,515 18.8%
1890 33,052 −4.2%
1900 30,707 −7.1%
1910 33,458 9.0%
1920 31,871 −4.7%
1930 33,959 6.6%
1940 34,178 0.6%
1950 35,086 2.7%
1960 35,300 0.6%
1970 34,631 −1.9%
1980 36,176 4.5%
1990 37,152 2.7%
2000 38,851 4.6%
2010 39,370 1.3%
Source: "".

For information and tips on using and accessing online census records, see New York Census.

Federal[edit | edit source]

U.S. Census Mortality Schedules for New York, 1850-1880:

  • Available online at Ancestry ($).
  • Deaths are included for the 12 months prior to the census, 1849-50, 1859-60, 1869-70, and 1879-80 beginning 1 June and ending 31 May of the census year.[5]
  • Basic contents of the records include: Name, sex, age, color, marital status, place of birth, month of death, occupation, and cause of death. 1870 also has parents' birthplace. 1880 lists how long a resident of the county.
  • Also on FHL Films 1415128–42.
  • The 1890 Census is lost. For a substitute, see directories.

State[edit | edit source]

Source 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1892 1905 1915 1925 - - - Yes - Yes Yes & Yes - Yes Yes
Family History Library - - - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
FamilySearch Images - - - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
New York State Library - - - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

New York State 1865 and 1875 Census Marriage, Mortality; and 1865 Soldier Mortality records:

  • Images available online at New York State Census, 1865 and New York State Census, 1875. Click on the link to go to the page, then click on the ‘Browse through images’ link and select your county, then select an ancestor's town and browse to the end of the population schedule until you find the Marriage, Mortality, and 1865 soldier mortality schedules.
  • Includes marriages and deaths for the 12 months prior to the census, ending 1 June of the census year.
  • Marriage entry content: Husband's name, wife's name, ages and previous marital status, month and day and place of marriage, and church or civil ceremony.
  • Death entry content: Name, age, sex, color, marital status, month and day of death, native state or country, occupation and cause of death.
  • 1865 deaths of officers and enlisted men entry content: Name, age, marital status, citizenship status, enlistment date, original regiment, original rank, regiment at death, rank at death, promotions, death date and place, manner of death, surviving associates, and burial place.
  • Also on microfilm. See the Family History Library line in the above State Census Chart.

Church Records
[edit | edit source]

Church records are good substitutes for birth, marriage, and death information and are most often found on a local city/town or county level.  Published and manuscript church records can be found at public, university, and private libraries.

For a brief general history of denominations and a guide to finding various New York denomination's records, see New York Church Records Wiki page.
List of Churches and Church Parishes

  • 1808-1877 Bloomingdale Baptism Index, courtesy: New York State Historical Literature.
  • 1853-1929 St. John's Church, Essex, Protestant Episcopal FHL film 17630 Items 2-4 Contents: v. 1. Vestry meeting minutes, 1853-1929 -- v. 2. Baptisms 1854-1876, confirmations, burials 1855-1875, marriages 1855-1875, communicants, offerings -- v. 3. History, families, baptisms 1878-1923, confirmations, communicants, marriages 1878-1923, burials 1878-1920, index to v. 3.
  • 1853-1880 Parish, St. John the Baptist, Keeseville, New York, baptisms and burials, 1853-1880, extracted by Virginia Easley DeMarce FHL book 974.753 K28d Lists baptisms and burials. Keeseville is on the border of Essex and Clinton counties. Additional Church Records

Additional church records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Essex County, New York Genealogy Church Records  in online catalogs like:

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Ancestors may have also been involved in municipal, state, or federal court cases. See also New York Court Records and United States Court Records.

Directories[edit | edit source]

220px-Lake Placid.jpg

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Clinton CountyFranklin CountyHamilton CountyWarren CountyWashington CountyAddison CountyChittenden CountyNY ESSEX.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

  • Rootsweb message board for Essex County has many information threads about families that resided in that county. There is a search engine that allows you to search by surname and topic.

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Histories for Essex County, New York:

Fort Ticonderoga is known for nearby battles in French-Indian War and the American Revolutionary War.

Lower Saranac Lake, Saranac Lake, N.Y..JPG

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See New York Land and Property for more details, especially about the papers generated in New York State by large speculative land companies.

Original land records in Essex County, New York Genealogy began in [?dateyear?]. These records are housed at the [?repository?] in [?town?].




Additional land records can sometimes be found using these catalogs:

  • 1837–1914 United States Deposit Fund Mortgages FHL film 866318. Loans made to citizens of Essex County, by the Commissioners for Loaning Certain Moneys of the United States. Includes index.

Additional resources

Additional resources for Essex County, New York Genealogy land records may be found in the Essex County, New York Genealogy – Land Records topic page of the FamilySearch Catalog . Copies of records on FHL microfilm and microfiche may be available for viewing at various Family History Centers. Copies of books found in the FamilySearch Catalog may be found in WorldCat catalog and ordered from your local library through interlibrary loan. Explore how to search the FamilySearch Catalog and the WorldCat Online Catalog.

Maps[edit | edit source]


Migration[edit | edit source]

Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Town registers. The New York town clerks kept a bound register of all soldiers from their town serving in the Civil War 1861-1865. Registers are arranged by county, and town. Some town registers are missing. The registers include an index at the start of each town.

Content. Many register entries include full name, residence, date and place of birth, parents names, marital status, date of enlistment and muster and rank, discharges, death, or promotion.

Access. The original registers are at the New York State Archives in Albany, New York. Microfilm copies are found at the Family History Library (FHL Film 1993401-37). They are also indexed and available at ($).

Available towns. Registers are available for: Chesterfield, Crown Point, Elizabethtown, Lewis, Minerva, North Elba, St. Armand, Schroon, and Westport.

Regiments. Service men in Essex County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county.[6]

- 11th Regiment, New York Cavalry, Companies I, K and L.
- 22nd Regiment, New York Infantry
- 34th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company H.
- 38th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company K.
- 77th Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies A and I.
- 93rd Regiment, New York Infantry, Company C.
- 96th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company G.
- 118th Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies C, E and F.
- 153rd Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies G and I.

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

  • 1856–1906 Register of declarations of intention - Essex County Supreme Court, Oyer and Terminer Court FHL film 1029747 Item 1

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Search historical newspapers 1844-2007 for Essex County at NYS Historic Newspapers, including:

  • Adirondack Record-Elizabethtown Post, 1920-1975
  • Elizabethtown Post, 1851-1920
  • Essex County Republican, 1839-1989
  • Lake Placid News, 1905-current
  • Ticonderoga Sentinel, 1874-1982 (coverage period varies)

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate records including original estates and wills for New York are held in the office of the county Surrogate Court beginning in 1787, or when the county was formed. Prior to 1787, most are housed at the New York State Archives. See New York Probate Records for more information about using probate records.
Content:  Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.
Record types:  Wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distribution.

Probate Petitions

In 1830, state law required the Surrogate Court clerk to issue a probate petition for a deceased individual with property. This petition, unique to New York, usually lists the deceased's death date. It also lists the heirs, their relationship to the deceased, and their residence. Alice Eichholz, Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Pub., 2004), 479. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004. Henry B. Hoff, "Navigating New York Probate," American Ancestors 12 (Fall 2011): 54.

These petitions are often found in the estate files and can be obtained from the county Surrogate Court.

Online Probate Indexes

Online Probate Records

Original county-by-county New York, Probate Records, 1629-1971 are available free online at FamilySearch. To access these records, click Historical Records below, then click "Browse through 1,630,900 images". Then select the county name, and then the probate records and time of interest.

  • Historical Records - Essex County: Guardianship orders, 1869-1910; Guardianship records, 1847-1902; Letters, 1831-1902; Will and Letter index, 1799-1938; Wills, 1803-1904

Probate Records on Microfilm:

The probate records described above may also be on microfilms like these:

Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

Additional probate indexes or abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Essex County, New York Genealogy probate wills in online catalogs like:

Public Records[edit | edit source]

  • 1799–1879 Index to miscellaneous papers filed or recorded in Essex County, New York FHL film 866325–7

Repositories[edit | edit source]

Cornell University. New York Historical Resources Center, Guide to Historical Resources in Essex County, New York Repositories. ([Ithaca, New York]: New York Historical Resources Center, Olin Library, Cornell University, 1987). At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.753 A3g and fiche 6049417. Includes index. Includes references to some family histories and genealogies.

Archives, Libraries and Museums[edit | edit source]

Clinton Essex Franklin Library System consists of 34 public libraries in the counties of Clinton, Essex, and Franklin. Each library has access to genealogical databases - especially newspaper sites. Many are accessible with your library card from home. A list of the libraries in this system and their website and contact information is found here.

Brewster Memorial Research Library and Archives
Adirondack History Center Museum
7590 Court Street
P.O. Box 428
Elizabethtown, NY 12932
Phone: 518-873-6466
Open by appointment only Cemetery index, special collection library, some census on microfilm, maps, photographs, newspaper collection, and biographies.

Fort Ticonderoga/Thompson-Pell Research Center
Fort Road
Ticonderoga, NY 12883
Phone: 518-585-2821
Collections are accessible by appointment only Has 18th century military war maps, photos, and manuscripts that focus on campaigns in Champlain Valley. Special emphasis on French and Indian Wars and the American Revolution.

Keene Valley Library Archives
1796 NYS Rt. 73
Keene Valley, NY 12943
Phone: 518-576-4335
Open Tuesday and Thursday, 9 to noon.
Local genealogy and cemetery information.

Lake Placid Public Library
2471 Main Street
Lake Placid, NY 12946
Phone: 518-523-3200
The Village of Lake Placid/Town of North Elba Historical Collection in the the Archival Room of the library.

Penfield Foundation Museum
Ironville Road
Crown Point, NY 12928
Genealogical resources: Vital records, cemeteries, family files, censuses, church records, military records. List of family files is available under the Research dropdown menu. A research request service is available for a fee.
Open June thru Mid-October Thursday thru Sunday or by appointment.
Genealogical and military records for Hammondville, Ironville, and Crown Point.

Sherman Free Library
20 Church Street
Port Henry, NY 12974
Phone: 518-546-7461
Offers workshops on genealogy, Reverand Woodbridge Scrapbooks from 1880s to 1895, maps,atlases, and local histories.

County Historian's Office[edit | edit source]

Essex County Historian
Adirondack Center Museum
PO Box 428
7590 Court Street
Elizabethtown, NY 12932
Research Queries Email:

The County Historian may provide access to obituaries, vital records, church records, maps, and family files or journals. Some historians provide search services for their office records and others may refer you to local genealogists who research in the area.

Courthouses[edit | edit source]

The Essex County Clerk's office has marriage, divorce, probate, court and land records as well as the state census. For further information about where the records for Essex County are held, see the Essex County Courthouse page.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Societies[edit | edit source]

The Adirondack Genealogical – Historical Society
100 Main St.
Saranac Lake, NY, 12983

They have an obituary database extracted from the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and will search for you by phone. They also have some church records, census records on Essex and surrounding counties, local directories, and cemetery information up to 2000. Phone: 518-891-0807.

Essex County Historical Society/Brewster Memorial Research Library Archives
Adirondack History Center Museum
7590 Court St.
P.O. Box 428
Elizabethtown NY, 12932
Phone: 518-873-6466

Call for hours. Holdings include vertical files (biography subject oriented), newspaper collections, photographs, manuscripts, maps, cemetery index, some census on microfilm only, special collection library, historical documents relating to the history of Essex County. There are no birth, death, or marriage certificates. Research room rules, access regulations and fees for use of library apply

Central New York Genealogical Society[7]
Box 104, Calvin Station
Syracuse, New York 13205

Member queries; surname research list; online resources; six meetings/year; publication: Tree Talks (At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.7 B2t) quarterly with annual index.
Counties served: Albany, Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Oreleans, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Washington, Wayne, Warren, Wyoming, and Yates.

Social Groups Online[edit | edit source]

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Town Records[edit source]

Town records in New York may include early births, marriages, deaths, divorces, local histories, selected military records, and town meeting minutes. Vital records from 1880/1882 are kept by town and village clerks, although some (Kent’s and Putnam Valley’s) are available in the County Historian’s Office. For further details, try the links to individual town Wiki pages found in Places. See also:

  • Gordon L. Remington, New York Towns, Villages, and Cities: A Guide to Genealogical Sources (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2002). NEHGS online edition; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.7 D27r. Alphabetical list including date founded, if a town history exists, church and cemetery sources, and if a Civil War register (TCR) exists.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital records of birth, marriage or death were first recorded at the local level in the village clerk, town clerk, or city clerk’s ledger book. If you know where a birth, marriage or death took place, a copy of the certificate or record may be obtained by writing to the town, village or city clerk. See also How to order New York Vital Records or order electronically online.

See the heading Places on this wiki page for links to local community wiki pages and their available records. See New York Vital Records for a discussion about beginning dates and availability of vital records in New York.

Use substitute records for birth, marriage, and death information. These substitute records include Bible Records, Cemeteries, Church Records, Newspapers, and Probate Records.

  • 1844-2005 NYS Historic Newspapers. Includes Adirondack Record-Elizabethtown Post (1917-1971), Elizabethtown Post (1882-1920), Essex County Republican (1844-1973), and Lake Placid News (1914-2005).

Birth[edit | edit source]

Early births were recorded on the town level and the years vary by town. (List of towns) The New York State Department of Health (state level) began recording births in 1881. Births were not recorded on the county level.

Birth Substitutes

  • See Town Clerks' Registers of Men who Served in the Civil War in the Civil War section of Military for birth information.

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Hazel Mary Thew(1900) and Walter John Haselton (1893)(married 1927).jpg

Early marriages were sometimes recorded on the town level and the years vary by town. In 1880, town clerks were to record the marriage and a copy was sent to the New York State Department of Health (state level). Town clerks continue to record marriages. The marriages in this county were recorded by the county clerk from Essex until 1908.[9]

  • 1866–1870 Record of marriages FHL film 29089 Item 7 Microfilm of original records in the town hall, Williston, Vermont. These marriage records were written August 14, 1936 by W. E. Ferguson, town clerk of Williston, Vermont, from records created by Rev. A.D. Barber. Contains a few records of marriages performed by Rev. A.D. Barber in Willsboro, New York, 1866-1870.

Marriage Substitutes

  • 1800–1855 New York Marriage Notices at Ancestry ($) – index. This database is a collection of marriage notices published in newspapers around the state. Contains name of bride and groom, marriage date, marriage location, residence, and newspaper found in.
  • 1864-5, 1874-5 See Marriage Schedule information in the State Census section of Census for marriage information for 1864-5, and 1874-5.

Divorce[edit | edit source]


All divorces were granted by the governor or legislature and were very rare.


All divorces were granted by the court of chancery. These records are found in the New York State Archives or for the New York City area at the New York County Clerk's office.These divorces were granted only on the grounds of adultery.


All divorces are handled by the county Supreme Court where the divorce was granted. Divorce files in New York are sealed for 100 years. Contact the County Clerk for information about divorce records.

Divorce judgment papers often include date and place of the marriage and the names and birthdates of any children. Local newspapers may publish notices of divorce actions.

Death[edit | edit source]

Early deaths were recorded on the town level and the years vary by town. (List of towns) The New York State Department of Health (state level) began recording deaths in 1881. Deaths were not recorded on the county level.

Death Indexes

Death Substitutes

  • See Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War in the Civil War section of Military for death information.
  • 1849-50, 1859-60, 1869-70, 1879-80 See Mortality Schedule information in the Federal Census section of Census for death information.
  • 1864-5, 1874-5 See Mortality Schedule information in the State Census section of Census for death information for 1864-5, and 1874-5.

Additional Resources

Additional resources for Essex County births, marriages and deaths may be found in the New York, Essex– Vital Records topic page of the FamilySearch Catalog . Copies of books found in the FamilySearch Catalog may be found in WorldCat catalog and ordered from your local library through interlibrary loan. Explore how to search the FamilySearch Catalog and the WorldCat Online Catalog.

Voting Registers[edit | edit source]

Essex County New York Places[edit | edit source]

Essex County New York Genealogy Websites[edit | edit source]

Essex County New York Genealogy References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Essex, New York" in,_New_York accessed 19 Nov 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Essex County, New York. Page 488-493 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 490-492.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America," 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 489. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Essex County, New York," in "Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_New_York, accessed 10 January 2020.
  5. Arlene Eakle, and Johni Cerni, The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1984), 103. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27ts.
  6. Frederick Phisterer, New York in the War of the Rebellion," 3rd ed. (Albany, N.Y.: J. B. Lyon Company, 1912). Internet Archive digital copy; At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Film 1486494-96; Fiche 6083559-64; Book 974.7 M2p.
  7. Central New York Genealogical Society at (accessed 4 July 2018).
  8. Fred Q. Bowman and Thomas J. Lynch, "1,100 Vital Records of Northeastern New York 1835-1850," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Surnames A-C: Vol. 118, No. 3 (Jul. 1987):135-142; Surnames C-H: Vol. 118, No. 4 (Oct. 1987):203-209; Surnames H-P: Vol. 119, No. 1 (Jan. 1988):35-43; Surnames P-T: Vol. 119, No. 2 (Apr. 1988):91-98; Surnames V-Z: Vol. 119, No. 3 (Jul. 1988):166-170. Digital version at New York Family History ($); FHL Book 974.7 B2n v. 118-119. Indexes vital records published in Essex and Washington county newspapers.
  9. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 488-493. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.