Difference between revisions of "Cattaraugus County, New York Genealogy"

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==== Newspapers  ====
==== Newspapers  ====
'''Online Digital Newspapers'''<br>
{{NY Fulton}}
:*''Ellicottville NY American Union 1855-1863 at [http://www.fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html Old Fulton NY Post Cards] - Free.''
:*''Ellicottville NY American Union ''1855-1863  
:*''Ellicottville NY Cataraugus Republican 1834-1859 at [http://www.fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html Old Fulton NY Post Cards] - Free.''
:*''Ellicottville NY Cataraugus Republican ''1834-1859  
:*''Ellicottville NY News 1884-1901 at [http://www.fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html Old Fulton NY Post Cards] - Free.''
:*''Ellicottville NY News ''1884-1901  
:*''Ellicottville NY Post 1884-1969 at [http://www.fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html Old Fulton NY Post Cards] - Free.''
:*''Ellicottville NY Post ''1884-1969  
:*''Randolph NY Register 1842-2003 at [http://www.fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html Old Fulton NY Post Cards] - Free.''
:*''Randolph NY Register ''1842-2003  
:*''Randolph NY Weekly Courant 1879-1891 at [http://www.fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html Old Fulton NY Post Cards] - Free.''
:*''Randolph NY Weekly Courant ''1879-1891
==== Obituaries  ====
==== Obituaries  ====

Revision as of 19:26, 30 January 2012

United States Gotoarrow.png New York Gotoarrow.png Cattaraugus County

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

Cattaraugus County, New York
Map of New York highlighting Cattaraugus County
Location in the state of New York
Map of the U.S. highlighting New York
Location of New York in the U.S.
Founded March 11, 1808
County Seat Little Valley
Address Cattaraugus County
Court House
303 Court Street
Little Valley, NY 14755
Cattaraugus County Website


Historical Facts

Parent County

11 March 1808: Created from Genesee County.[1]

Neighboring Counties

Allegany · Chautauqua · Erie · Wyoming · Pennsylvania counties: McKean · Warren[2]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

FreedomFarmersvilleLyndonFranklinvilleMachiasIschuaHinsdalePortvilleOleanAlleganyHumphreyCarrolltonGreat ValleyEllicottvilleAshfordYorkshireEast OttoMansfieldLittle ValleyOttoNew AlbionNapoliPersiaSalamancaRed HouseColdspringSouth ValleyRandolphConewangoLeonDaytonPerrysburgNycattaraugus-townmap.jpg
About this image


Bible Records

  • 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.


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

Online Grave Transcripts Published Grave Transcripts County Cemetery Directories
Findagrave.com* Family History Library* Findagrave.com*
Interment.net* WorldCat* Tombstone Transcription Project*
Cemetery Site*   NYGenWeb Cemeteries*
New York Gravestones*   epodunk*
NYGenWeb Cemeteries*   Billion Graves*
Billion Graves*   Names in Stone*
Names in Stone*    
Painted Hills Genealogical Society    
   *See the New York Cemeteries page for details about each site.


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


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.[3]
  • 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.

1890: Census records were damaged and destroyed prior to the establishment of the National Archives and Records Service (NARA). Even though the census is lost, through directories, it is possible to reconstruct the population.

Source 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1892 1905 1915 1925
Family History Library film Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
FamilySearch image - - - - Yes Yes Yes Yes - -
New York State Library film Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ancestry.com - - - - - - - - - -

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

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.

Church Histories
  • Kysor, Kenneth. Benjamin Titus Roberts and the Free Methodist Church. 1987. Digital version at Ancestry ($).

Court Records

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


Cattaraugus County, New York Online Historical Directories  (Source: Online Historical Directories)

Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups




Land and Property

  • 1804-1824 - Livsey, Karen E. Western New York Land Transactions, 1804-1824. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1991. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • 1825-1835 - Livsey, Karen E. Western New York Land Transactions, 1825-1835. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1996. Digital version at Ancestry ($).

Additional resources

Additional resources for Cattaraugus County, New York Genealogy land records may be found in the Cattaraugus 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.



Early migration routes for European settlers to and from Cattaraugus County, New York Genealogy included:[4]


Revolutionary War

Revolutionary Soldiers Burried in Cattaraugus County, New York. by Julia G. Pierce and Maud D. Brooks. FHL Fiche:  6061377

Civil War

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 Ancestry.com ($).

Available towns. Registers are available for: Allegany · Ashford · Coldspring · Conewango · East Otto · Ellicottville · Farmersville · Franklinville · Freedom · Hinsdale · Humphrey · Ischua · Leon · Lyndon · Mansfield · Otto · Portville · Randolph · Salamanca · South Valley · Yorkshire.

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

-105th Regiment, New York Infantry
-116th Regiment, New York Infantry
-122nd Regiment, New York Infantry
-154th Regiment, New York Infantry
-160th Regiment, New York Infantry

Cattaragus County in the Civil War

Brothers One and All: esprit de corps in a Civil War Regiment. by Mark H. Dunkelman. FHL Book: 974.79 M2d

List of Pensioners on the Roll January 1, 1883  (Source: Internet Archives)

World War II Casualities, Army and Army AIr Corps  (Source: AccessGenealogy)

Naturalization and Citizenship

SAMPUBCO Index of naturalization records


Old Fulton NY Post Cards has the largest online collection of 400 New York 1795-2007 newspapers. The instructions for this quirky site are needed to get the most out of it.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards has the following Cattaraugus County, New York Genealogy newspaper images:

  • Ellicottville NY American Union 1855-1863
  • Ellicottville NY Cataraugus Republican 1834-1859
  • Ellicottville NY News 1884-1901
  • Ellicottville NY Post 1884-1969
  • Randolph NY Register 1842-2003
  • Randolph NY Weekly Courant 1879-1891




Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

Probate Records

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): 57.

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 RecordsCattaraugus County: Administration bonds, 1890-1905; General index, 1800-1956; Guardianship bonds, 1890-1912; Guardianship records, 1830-1916; Judicial settlements, 1885-1902; Letters of administration, 1820-1901 (gaps); Letters of guardianship, 1870-1922; Letters of testamentary index, 1852-1887; Letters of testamentary, 1850-1904; Minutes index, 1847-1893; Minutes, 1830-1906; Will index, 1832-1893; Wills, 1830-1916

Probate Records on Microfilm

Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

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


Cornell University, Guide to Historical Resources in Cattaraugus County, New York Repositories. ([Ithaca, New York]: New York Historical Resources Center, Olin Library, Cornell University, 1984). At various libraries; FHL Book 974.794 A3g and film 1425056 Item 8. Includes index. Includes references to some family histories and genealogies.

Archives, Libraries and Museums

Cattaraugus County Historical Museum and Research Library
9824 Route 16
PO Box 352
Machias, NY 14101

  • This is a genealogy/research center, operated by the county. They will perform research requests for a fee. Some the records include: county census, Civil War rolls, cemetery stone abstracts, marriage records (1908-1925 only) and obituary abstracts. 


Allegany Public Library
90 West Main Street
Allegany, NY 14706
Phone: 1-716-373-1056

Delvan-Yorkshire Public Library
P.O. Box 185
28 School Street
Delevan, NY 14042
Phone: 1-716-492-1961

Gowanda Free Library
56 West Main Street
Gowanda, NY 14070
Phone: 1-716-532-3451

Memorial Library of Little Valley
110 Rock City Street
Little Valley, NY 14755
Phone: 1-716-938-6301

Ellicottville Memorial Library
1 Washington Street
Ellicottville, NY 14731
Phone: 1-716-699-2842

King Memorial Library
Town Hall, Roszyk Hill Road
Machias, NY 14101
Phone: 1-716-353-9915

Myers Memorial Library
P.O. Box 559
26 Ivory Street
Frewsburg, NY 14738
Phone 1-716-569-5515

Seneca Nation Library-Cattaraugus Branch
1490 Route 438
Irving, NY 14081
Phone: 1-716-532-9449

County Historian's Office

Cattaraugus County Historian
Sharon Fellows
E-mail: sfellows@cattco.org
Office Located at the: Cattaraugus County Museum and Research Library
9824 Route 16
P.O. Box 352
Machias, NY 14101
Phone: (716) 353-8200
E-mail: Contact

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.


The County Clerk's office has marriage, military, naturalization, divorce, court and land records. The Surrogate Court office has probate records. For further information about where the records for Cattaraugus County are held, see the Cattaraugus County Courthouse page.

Family History Centers

Family History Centers (FHCs) are branches of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and are located all over the world. Their goal is to provide resources for family history research.

The main FHC for Cattaraugus County, New York Genealogy is the Jamestown New York Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.


Central New York Genealogical Society[8]
Box 104, Calvin Station
Syracuse, New York 13205
E-mail: CNYSG@yahoo.com

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.

Western New York Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 338
Hamburg, New York 14075-0338
Email: info@wnygs.org

Focus is on eight Western New York counties - Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Wyoming, Orleans, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany - which comprise the area of the original Holland Land Company purchase.

Painted Hills Genealogy Society

Our mission is to make as many records available as possible. Covering the entire Painted Hills Area of Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania. Our society also strives to educate others, while making the field of genealogy fun and exciting to young and old.

Social Groups Online


Town Records

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:

The County Archives has the following records:

  • 031 Petitions, Licenses, and recognizance to sell liquor (Tavern licenses) 1813-1878
  • 139 Monthly Reports of Hunting and fishing licenses, 1908-1938
  • 165 Certificates of Qualifications as Examiner in Lunacy, 1883-1947

Vital Records

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.


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.

Early marriages were sometimes recorded on the town level and the years vary by town. (List of towns) 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. Marriages were recorded by the Cattaraugus County clerk starting in 1908 and go until 1935.

  • 1836–1880 Miscellaneous marriages of Cattaraugus County, New York FHL film 1421654 Item 11. Contains miscellaneous entries in a marriage book that lacks place of recording. Includes date of the marriage, place of residence, name and age of bride and groom, and name and residence of person performing the marriage. The residence of the officer or clergyman performing the marriage ceremony is listed as Hinsdale for most of the entries in this record. Some of the record may be hard to read because of smudging.

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.


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.


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 Substitutes

  • 1849-50, 1859-60, 1869-70, 1879-80 See Mortality Schedule information in the Federal Census section of Census for death information.
  • See Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War in the Civil War section of Military 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 Cattaraugus County births, marriages and deaths may be found in the New York, Cattaraugus– 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.




  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 488. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Handybook, 478.
  3. 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.
  4. Handybook, 847-61.
  5. Paul A. W. Wallace, Indian Paths of Pennsylvania (Harrisburg, Pa.: PA Historical and Museum Commission, 1971), 46-48. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.8 H2wp.
  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. About Abstracts of Wills, Admins. and Guardianships in NY State, 1787-1835 at New York Ancestors, accessed 8 December 2011, http://newyorkancestors.org/.
  8. Central New York Genealogical Society at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nycnygs/index.htm (accessed 1 November 2011).