Franklin County, New York Genealogy

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This page describes sources of genealogical data about Franklin 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.

Franklin County, New York
Map of New York highlighting Franklin 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 Malone
Address County Clerk
PO Box 70
355 West Main Street, Suite 248
Malone, NY 12953
Franklin County Website
Franklin County, NY - Saranac Lake.JPG

Historical Facts

Parent County

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Franklin County, New York
Created 11 March 1808 from western part of Clinton County.[1]

Neighboring Counties

Clinton · Essex · Hamilton · St. Lawrence · Quebec counties: Châteauguay · Huntingdon

Boundary Changes

Record Loss


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.
  • 1881–1934 Watson H. Harwood and Austin M. Gowan, Dr. Watson H. Harwood's Records of Births He Attended in Area of Chasm Falls, Owls Head, and Mountain View in Towns of Malone, Brandon, and Duane in the State of New York, Franklin County from 1881-1934 (Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1980). FHL film 1292041 Item 3


History of Clinton and Franklin Counties, New York by Duane Hamilton Hurd, J. W. Lewis & Co., 1880. Google eBook:

A History of St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties, New York: from the earliest period to the present time, by Franklin Benjamin Hough, Little & Co., 1853. Google eBook:

Historical Sketches of Franklin County and its several towns: with many short biographies by Frederick Joel Seaver, J.B. Lyon Company, 1918. Google eBook:

Business Records and Commerce


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

Online Grave Transcripts Published Grave Transcripts County Cemetery Directories* Family History Library*** WorldCat* Tombstone Transcription Project*
Cemetery Site*   NYGenWeb Cemeteries*
New York Gravestones*   epodunk*
NYGenWeb Cemeteries*   Billion Graves*
Billion Graves*   Names in Stone*
Names in Stone*    
   *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.[2]
  • 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.
Source 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1892 1905 1915 1925 - - - - Lost - Lost - Yes Yes
Family History Library - - - Yes Lost Yes Lost Yes Yes Yes
FamilySearch Historical Records - - - - Lost Yes Lost Yes - -
New York State Library - - - - Lost Yes Lost 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

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.

  • 1843-1907, 1913-1949 - Early U.S. French Catholic Church Records, Coopersville, courtesy: Ancestry ($).
  • 1762-1776 Eglise catholique. Saint-François-Régis (Saint-Régis, Québec)FHL film 1031635-1031638 Contains baptisms, marriages, burials, and confirmations from various New york counties and Quebec. Includes records of Indians and whites. Text may be in English, French, Latin, or Indian.
  • 1838-1876 Eglise catholique. Saint-Jean-Chrysostôme (Saint-Chrysostôme, Québec) FHL film 1031559-1031561 Contains baptisms, marriages, burials and confirmations in areas of Franklin and Clinton counties in New York as well as Quebec.
  • 1846-1876 Eglise catholique. Saint-Malachie-d'Ormstown (Saint-Malachie-d'Ormstown, Québec) FHL film 1031575

Includes baptisms, marriages and burials for several parishes in the region. Text in French and English. Also includes several areas in Quebec.

Additional Church Records

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

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.

Crime and Criminals




Rootsweb message board for Franklin 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.


Franklin County is part of Macomb's Purchase of 1791.

Land and Property

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 Franklin 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:

Additional resources

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


Atlas of Franklin County, New York. (1876)


Early migration routes to and from Franklin County for European settlers included:[3]


War of 1812

Austin, John M., Soldiers of the War of 1812 who were residents of Franklin County, New York at the time of their service (J.m. Austin, c1999) pages 31  FHL Book 974.755 M2

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 ($).

Available towns. Registers are available for: Bangor, Bellmont, Bombay, Brandon, Brighton, Burke, Chateaugay, Constable, Dickinson, Duane, Fort Covington, Franklin, Harrietstown, Malone, Moira, Santa Clara, Tupper Lake, Waverly, Westville.

Regiments. Service men in Franklin County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Franklin County:[4]

- 98th Regiment, New York Infantry
- 142nd Regiment, New York Infantry
- 164th Regiment, New York Infantry

Naturalization and Citizenship


Search historical newspapers of Franklin County, 1849-2002 at Northern New York Historical Newspapers:

  • Adirondack News St. Regis Falls NY 1887-1930
  • Chateaugay Journal & Chateaugay Record 1881-1995
  • Fort Covington Sun 1887-1987
  • Malone Farmer 1900-1936
  • Malone Franklin Gazette 1876-1899
  • St. Regis Falls Adirondack News 1887-1933
  • Tupper Lake Free Press and Herald 1911-2005
  • Saranac Lake Adirondack Daily Enterprise 1948-1976



Central New York Genealogical Society has indexed Tree Talks periodicals according to counties, surnames, and given names. Use this index online to search for ancestors who lived in the Franklin County area.

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 Records - Franklin County: Administration bonds, 1890-1920; Administration decrees, 1868-1909; Daybook, 1880-1902; Decrees, Orders, 1847-1879; Dower records, 1839-1880; Estate index, 1800-1900; Final decrees, 1878-1912; Guardianship records, 1908-1930; Letters of administration, Letters of testamentary, 1847-1919; Letters of guardianship, 1842-1913; Orders, 1892-1910; Sales, 1839-1877, 1882-1927; Will index, 1809-1905; Wills and Administrations, 1879-1916; Wills, 1809-1920

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 Franklin County, New York Genealogy probate wills in online catalogs like:


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; FHL Book 974.755 A3g. Includes index. Includes references to some family histories and genealogies.

Archives, Libraries and Museums

Clinton Essex Franklin Library Systemconsists 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.

Akwesasne Library and Cultural Center
321 St. Rt. 37
Hogansburg, NY 13655
Fax: 518-358-2649
Phone: 518-358-2240
Has a large Native American collection which contains information on native people throughout the United States and Canada, has local history books and newspapers and a large collection of photographs.

Chateaugay Memorial Library
4 John Street
P.O. Box 10
Chateaugay, NY 12920
Phone: 518-497-0400 Has the records of Chateaugay from 1881–1995 on microfilm, scrapbooks, pamphlets, clippings, archival records, pictures, and cemetery records.

Chateaugay Historical Society
191 East Main Street
P.O. Box 123
Chateaugay, NY 12920
Phone: 518-497-6685
Open April to October on Wednesdays and Saturdays Has local church vitals, cemetery listings, family genealogies, historical photographs and documents relating to town history.

Franklin County Historical and Museum Society
51 Milwaukee Street
P.O. Box 388
Malone, New York 12953
Phone: 518-483-2750
Donation requested of $10 per visit
Collection includes: Cemetery information, census records, town directories and phone books, family folders with individual genealogies, obituaries, pre-1900 newspapers, school yearbooks, town and county histories, early assessment rolls, and vital records.

Saranac Lake Free Library
109 Main Street
Saranac Lake, NY 12983
Phone: 518-891-4190
Has federal data for Essex, Franklin, Clinton, and St. Lawrence counties fro 1850-1920. Also has state census data for 1855-1925. The Adirondack Research Center is found in the basement of the library. It houses many Adirondack historical materials, including books of cemetery inscriptions for southern Franklin County. One microfilm reader is available. Some church records and an obituary index for the Tri-Lakes area.

County Historian's Office

Franklin County Historian
Franklin County Historical Society
51 Milwaukee Street, PO Box 388
Malone, NY 12953
Phone: 518-483-2750

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 Historical Society collections: 16th Regiment Civil War Papers, Adirondack history, Cemetery information, Census records, Town Directories and Phone Books, Early assessment rolls, Family folders with individual genealogies, Published/Bound Genealogies, Rep. Clarence Kilburn papers – 48 linear feet, Maps, Obituaries, Pre-1900 newspapers, Scrapbooks, School yearbooks, Town and county histories, and Vital records. See online information.


The Franklin County Clerk's office has marriage, divorce and court records. The Surrogate Court has probate records. For further information about where the records for Franklin County are held, see the Franklin 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 to assist in the study of genealogy.

The closest FHC in Franklin county is the Potsdam New York Family History Center. For additional Family History Centers, search this online FHC directory.


The Adirondack Genealogical – Historical Society - 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 Franklin and surrounding counties, local directories, and cemetery information up to 2000. Phone: 518-891-0807.

Central New York Genealogical Society[6]
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


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.

  • 1842-2007 Northern NY Library Network Newspaper Search. Includes Akwesasne Indian Time (1982-2002), Chateaugay Journal & Chateaugay Record (1881-1995), Fort Covington Sun (1887-1987), Malone Farmer (1900-1936), Malone Franklin Gazette (1842-1899), Saranac Lake Adirondack Daily Enterprise (1948-2007), and Tupper Lake Herald and Free Press (1911-2005) - free.

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. 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 1908 until 1935.[7]

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.
  • 1804–1850 Fred Q. Bowman, 8000 More Vital Records of Eastern New York State, 1804-1850 (Rhinebeck, New York: Kinship Books, 1991). At various libraries; FHL Book 974.7 V2bfqa. Abstracts of newspaper marriage and death columns.
  • 1874-5 See Marriage Schedule information in the State Census section of Census for marriage information for 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

  • 1804–1850 Fred Q. Bowman, 8000 More Vital Records of Eastern New York State, 1804-1850 (Rhinebeck, New York: Kinship Books, 1991). At various libraries; FHL Book 974.7 V2bfqa. Abstracts of newspaper marriage and death columns.
  • 1849-50, 1859-60, 1869-70, 1879-80 See Mortality Schedule information in the State 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.

Additional Resources

Additional resources for Franklin County births, marriages and deaths may be found in the New York, Franklin– 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




  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 489. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. 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.
  3. Handybook, 847-61.
  4. 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.
  5. About Abstracts of Wills, Admins. and Guardianships in NY State, 1787-1835 at New York Ancestors, accessed 8 December 2011,
  6. Central New York Genealogical Society at (accessed 1 November 2011).
  7. 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.