St. Lawrence County, New York Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png New York Gotoarrow.png St. Lawrence County

This page describes sources of genealogical data about St. Lawrence 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.

St. Lawrence County, New York
Map of New York highlighting St. Lawrence 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 February 16, 1791[1]
County Seat Canton
Address 48 Court Street
Canton, New York 13617
St. Lawrence Website

Historical Facts

Parent County

Created in 1791 from Clinton, Herkimer, and Montgomery counties.[1]

Neighboring Counties

Franklin · Hamilton · Herkimer · Jefferson · Lewis · Ontario, Canada counties: Dundas · Glengarry · Grenville · Leeds · Stormont[2]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss


Bible Records


Business Records and Commerce



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

  • Ogdensburg Diocese Archives
    622 Washington Street
    P.O. Box 369
    Ogdensburg, New York 13669
    Phone: 315-393-2920
    Hours: Monday - Friday 9 am - 4 pm
    Holds archival material of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg and of its churches and institutions.

A variety of local church records from the Baptist, Congregational, Episcopal, Methodist, and Presbyterian faiths is available at Church Records of St. Lawrence County, NY.[4]

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


Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups




Land and Property




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: Brasher · Canton · Colton · De Kalb · De Peyster · Edwards · Fine · Fowler · Gouverneur · Hammond · Hopkinton · Lawrence · Lisbon · Louisville · Macomb · Morristown · Norfolk · Oswegatchie · Parishville · Pierrepont · Pitcairn · Potsdam · Stockholm · Waddington.

Regiments. Service men in St. Lawrence 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 St. Lawrence County:[5]

- 16th Regiment, New York Infantry
- 18th Regiment, New York Infantry
- 24th Regiment, New York Infantry
- 60th Regiment, New York Infantry
- 92nd Regiment, New York Infantry
- 100th Regiment, New York Infantry
- 102nd Regiment, New York Infantry
- 106th Regiment, New York Infantry
- 142nd Regiment, New York Infantry
- 164th Regiment, New York Infantry
- 169th Regiment, New York Infantry
- 193rd Regiment, New York Infantry






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.

  • 1830-1916 - SAMPUBCO Browsable index of testators of wills.


Archives, Libraries and Museums


  • St. Lawrence University Library
    Owen D. Young Library - University Archives and Special Collections
    23 Romoda Drive
    Canton, New York 13617
    Phone 315-229-5476
    Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
    Collection includes manuscripts, documents and other materials regarding the history the Northern New York area.
  • Southworth Library at the State University of New York at Canton
    Cornell Drive
    Canton, New York 13617
    Phone: 315-386-7058
    Library has material relative to the history and conditions of the college.
  • College Libraries at the State University of New York at Potsdam
    44 Pierrepont Avenue
    SUNY Potsdam, Potsdam, New York 13676
    Phone: 315-267-3326
    Collection includes papers, photos and memorabilia relative to the history of Potsdam College (including the Potsdam Normal School) since 1869 and some material related to the earlier St. Lawrence Academy.
  • Clarkson University, Educational Resources Center, Library - Archives
    Box 5590
    Potsdam, New York 13699-5590
    Phone: 315-268-4268
    Library has historical documents and materials of the University, history and genealogical records of the Clarkson family.


  • Potsdam Public Museum
    Civic Center Park Street
    Potsdam, New York 13676
    Hours: Tuesday - Saturday from 2 -5 pm
    Contains material gathered by the St. Lawrence Valley Genealogical Society

The St. Lawrence County Clerk's office has divorce, court and land records. The Surrogate Court has probate records. For further information about where the records for St. Lawrence County are held, see the St. Lawrence County Courthouses 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 St. Lawrence County, New York Genealogy is the Potsdam New York Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.

Member queries; surname research list; online resources; six meetings/year; publishes 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.


Birth Substitutes

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.
Marriage Substitutes

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

  • See Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War in St. Lawrence County, New York Genealogy 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 St. Lawrence County births, marriages and deaths may be found in the New York, St. Lawrence– 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. 1.0 1.1 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 491. 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. A special thanks to The NYGenWeb Project for pointing out this website.
  5. 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.
  6. Central New York Genealogical Society at (accessed 1 November 2011).