Cattaraugus County, New York
Genealogy and Facts

Cattaraugus County

Cattaraugus County was created on March 11, 1808 from Genessee County. This particular county was named for a Seneca word meaning "bad smelling banks", referring to the odor of natural gas which leaked from local rock formations .

The Cattaraugus County Seat can be found in Little Valley and in addition the county government website is www.co.cattaraugus.ny.us

Regions neighboring Cattaraugus County include Erie County (north), Wyoming County (northeast), Allegany County (east), McKean County, PA (southeast), Warren County, PA (southwest), Chautauqua County (west).

Cities and Towns to be found in Cattaraugus County consists of Olean, Salamanca, Allegany, Ashford, Carrollton, Coldspring, Conewango, Dayton, East Otto, Ellicottville, Farmersville, Franklinville, Freedom, Great Valley, Hinsdale, Humphrey, Ischua, Leon, Little Valley, Lyndon, Machias, Mansfield, Napoli, New Albion, Olean, Otto, Perrysburg, Persia, Portville, Randolph, Red House, Salamanca, South Valley, Yorkshire. Villages include Allegany, Cattaraugus, Delevan, East Randolph, Ellicottville, Franklinville, Gowanda, Limestone, Little Valley, Perrysburg, Portville, Randolph, South Dayton. Hamlets include Lime Lake-Machias, St. Bonaventure, Weston Mills.

Cattaraugus County vital records can be found at the New York Department of Health which has copies of birth records after 1881 and death records after 1880, copies of marriage since 1881 (A marriage license may also sometimes be found in the office of the town or city clerk who issued the license) and a Divorce records since 1847 (Is handled in the supreme court for the county in which the divorce was heard. Divorce files, however, are sealed for one hundred years). There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in New York for current fees and application process.

You can search online for Cattaraugus County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for New York Birth and Death Certificate, Marriage and Divorce Certificate Application to mail.

Cattaraugus County does have Federal Census Schedules to help in looking into your family tree. United states federal Population Schedules are present for 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Cattaraugus Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Cattaraugus Co. Industry and Agriculture is available for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Cattaraugus Co. Union Veterans Schedules can be obtained for 1890. You can get free downloadable and also printable census forms that can help with your research.

Cattaraugus County Societies and Family History Resources

A list of Cattaraugus County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.

Cattaraugus County Courthouse and Government Records

Researchers frequently overlook the significance of Cattaraugus County court, probate, and land documents as a resource of family history and genealogy details. Buried away in New York courthouses and archives just about everywhere could be the aspirations and worries of the many New York men and women.

The possibilities are excellent that your particular ancestors and forefathers have left a comprehensive document of at least a number of factors of their lives in the Cattaraugus County court records. Even if your forebears is not discussed in a Court case, contemplate all of the other procedures that could have lead to him or her appearing in court records.

The following indicates what vital, land, probate, and court records are in Cattaraugus county. The dates indicated below are the first known records for each county. Cattaraugus had no county government until 1817. Its records were first kept in Buffalo, but they were destroyed in 1813 when the British burned the courthouse. In 1812 Cattaraugus was annexed to Allegany County, and from 1814 - 17 county records for the eastern towns of Olean and Ischua were kept in Belmont and for the western town of Perry, in Buffalo.

Please make sure to contact the clerk's office to verify hours, mailing address, fees and other specifics prior to visiting or inquiring information because of occasionally changing contact details. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The files are readily available to interested parties, barring confidential issues. A good number of staff will help people in locating the resources, however it is up to the person to carry out the research.
  • Cattaraugus County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 303 Court Street, Little Valley, NY 14755
    • Also contact local Town Clerks. They are responsible for vast amounts of local information from deeds, property transfers, and genealogical materials. Research on place and road names, the history of property transfers and much more are available through your Town Clerk. They are a tremendous resources.
  • Cattaraugus County Clerk  is the keeper of most civil and criminal trial court records for Supreme Court and County Court, naturalizations, marriages (1908–35), censuses (Some county clerks' offices hold duplicate copies of some of the State censuses taken periodically between 1825 and 1925 and copies of the federal census), as well as deeds and mortgages.
    • Phone: (716) 938-9111
    • Land Records: 1817 (Land conveyances, deeds and mortgages are recorded in the county clerks' offices or in the New York City Register's Office. Recording of deeds became mandatory statewide in 1840. Before that many deeds were not recorded)
    • Court Records: 1817
    • Naturalization Records: State court naturalization records remain in custody of the county clerks. Older court naturalization records have been transferred to the National Archives--Northeast Region.
  • Cattaraugus County Surrogate Court Clerk maintain records of wills, letters testamentary, letters of administration, orders and decrees, and appointments of guardians; and filed papers, including original wills, petitions for probate (gives date of death and lists next of kin), performance bonds, property inventories (seldom found after ca. 1900), administrator's or executor's accountings, etc. Surrogate's Courts create comprehensive indexes to records and files.
    • Phone: (716) 938-2327
    • Probate Records: 1817 (each county generally has records dating back to the establishment of the county or 1787, whichever was later. Record keeping was systematized by an 1830 statute)
  • Cattaraugus County Treasurer is responsible for the collection of taxes.
  • Cattaraugus County Historian maintains archival holdings for virtually every facet of the county’s history. In New York State, every municipality (town, city, village, county) must have an appointed historian. Most of the towns have their own historians as well and each can be contacted. 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.
    • Address: 9824 Route 16, PO Box 352, Machias, NY 14101
    • Phone: 716-353-8200

Cattaraugus County Links

The following are web links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Cattaraugus County. Most of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Business oriented Sites, Private Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some have to have a cost. This is simply a listing that has been compiled or submitted. I do not recommend or promote one genealogy site over another. Feel free to suggest your own favorite Cattaraugus County genealogy or family history related sites.

Cattaraugus Co. NY Books, Newspapers & Publications

Cattaraugus Co. NY Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Cattaraugus Co. NY Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Cattaraugus Co. NY Census Records

Cattaraugus Co. NY Cemeteries & Graveyards

Cattaraugus Co. NY Church & Bible Records

Cattaraugus Co. NY Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Cattaraugus Co. NY General and History Websites

Cattaraugus Co. NY Immigration & Naturalization

Cattaraugus Co. NY Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Cattaraugus Co. NY Military Records

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