Monroe County, New York
Genealogy and Facts
Monroe County was created on February 23, 1821 from Genesee County and Ontario County. This particular county was named in honor of James Monroe (1758–1831), the early American statesman and fifth President of the United States.
The Monroe County Seat can be found in Rochester and in addition the county government website is www.monroecounty.gov
Regions neighboring Monroe County include Lake Ontario and Canada (north), Wayne County (east), Ontario County (southeast), Livingston County (south), Orleans County (west), Genesee County (west).
Cities and Towns to be found in Monroe County consists of Brighton (town), Brockport (village), Chili (town), Churchville (village), Clarkson (town), East Rochester (village and town), Fairport (village), Gates (town), Greece (town), Hamlin (town), Henrietta (town), Hilton (village), Honeoye Falls (village), Irondequoit (town), Mendon (town), Ogden (town), Parma (town), Penfield (town), Perinton (town), Pittsford (village), Pittsford (town), Riga (town), Rochester (city), Rush (town), Scottsville (village), Spencerport (village), Sweden (town), Webster (town), Webster (village), Wheatland (town).
Monroe 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 Monroe 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.
Monroe County does have Federal Census Schedules to help in looking into your family tree. United states federal Population Schedules are present for 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.
Monroe Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Monroe Co. Industry and Agriculture is available for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Monroe 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.
Monroe County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of Monroe County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- New York Genealogy Community (plus.google.com)
- New York State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Pioneer Society of Rochester and Western N.Y. was created Sept., 31, 1847 in Rochester. The organization faded after 1870. This site lists the members in 1847, 1854, 1866, and those listed in newspapers.
- Rochester Historical Society, Rundel Memorial Building, 115 South Avenue, Rochester, New York 14604; (585) 428-8470; has books, manuscripts, prints, photographs, etc.
- Rochester Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 10501, Rochester 14610-0501
- Central New York Genealogical Society, P.O.Box 104, Colvin Station, Syracuse, NY 13205
- Western Monroe Historical Society, Brockport, New York, has an extensive collection of local history records.
- Monroe County Library System, has an online catalog, Genealogy Resources,Digital Collections, Local History Resources, Pathfinders
- Cox Local History Room of the Scottsville Free Library, Scottsville, New York, has genealogy files of local families, an index to cemeteries of Wheatland, histories of the area, maps, etc.
- High Falls Heritage Area, Rochester, New York, has information about the area history, geography, commerce and culture.
- Monroe County Public Libraries
- Rochester Records Management Office, 414 Andrews St., Rochester, NY; (716) 428-7331; This is the archives for the city of Rochester and they have the original marriage records for 1876 - 1967. These records are indexed 1876 - 1907 and may be searched in person. They also have a collection of Rochester City directories and the government records for the city. They would like to have you call for an appointment.
- The Rochester Historical Society handbook (search.ancestry.com)
- Records and Archives room (monroecounty.gov) of Monroe County has a significant collection of drawings of construction jobs dating back to the 1870s and many aerial photographs.
- New York Genealogy Research Community (facebook.com)
- Monroe County, New York Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Monroe County
- Monroe County, New York Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Monroe County
- USGenWeb Archives for Monroe County (usgwarchives.net)
Monroe County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers frequently overlook the significance of Monroe 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 Monroe 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 specifics denotes whatever birth, death, marriage, land, probate, and legal records will be in Monroe County. The years pointed out listed below tend to be the first known records in this county.
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.
- Monroe County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Address: 39 W. Main St., Rochester, NY 14614
- 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.
- Monroe 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: 585 753-1600
- Land Records: 1821 (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: 1821
- 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.
- Monroe 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.
- Address: 99 Exchange Blvd., Rochester, NY 14614
- Phone: (585) 428-5200
- Probate Records: 1824 (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)
- Monroe County Treasurer is responsible for the collection of taxes.
- Monroe 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: 3690 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618
- Phone: 585-385-8244
- Monroe County Department of Health, 111 Westfall Road, Rochester, NY 14692; (585) 274-6140; The Health Department has birth and death records since 1880 for $11.00 fee. Marriage records are still with the Town Clerks or the Rochester Records Management Office in the City of Rochester.
Monroe County Links
The following are web links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Monroe 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 Monroe County genealogy or family history related sites.
Monroe Co. NY Books, Newspapers & Publications
Monroe Co. NY Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Monroe Co. NY Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Monroe Co. NY Census Records
Monroe Co. NY Cemeteries & Graveyards
Monroe Co. NY Church & Bible Records
Monroe Co. NY Family Websites, Pictures & Histories
Monroe Co. NY General and History Websites
- See Also State History for New York
- Monroe County, New York Wikipedia (wikipedia.org)
- A survey of the character building agencies of Rochester, New York (search.ancestry.com)
- A major street plan for Rochester, New York (search.ancestry.com)
- A contribution toward a bibliography on Rochester, N.Y. (search.ancestry.com)
- Annotated bibliography of periodical references on Rochester, New York (search.ancestry.com)
- Rochester imprints, 1819-1850 : in libraries outside of Rochester, an informal checklist (search.ancestry.com)
- History of Rochester and Monroe County, New York : from the earliest historic times to the beginning of 1907 (search.ancestry.com)
- Semi-centennial history of the city of Rochester : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men (search.ancestry.com)
- Rochester Theological Seminary general catalogue 1850 to 1920 (search.ancestry.com)
- Rochester : a story historical (search.ancestry.com)
- Monroe County, New York Wiki (familysearch.org)
- Monroe Co. NY Genealogy (kindredtrails.com)
- Family History Library (familysearch.org)
- Monroe County, New York (linkpendium.com)
- Cyndi's List - United States - New York - Counties - Monroe (cyndislist.com)
- Monroe County New York (genealogytrails.com)
- Monroe Co. NYGenweb (mcnygenealogy.com)
- Monroe County Genealogy Queries (cousinconnect.com)
- Monroe Co. Data Collections (search.ancestry.com)
Monroe Co. NY Immigration & Naturalization
Monroe Co. NY Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Monroe Co. NY Military Records
Monroe Co. NY Schools & Directories
- Rochester, New York Directory, 1888-91 (search.ancestry.com)
- Rochester Monthly Meeting, Monroe County, New York: Quaker Records (search.ancestry.com)
- Records of Bethel Free Church, Washington Street Church, Central Presbyterian Church and Central Presbyterian Church. (search.ancestry.com)
- Dau's blue book of selected names of Rochester and suburban towns : containing the names and addresses of prominent residents, (search.ancestry.com)
- Handbook of social agencies (search.ancestry.com)
- Rochester, N.Y., the city of varied industries : directory of manufacturers. (search.ancestry.com)
- Gazetteer and business directory of Monroe County, N.Y. for 1869-70 (search.ancestry.com)