Niagara County, New York
Genealogy and Facts
Niagara County was created on March 11, 1818 from Genesee County. This particular county was named for an Iroquoian word perhaps meaning "a neck" between two bodies of water, "thunder of waters", or "bisected bottom land".
The Niagara County Seat can be found in Lockport and in addition the county government website is www.niagaracounty.com/
Regions neighboring Niagara County include Orleans County (east), Genesee County (southeast), Erie County (south), Province of Ontario (west), Lake Ontario (north).
Cities and Towns to be found in Niagara County consists of Barker (village), Cambria (town), Gasport, Hartland (town), Lewiston (village), Lewiston (town), Lockport (town), Lockport (city), Middleport (village), Newfane (town), Niagara Falls (city), Niagara (town), North Tonawanda (city), Olcott, Pendleton (town), Porter (town), Ransomville, Rapids, Royalton (town), Somerset (town), South Lockport, Wheatfield (town), Wilson (village), Wilson (town), Youngstown (village).
Niagara 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 Niagara 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.
Niagara County does have Federal Census Schedules to help in looking into your family tree. United states federal Population Schedules are present for 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.
Niagara Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Niagara Co. Industry and Agriculture is available for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Niagara 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.
Niagara County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of Niagara County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- New York Genealogy Community (plus.google.com)
- New York State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Niagara County Genealogical Society, 215 Lockport Street, Lockport NY 14094-2605;
716-433-1033; The Niagara County Genealogical Library is located on the second floor of the Niagara County Historical Society Museum. Access to the collection is free to both members and non-members of the society. It includes many unpublished genealogies and manuscripts, 2000 books, cemetery records, census records, city directories, DAR books, maps, atlases and a vertical file. Record holdings relate to Niagara County, other New York Counties, New England, Pennsylvania, and Ontario, Canada. Those who can not personally travel to the research library are invited to join the society and use the look-up service.
- Niagara County Historical Society, Inc., 215 Niagara Street, Lockport, NY 14094; (716) 434-7433
- Central New York Genealogical Society, P.O.Box 104, Colvin Station, Syracuse, NY 13205
- St Catharines Ontario Canada Family History Center, 351 Glenridge Avenue, St Catharines, Ontario L2T 3K6, Canada, 1-905-685-5795
- Buffalo New York Family History Center, 1424 Maple Rd, Williamsville, New York 14221, 1-716-688-2439
- Niagara County Community College Library Special Collections, Henrietta G. Lewis Library, Fourth Floor, 3111 Saunders Settlement Rd, Sanborn NY 14132, 716-731-3271 ext. 401; Native America Collection includes reference books, biography, history, and tribes.
Periodicals: Native Peoples, Journal of Cherokee Studies, Northeast Indian Quarterly, Akwekon Journal, Turtle Quarterly, Southern Indian Studies
- Nioga Library System, 6575 Wheeler Rd, Lockport NY 14094, 716-434-6167
- New York Genealogy Research Community (facebook.com)
- Niagara County, New York Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Niagara County
- Niagara County, New York Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Niagara County
- USGenWeb Archives for Niagara County (usgwarchives.net)
Niagara County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers frequently overlook the significance of Niagara 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 Niagara 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 Niagara county. The dates indicated below are the first known records for each county. Records for the period 1813—21 are in Buffalo, which was the county seat of Niagara until Erie was created; earlier records were destroyed when the British burned the Buffalo courthouse in 1813.
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.
- Niagara County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Address: 175 Hawley Street, Lockport, New York 14094-2740
- 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.
- Niagara 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) 439-7025
- 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.
- Niagara 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) 439-7130
- Probate Records: 1821 (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)
- Niagara County Treasurer is responsible for the collection of taxes.
- Niagara 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: 139 Niagara Street, Lockport NY 14094-2740
- Phone: 716-439-7324
Niagara County Links
The following are web links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Niagara 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 Niagara County genealogy or family history related sites.
Niagara Co. NY Books, Newspapers & Publications
Niagara Co. NY Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Niagara Co. NY Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Niagara Co. NY Census Records
Niagara Co. NY Cemeteries & Graveyards
Niagara Co. NY Church & Bible Records
Niagara Co. NY Family Websites, Pictures & Histories
Niagara Co. NY General and History Websites
- See Also State History for New York
- Niagara County, New York Wikipedia (wikipedia.org)
- Biographical and portrait cyclopedia of Niagara County, New York (search.ancestry.com)
- Guide Niagara : falls, river, frontier : scenic, botanic, electric, historic, geologic, hydraulic (search.ancestry.com)
- The streets of Lockport (search.ancestry.com)
- The first guides to Niagara Falls (search.ancestry.com)
- History of northwestern New York : Erie, Niagara, Wyoming, Genesee and Orleans Counties (search.ancestry.com)
- Anthology and bibliography of Niagara Falls (search.ancestry.com)
- Niagara County, New York, one hundred of the most wonderful regions in the world : a concise record of her progress and people, (search.ancestry.com)
- Niagara power : history of the Niagara Falls power company, 1886-1918 : evolution of its central power station and alternating (search.ancestry.com)
- Landmarks of Niagara County, New York (search.ancestry.com)
- Niagara County, New York Wiki (familysearch.org)
- Niagara Co. NY Genealogy (kindredtrails.com)
- Family History Library (familysearch.org)
- Niagara County, New York (linkpendium.com)
- Cyndi's List - United States - New York - Counties - Niagara (cyndislist.com)
- Niagara County New York (genealogytrails.com)
- Niagara Co. NYGenweb (rootsweb.ancestry.com)
- Niagara County Genealogy Queries (cousinconnect.com)
- Niagara Co. Data Collections (search.ancestry.com)
Niagara Co. NY Immigration & Naturalization
Niagara Co. NY Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Niagara Co. NY Military Records
Niagara Co. NY Schools & Directories