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Ontario County, New York
Genealogy, History & Facts

Ontario County, New York Facts

Ontario County

When was Ontario County, NY Created?
Ontario County was created on January 27, 1789 from Montgomery County. This particular county was named for an Iroquoian word meaning "beautiful lake" .

What is the County Seat of Ontario County, NY?
The County Seat is located in Canandaigua and in addition the county government website is

What counties are adjacent to Ontario County, NY?
Bordering Counties are Wayne County (northeast), Seneca County (east), Yates County (south), Steuben County (south), Livingston County (west), Monroe County (northwest).

What cities and towns are in Ontario County, NY?
Cities and towns located in the County include Canandaigua, Geneva, Bristol, Canadice, Canandaigua, East Bloomfield, Farmington, Geneva, Gorham, Hopewell, Manchester, Naples, Phelps, Richmond, Seneca, South Bristol, Victor, West Bloomfield. Villages include Bloomfield, Clifton Springs, Manchester, Naples, Phelps, Rushville, Shortsville, Victor.

Ontario County, NY Vital Records

Where can find Ontario County Birth, marriage, Divorce and Death Records?
Ontario 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 Ontario 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.

Ontario County, NY Census Records

What Ontario County, NY census records are available?
There are many types of census records for Ontario County guide you in researching your family tree. Federal Population Schedules are available for 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Ontario Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Ontario Co. Industry and Agriculture is available for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Ontario Co. Union Veterans Schedules can be obtained for 1890.

There are New York State censuses from 1880, 1892, 1905, 1855, 1865, 1875, 1892, 1905, 1915, 1925. You can get free downloadable and also printable census forms to help you with your research. See Also New York Census Records Research Guide

Ontario County, NY Courthouse and Government Records

Ontario County Courthouse

What genealogical records can I find in the Ontario County Courthouse?
The below facts shows exactly what death, marriage, birth, property, wills, and court records are typically in Ontario County. The years listed below are the first noted records with this county. See Also New York Corthouse Records Research Guide.

  • Ontario County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 27 North Main Street, Canandaigua, New York 14424
    • 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.
  • Ontario 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. Deed records–and mortgages to 1920–are at the Ontario County Department of Records, Archives, and Information Management Services, 3051 County Complex Drive, Canandaigua 14424; later deeds and all indexes are at the county clerk’s;
    • Address: 20 Ontario Street, Canandaigua, NY 14424
    • Phone: (585) 396-4200
    • Land Records: 1789 (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: 1789
    • 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.
  • Ontario 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. These records–and mortgages to 1920–are at the Ontario County Department of Records, Archives, and Information Management Services, 3051 County Complex Drive, Canandaigua 14424; later deeds and all indexes are at the county clerk’s;
    • Phone: (585) 396-4055
    • Probate Records: 1789 (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)
  • Ontario County Treasurer is responsible for the collection of taxes.
  • Ontario 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: 3051 County Complex Drive, Canandaigua, NY 14424
    • Phone: 716) 396-4034
  • Abstracts of wills of Ontario County, New York, 1848-1849-1850 : Volume 12 (XII) (Liber D)
  • New York Wills, 1626-1836
  • BLM Land Records

Ontario County, NY Societies and Family History Resources

What genealogical and historical societies, archives, museums, associations and libraries are available for Ontario County, NY?
A list of Ontario County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Libraries, Archives. See also list of Statewide New York Archives, Historical & Genealogical Societies.

Where can I connect with other Ontario County, NY Researchers through message boards and forums?

What other genealogical resources are available in Ontario County, NY?
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to Ontario 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.

Ontario Co. NY Books, Newspapers & Publications

Ontario Co. NY Cemeteries & Church Records

Ontario Co. NY Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Ontario Co. NY General and History Websites

Ontario Co. NY Immigration & Naturalization

Ontario Co. NY Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Ontario Co. NY Military Records

Ontario Co. NY Schools & Directories

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