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Otsego County, New York
Genealogy, History & Facts

Otsego County, New York Facts

Otsego County

When was Otsego County, NY Created?
Otsego County was created on February 16, 1791 from Montgomery County. This particular county was named for a Native American word meaning "place of the rock" .

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

What counties are adjacent to Otsego County, NY?
Bordering Counties are Herkimer County (north), Montgomery County (northeast), Schoharie County (east), Delaware County (south), Chenango County (southwest), Oneida County (northwest), Madison County (northwest).

What cities and towns are in Otsego County, NY?
Cities and towns located in the County include Oneonta, Burlington, Butternuts, Cherry Valley, Decatur, Edmeston, Exeter, Hartwick, Laurens, Maryland, Middlefield, Milford, Morris, New Lisbon, Oneonta, Otego, Otsego, Pittsfield, Plainfield, Richfield, Roseboom, Springfield, Unadilla, Westford, Worcester. Villages include Cherry Valley, Cooperstown, Gilbertsville, Laurens, Milford, Morris, Otego, Richfield Springs, Unadilla.

Otsego County, NY Vital Records

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

Otsego County, NY Census Records

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

Otsego Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Otsego Co. Industry and Agriculture is available for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Otsego 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

Otsego County, NY Courthouse and Government Records

Otsego County Courthouse

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

  • Otsego County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 197 Main Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326
    • 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.
  • Otsego 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: 607-547-4276 
    • Land Records: 1791 (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: 1791
    • 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.
  • Otsego 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: 607–547–4213
    • Probate Records: 1791 (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)
  • Otsego County Treasurer is responsible for the collection of taxes.
  • Otsego 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: 185 Tuscan Road, Worcester, NY 12197
    • Phone: 607-397-9705
  • Abstracts of wills of Otsego County, N.Y. : copied from original wills at Surrogate's Office, Cooperstown, N.Y.
  • Index of wills of Otsego County, New York, from 1792-1850
  • New York Wills, 1626-1836
  • BLM Land Records

Otsego County, NY Societies and Family History Resources

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

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

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

Otsego Co. NY Books, Newspapers & Publications

Otsego Co. NY Cemeteries & Church Records

Otsego Co. NY Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Otsego Co. NY General and History Websites

Otsego Co. NY Immigration & Naturalization

Otsego Co. NY Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Otsego Co. NY Military Records

Otsego Co. NY Schools & Directories

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