Tompkins County, New York
Genealogy and Facts
Tompkins County, New York genealogy and family tree research page. Discover links to record collections, history, and genealogy sources to assist you to you track your personal Tompkins Co. ancestors. Get started by building a Free Family Tree.
Tompkins County was created on April 7 1817 from Cayuga County and Seneca County. This particular county was named in honor of Daniel D. Tompkins (1774–1825), the 6th Vice President of the United States.
The Tompkins County Seat can be found in Ithaca and in addition the county government website is www.tompkins-co.org/
Regions neighboring Tompkins County include Cayuga County (north), Cortland County (northeast), Tioga County (southeast), Chemung County (southwest), Schuyler County (west), Seneca County (northwest) .
Cities and Towns to be found in Tompkins County consists of Town of Caroline, containing Brooktondale, Caroline Center, Caroline Depot, Slaterville, Slaterville Springs, Speedsville; Town of Danby, containing, Danby, West Danby; Town of Dryden (town), containing, Village of Dryden, Village of Freeville, Etna, Varna, West Dryden; Town of Enfield; Town of Groton, containing, Village of Groton; City of Ithaca; Town of Ithaca, containing, Village of Cayuga Heights, East Ithaca, Forest Home, Northeast Ithaca, Northwest Ithaca, South Hill; Town of Lansing, Village of Lansing; Town of Newfield, containing, Newfield Hamlet; Town of Ulysses, containing, Hamlet of Podunk, Village of Trumansburg.
Tompkins 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.
Tompkins Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Tompkins Co. Industry and Agriculture is available for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Tompkins 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.
Tompkins County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of Tompkins County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- New York State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Finger Lakes Genealogical Society, PO Box 581, Seneca Falls, New York 13148
- Central New York Genealogical Society, Box 104, Calvin Station , Syracuse, New York 13205 ; Member queries; surname research list; online resources; six meetings/year; publishes Tree Talks quarterly with annual index.
- Crooked Lake Review, 6877 Van Amburg Road, Hammondsport, NY 14840; "The Crooked Lake Review is a local history magazine for the Conhocton, Canisteo, Tioga, Chemung and Genesee river valleys, and for the Finger Lakes and Lake Ontario regions of New York State.". This website deals with stories, histories and information dealing with people, events, and places in relationship to the area.
- Tompkins County Public Library, Attention: Nancy Stoehr , 101 East Green Street, Ithaca, New York 14850, Phone: 607-272-4556; Local history, newspapers, books. Thompkins County Research Guidelines, Research Request Form
- John M. Olin Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853; Website offers a guide to Genealogical Research at Cornell.Resources include compiled genealogies, local histories, biographical dictionaries, maps, censuses, newspapers, city directories, church records, periodicals, heraldry, manuscripts, land records, and alumni records. Rare and Manuscript Collections
- The History Center, 401 E. State/MLK Jr. St., Ithaca, NY 14850 , Phone: (607) 273-8284; County Timeline, Books, Maps, vital records, family name files, pictures, and much more. Archivist; Research Librarian, Research and Reference Services
- Tompkins County Museum, 401 East State Street, Ithaca, NY 14850, Phone: (607) 273-8284, FAX: (607) 273-6107
- New York Genealogy Research Community (facebook.com)
- Tompkins County, New York Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Tompkins County
- Tompkins County, New York Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Tompkins County
- USGenWeb Archives for Tompkins County (usgwarchives.net)
Tompkins County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers frequently overlook the significance of Tompkins 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 Tompkins 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.
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.
The following specifics denotes whatever birth, death, marriage, land, probate, and legal records will be in Tompkins County. The years pointed out listed below tend to be the first known records in this county.
- Tompkins County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Address: 320 N. Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
- 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.
- Tompkins 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: 607-274-5431
- 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.
- Tompkins 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: 607-277-0622
- 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)
- Tompkins County Treasurer is responsible for the collection of taxes.
- Tompkins 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: 125 East Court Street, Ithaca, New York 14850
- Phone: 607-273-5298
- Tompkins County Health Deptment
- New York Department of Health 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. Birth, marriage, and death records are connected with central life events.
Tompkins County Links
The following are web links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Tompkins 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 Tompkins County genealogy or family history related sites.
Tompkins Co. NY Books, Newspapers & Publications
Tompkins Co. NY Birth, Marriage & Death Records
- See Also Statewide Birth, Marriage, Divorce and Death Records in New York
- Order Hard Copies of Vital Records (archives.com)
- Unpublished records of births, baptisms, confirmations, marriages, deaths (search.ancestry.com)
- New York Births and Christenings, 1640-1962 (familysearch.org)
- New York, County Marriages, 1908-1935 (familysearch.org)
- New York Marriages, 1686-1980 (familysearch.org)
- New York Deaths and Burials, 1795-1952 (familysearch.org)
- Social Security Death Index (search.ancestry.com)
Tompkins Co. NY Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Tompkins Co. NY Census Records
Tompkins Co. NY Cemeteries & Graveyards
Tompkins Co. NY Church & Bible Records
Tompkins Co. NY Family Websites, Pictures & Histories
Tompkins Co. NY General and History Websites
Tompkins Co. NY Immigration & Naturalization
Tompkins Co. NY Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Tompkins Co. NY Military Records
Tompkins Co. NY Schools & Directories