WHO WE ARE ...
Each of New York's counties (and for that matter each of the state's
towns, villages and cities) is required by state law to appoint a public
historian. The Yates County Historian is a department head, charged with
preserving the County's history: in the written record, in the built environment,
in archaeological remains, in oral tradition and in whatever other ways
WHAT WE DO ...
The Historian assists visitors in several ways: by locating documents
or series of documents, by explaining the use of certain records or their
indexes, by accessing computer databases, by simply answering questions.
The files contain a great deal of compiled information, particularly on
historic structures and on family history; but the main focus is on making
the County's public records available to researchers.
Several finding aids are available: to the County Clerk's records, to
a large collection of microfilmed town and village records, and to the
County's court records, as well as to more specialized series such as naturalization
and immigration records, and to Surrogate Court case files.
Leaflet-style guides to our land records and very complete collection
of indexed census records are available on request. We also keep other
reference materials on hand for the use of visitors.
WHERE WE ARE ...
Penn Yan is the county seat, located at the intersection of NYS Rtes
54, 14A and 54A at the northern end of Keuka Lake in the west-central part
of the state, the beautiful Finger Lakes region, about equidistant from
Rochester, Syracuse and Elmira.
The office is located on the lower level of the County Office Building
at 110 Court Street, next door to the 1835 Court House in the center of
an extensive historic preservation district.
Other county offices in the same building that may interest the researcher
County Clerk: The Record Room and Vault contain census records,
land records, survey maps and other recorded documents. A microfilm reader/printer
is available for public use. Various guides, indexes and finding aids are
available in the Record Room.
Surrogate Court: The clerk of this court has custody of wills, probate
case files and petitions for guardianships. All are indexed by name of
the decedent or orphan seeking a guardian. A database index to the name
of all persons mentioned in petitions to the court (19th century cases
only) is available in the Historian's Office.
Real Property Tax Service: Tax maps of all real estate parcels in
the county are located in this office.
HOW TO REACH US ...
The County Office Building is located at 110 Court Street between Main
and Liberty Streets.
The Record Room is open weekday business hours, as are most other offices
in the building. The Historian's office hours are 8:30-noon Monday-Friday
or afternoons by appointment.
Mail should be addressed to the Yates County Historian, 110 Court St.,
Penn Yan NY 14527.
The Historian's phone number is 315/536-5147. There is voice mail on
this phone. Fax number is 315/536-5545. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org