Basic Research Resources
WHAT WE HAVE ...
The Historian can help researchers looking for information on family
or local history, on specific structures or persons, ethnic groups, commercial
and industrial activities; in fact the list of possible research topics
is almost literally endless. The County holds many public records and reference
materials that can be of great use to researchers. Among them are:
Census: A complete collection of federal
and state censuses from 1790 to 1925, all indexed; some of these indexes
Land records: Deeds, mortgages and survey
maps from 1788 to present, all indexed;
Cemetery records: A computer database
of all known cemetery burials in the County and a few from neighboring
towns in other counties; the database has been published
in a series of six volumes;
Tax rolls: A complete set of existing
town tax rolls, some starting as early as the 1790s, most from the 1860s,
all from the 1890s to present;
Military records: The 1863
Civil War draft roll is extant for all nine towns; so is the 1917
World War I militia roll. Discharge papers recorded with the County
Clerk have been filed by veterans since the 1860s. The County Historian
has some pension rolls as well, from the Revolution and the War of 1812.
Newspapers: Microfilm or original copies
of most Yates County newspapers from 1823 to present; genealogical references
in Penn Yan papers 1823-1867 can be looked up on-line;
Court records: Complete set of records from all county
courts, including the Surrogate Court,
which handles estates and guardianships; and other civil and criminal courts
Immigration and naturalization records:
Complete set of records filed by aliens seeking citizenship, from 1823-1965
when federal courts took over the function from local courts;
Microfilm: A large and growing collection of town
and village records on microfilm, including
minutes, vital records, road surveys, district
school records, and much more.
Reference books: A small collection of local and regional references.
The best 19th century history of Yates County for genealogical purposes
is Stafford Canning Cleveland's History and Directory of Yates County
of 1873. A name index with some subject references
is on line.
These records and others complement the holdings of the County's libraries
and historical societies. Some are
primary government records and will be found nowhere else; many are unduplicated
and may be accessed only in their original form here at the repository.