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Open Access Databases and Websites
Access to Archival Databases (AAD)
Online access to a selection of NARA records, covering a wide variety of civilian and military functions.
BillionGraves is the world's largest resource for searchable GPS cemetery data.
Provides a directory of links to many Buffalo-themed websites. Included are links to books, humor, old Buffalo businesses, pictures, maps, genealogy helps, local links, vital records, and several other miscellaneous links about Buffalo, New York.
Census records are among one of the best and most often utilized tools for genealogy research. Locating free census records online can present a challenge. With a bit of patience, you will find thousands of census links to free census transcriptions, census indexes, and census images in this categorized directory. Includes records for the U.S., United Kingdom, and Canada which have been categorized all the way down to the county level. Does NOT include the 1950 U.S. census.
Ellis Island Immigration Records
Website of The Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation which includes database of passenger records.
Comprehensive search tool from the Church of Latter Day Saints. Their search engine will search Ancestral Files, the International Genealogical Index (IGI), Pedigree Resource Files, and websites. You must create a free account to use.
Find A Grave
A search tool for burial and final disposition information. Some listings include biographical information.
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Genealogy Page
Provides information about the kinds of records held by the US National Archives, including information about US military records, census, immigration, and naturalization records. Some materials are now online such as the WWII Army Enlistment Records, the Dawes Rolls of American Indians, and the arrivals in NY during the Irish famine.
Nationwide Gravesite Locator
Created by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, this resource searches burial locations of veterans and their family members in VA National Cemeteries, state veterans cemeteries, various other military and Department of Interior cemeteries, and for veterans buried in private cemeteries when the grave is marked with a government grave marker.
This website provides full access to the American 1950 census images, including population schedules, enumeration district maps, and enumeration district descriptions.
A website for finding obituaries and performing cemetery searches,
The supporting organization for thousands of surname discussion lists. Features many primary documents that have been transcribed or scanned by volunteers and made searchable such as obituaries, county histories, tax lists, etc.
USGenWeb was established in 1996 by a group of genealogists who shared a desire to create online centers for genealogical research. Includes query boards, listings of local sources for records, county and state histories, online genealogy books, research tips, maps, and links to helpful internet resources.
Vital records are birth, marriage, divorce, and death records kept by the government. These records provide names, dates, places, and relationships—information that uniquely identifies a person. Vital records are primary sources and the information on them is usually correct. Vital records provide a strong foundation for building a valid family history.
Finding New York Birth, Marriage, and Death Records
A guide from the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society.
Genealogical Research Death Index: Beginning 1957
The Genealogical Research Death Index assists individuals with locating New York State (NYS) death records that fall within defined genealogy years, exclusive of New York City recorded death records. This Index contains information on decedents, parents, date of death, gender, age at death, and NYS file number that will allow the public to search for individuals on a variety of genealogy criteria if on file for at least 50 years.
New York Deaths & Burials
Name index to death and burial records from the state of New York, 1795-1952, from Family Search.
New York Marriages
Name index to marriage records from the state of New York, 1686-1980, through Family Search.
New York State Death Index
The New York State Death Index from 1880 to 1956 on the Internet Archive.
New York State Vital Records (except New York City)
The New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Records provides birth and marriage records from 1881, death records from 1880, and divorce records from 1963. Divorce records are maintained for the entire state. New York State Vital Records does not maintain records filed in Albany, Buffalo, or Yonkers prior to 1914. New York State does file birth records for Queens and Richmond counties for the years 1881 through 1897. Anyone may obtain records of births that occurred at least 75 years ago and records of marriages and deaths that occurred at least 50 years ago. Access to more recent records is restricted to immediate family members with proof of identity.
Online Searchable Death Indexes and Records
This website is a directory of links to websites with online death indexes, listed by state and county. Included are death records, death certificate indexes, death notices and registers, obituaries, wills and probate records, and cemetery burials.
Information on how to obtain vital records (such as birth certificates, death records, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, naturalization, adoption, and land records) from each state, territory, and county of the United States.
Good Places to Start
Internet resources can give you clues for researching your family tree. Remember to verify everything you find on the the Internet and evaluate your sources just like you would for any other website You can find many clues to your family's ancestors and even original documents. Search for stories, maps, photos, and other facts to make your research interesting.
It's also important to recognize that much family history is also not available online but located within the collections of a variety of historical repositories, like small historical societies and public libraries. Oftentimes, your research will require you to contact one of these places and request information. Knowing that, start your research early if you have a deadline.
New York Genealogical & Biographical Society
The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, a non-profit educational institution, was founded in 1869. Its purpose is to collect and make available information on genealogy, biography, and history, particularly as it relates to the people of New York State.
Niagara County Genealogical Society
The Niagara County Genealogical Society is a non-profit educational group which advances the study of genealogy among its members and the general public. They are located on the second floor of the Niagara County Historical Society Museum.
Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness
Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) is a global volunteer organization. Their purpose is to assist others in research
Land records are a valuable source of genealogical and historical information. In addition to researching the history of a property, land records documenting the sale and ownership of land may cite the kinship between parties or provide other vital records information. Land records may infer the approximate date when a person moved to a town or when a building was erected. They may also include the residence of the buyer.
New York State Land Records, 1630-1975
This collection from Family Search contains land and property records from the New York Land Office and county courthouses. The records include land grants, patents, deeds, and mortgages.
General Land Office Records
Resource from the Bureau of Land Management which provides access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States, including image access to more than five million Federal land title records issued between 1788 and the present. There are also images of survey plats and field notes, land status records, and control document index records.
These sites give general information on searching for family information from various churches and religions.
Niagara County Community College. Henrietta G. Lewis Library. 3111 Saunders Settlement Rd., Sanborn, NY 14132 | 716-614-6786