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Lewis County, New York Genealogy

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Guide to Lewis County, New York ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.

This page describes sources of genealogical data about Lewis County, New York Genealogy families, including links to smaller localities at the bottom of this page. New York-related pages show useful statewide sources. United States pages explain the terminology and contents of genealogical records.


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Lewis County, New York
Map
Map of New York highlighting Lewis County
Location in the state of New York
Map of the U.S. highlighting New York
Location of New York in the U.S.
Facts
Founded March 28, 1805
County Seat Lowville
Courthouse
Ny-lewis-ch.jpg
Address Lewis County Court House
7660 N State St
Lowville, NY 13367
Lewis County Website


Lewis County New York Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Morgan Lewis, the Governor of New York when the county was established. The County is located in the northeast area of the state. [1]

Lewis County, New York Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1847 1880 1847 1907 1805 1805 1663
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1880. General compliance for births by 1915 and deaths by 1890.


Morgan-Lewis.jpg


The county was named after Morgan Lewis 4th governor of the State.

Parent County[edit | edit source]

Created 28 March 1805 from Jefferson and Oneida counties.[3]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For animated maps illustrating New York County boundary changes, "Rotating Formation New York County Boundary Maps" (1683-1915) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag

- 1st Battalion, New York Light Artillery, Batteries D and H.
- 7th Regiment, New York Cavalry, Company E
- 14th Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies F and I.
- 20th Regiment, New York Cavalry, Companies A, E and F.
- 20th Regiment, New York Cavalry, Companies E and F.
- 35th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company B.
- 59th Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies B and G.
- 97th Regiment, New York Infantry, Companies B and H.
- 100th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company B.
- 130th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company I.

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Old Fulton NY Post Cards has the largest online collection of 400 New York 1795-2007 newspapers. The instructions for this quirky site are needed to get the most out of it.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards has the following Lewis County, New York Genealogy newspaper images:

  • Lowville NY Lewis County Republican 1850-1857
  • Lowville NY Northern Journal 1838-1858


Other resources at Northern New York Historical Newspapers:

  • Lewis County Democrat, 1867-1906
  • Lowville Journal and Republican 1860-1940.

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate records including original estates and wills for New York are held in the office of the county Surrogate Court beginning in 1787, or when the county was formed. Prior to 1787, most are housed at the New York State Archives. See New York Probate Records for more information about using probate records.
Content:  Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.
Record types:  Wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distribution.

Probate Petitions

In 1830, state law required the Surrogate Court clerk to issue a probate petition for a deceased individual with property. This petition, unique to New York, usually lists the deceased's death date. It also lists the heirs, their relationship to the deceased, and their residence. Alice Eichholz, Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Pub., 2004), 479. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004. Henry B. Hoff, "Navigating New York Probate," American Ancestors 12 (Fall 2011): 57.


These petitions are often found in the estate files and can be obtained from the county Surrogate Court.



Online Indexes


Online Probate Records

Original county-by-county New York, Probate Records, 1629-1971 are available free online at FamilySearch. To access these records, click Historical Records below, then click "Browse through 1,630,900 images". Then select the county name, and then the probate records and time of interest.

  • Historical Records - Lewis County: Dower records, 1824-1866; Final settlements, 1856-1883; General index, 1805-1940; Guardianship records, 1830-1855; Letters of administration, 1805-1829, 1856-1881; Letters of administration, Letters of testamentary, 1830-1855; Letters of guardianship, 1806-1829; Letters of testamentary, 1856-1881; Sales, 1824-1894; Wills, 1806-1870

Probate Records on Microfilm

Probate records found at Historical Records and described in Online Probate Records above are also found on microfilm as follows:

Additional Probate Indexes and Abstracts

Additional probate indexes or abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Lewis County, New York Genealogy probate wills in online catalogs like:

Repositories[edit | edit source]

Cornell University, Guide to Historical Resources in Lewis County, New York Repositories. ([Ithaca, New York]: New York Historical Resources Center, Olin Library, Cornell University, 1987). At various libraries; FHL Book 974.759 A3. Includes index. Includes references to some family histories and genealogies.

Archives, Libraries and Museums[edit | edit source]

Libraries

Lowville Free Library
5387 Dayan Street
Lowville, New York 13367
Phone: 315-376-2131
Hours: Monday and Friday 1 - 5 pm
Tuesday and Thursday 10 am - 8 pm
Wednesday 12 - 5 pm
Saturday 10 am - 2 pm
Facebook

County Historian's Office[edit | edit source]

Lewis County Historian
Masonic Temple Building
7552 South State Street
P.O. Box 446
Lowville, New York 13367
Phone: 315-376-2825

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.

Courthouses[edit | edit source]

The Lewis County Clerk has birth, death, divorce, court, land, naturalization, miliatry rolls and state census. The Surrogate Court has probate records. For further information about where the records for Lewis County are held, see the Lewis County Courthouse page.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.

Family History Centers (FHCs) are branches of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and are located all over the world. Their goal is to provide resources for family history research.

The main FHC for Lewis County, New York Genealogy is the Lowville New York Family History Center. For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory.

Societies[edit | edit source]
  • Lewis County Historical Society
    7552 South State Street
    Lowville, New York 13367
    Phone: 315-376-8957 or 315-376-2825
    Email: lewiscountyhistoricalsociety@gmail.com

Collection includes local and regional history books, farm and business directories, obituaries, cemetery records, early newspapers on microfilm (182501993), immigration index, photographs, genealogies, historical documents and morel


Member queries; surname research list; online resources; six meetings/year; publication: Tree Talks (At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.7 B2t) quarterly with annual index.
Counties served: Albany, Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Oreleans, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Washington, Wayne, Warren, Wyoming, and Yates.

Social Groups Online[edit | edit source]

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Town Records[edit source]

Town records in New York may include early births, marriages, deaths, divorces, local histories, selected military records, and town meeting minutes. Vital records from 1880/1882 are kept by town and village clerks, although some (Kent’s and Putnam Valley’s) are available in the County Historian’s Office. For further details, try the links to individual town Wiki pages found in Places. See also:

The County Archives has the following records:

  • 031 Petitions, Licenses, and recognizance to sell liquor (Tavern licenses) 1813-1878
  • 139 Monthly Reports of Hunting and fishing licenses, 1908-1938
  • 165 Certificates of Qualifications as Examiner in Lunacy, 1883-1947

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital records of birth, marriage or death were first recorded at the local level in the village clerk, town clerk, or city clerk’s ledger book. If you know where a birth, marriage or death took place, a copy of the certificate or record may be obtained by writing to the town, village or city clerk. See also How to order New York Vital Records or order electronically online.

See the heading Places on this wiki page for links to local community wiki pages and their available records. See New York Vital Records for a discussion about beginning dates and availability of vital records in New York.

Use substitute records for birth, marriage, and death information. These substitute records include Bible Records, Cemeteries, Church Records, Newspapers, and Probate Records.

  • 1856-1954 Northern NY Library Network Newspaper Search. Includes Black River Democrat (1913-1943), Lewis County Banner (1856-1859), Lewis County Democrat (1867-1906), Lowville Herald & Lewis County Democrat (1910-1914), Lowville Journal and Republican (1860-1955), Lowville Leader (1943-1953), Lowville Leader and Lyons-Leyden Ledger (1953-1954), Lowville Times (1876-1884), and Lowville Times Lewis County Independent (1884-1891).
Birth[edit | edit source]

Early births were recorded on the town level and the years vary by town. (List of towns) The New York State Department of Health (state level) began recording births in 1881. Births were not recorded on the county level.

Birth Substitutes

  • See Town Clerks' Registers of Men who Served in the Civil War in the Civil War section of Military for birth information.
Marriage[edit | edit source]

Early marriages were sometimes recorded on the town level and the years vary by town. (List of towns) In 1880, town clerks were to record the marriage and a copy was sent to the New York State Department of Health (state level). Town clerks continue to record marriages. Marriages were recorded by the Lewis County clerk starting in 1908 and go until 1935.

Marriage Substitutes

  • 1800–1855 New York Marriage Notices at Ancestry– ($); Index. This database is a collection of marriage notices published in newspapers around the state. Contains name of bride and groom, marriage date, marriage location, residence, and newspaper found in.
  • 1831-1859 Crawford, Anna E. Marriage and Death Dates from the Black River Gazette of 1831-32 and the Northern Journal of 1838-45, 1847-53, 1855-59. Lowville, N.Y., 1986. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • 1864-5, 1874-5 See Marriage Schedule information in the State Census section of Census for marriage information for 1864-5, and 1874-5.
Divorce[edit | edit source]

Pre–1787

All divorces were granted by the governor or legislature and were very rare.

1787–1847

All divorces were granted by the court of chancery. These records are found in the New York State Archives or for the New York City area at the New York County Clerk's office.These divorces were granted only on the grounds of adultery.

1847–present

All divorces are handled by the county Supreme Court where the divorce was granted. Divorce files in New York are sealed for 100 years. Contact the County Clerk for information about divorce records.

Divorce judgment papers often include date and place of the marriage and the names and birthdates of any children. Local newspapers may publish notices of divorce actions.

Death[edit | edit source]

Early deaths were recorded on the town level and the years vary by town. (List of towns) The New York State Department of Health (state level) began recording deaths in 1881. Deaths were not recorded on the county level.

Death Indexes

Death Substitutes

  • 1831-1859 Crawford, Anna E. Marriage and Death Dates from the Black River Gazette of 1831-32 and the Northern Journal of 1838-45, 1847-53, 1855-59. Lowville, N.Y., 1986. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • 1849-50, 1859-60, 1869-70, 1879-80 See Mortality Schedule information in the Federal Census section of Census for death information.
  • See Town Clerks' Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War in the Civil War section of Military for death information.
  • 1864-5, 1874-5 See Mortality Schedule information in the State Census section of Census for death information for 1864-5, and 1874-5.

Additional Resources

Additional resources for Lewis County births, marriages and deaths may be found in the New York, Lewis– Vital Records topic page of the FamilySearch Catalog . Copies of books found in the FamilySearch Catalog may be found in WorldCat catalog and ordered from your local library through interlibrary loan. Explore how to search the FamilySearch Catalog and the Worldcat Online Catalog.

Voting Registers[edit | edit source]

Lewis County New York Places[edit | edit source]

Lewis County New York Genealogy Websites[edit | edit source]

Lewis County New York Genealogy References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Lewis, New York" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_County,_New_York accessed 20 Nov 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Lewis County, New York. Page 488-493 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 490-492.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 489. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. About Abstracts of Wills, Admins. and Guardianships in NY State, 1787-1835 at New York Ancestors, accessed 8 December 2011, http://newyorkancestors.org/.
  5. Central New York Genealogical Society at http://cnygs.org/(accessed 15 Sep 2018).