Cattaraugus County, New York Genealogy Guide

Cattaraugus County, New York (Map It) was created on March 11, 1808 from Genessee County. The county was named for a Seneca word meaning "bad smelling banks", referring to the odor of natural gas which leaked from local rock formations .

Cattaraugus County is bordered by Erie County (north), Wyoming County (northeast), Allegany County (east), McKean County, Pennsylvania (southeast), Warren County, Pennsylvania (southwest),Chautauqua County (west).

Cattaraugus County Cities and Towns include Olean, Salamanca, Allegany, Ashford, Carrollton, Coldspring, Conewango, Dayton, East Otto, Ellicottville, Farmersville, Franklinville, Freedom, Great Valley, Hinsdale, Humphrey, Ischua, Leon, Little Valley, Lyndon, Machias, Mansfield, Napoli, New Albion, Olean, Otto, Perrysburg, Persia, Portville, Randolph, Red House, Salamanca, South Valley, Yorkshire. Villages include Allegany, Cattaraugus, Delevan, East Randolph, Ellicottville, Franklinville, Gowanda, Limestone, Little Valley, Perrysburg, Portville, Randolph, South Dayton. Hamlets include Lime Lake-Machias, St. Bonaventure, Weston Mills.

Cattaraugus County, New York Courthouse Records

Cattaraugus County, New York Courthouse
Cattaraugus County, NY Courthouse

The Cattaraugus County Courthouse is located in Little Valley, New York. 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. Learn More About State of New York Court, Tax, Land and Probate Records.

Please contact the each clerk's department to confirm mailing address, hours, fees and other information before visiting or requesting information because contact information sometimes changes.  The Clerk's Office DOES NOT DO RESEARCH.  The documents are available to interested parties, barring confidential issues.  Most staff will assist people in finding the materials, but it is up to the individual to do the research.

The following dates indicates what vital, land, probate, and court records are in Cattaraugus county. The date listed for each category of record is usually the earliest registration filed. The earliest date does not indicate that there are numerous records for that year and does not mean that all such events were actually registered. Cattaraugus had no county government until 1817. Its records were first kept in Buffalo, but they were destroyed in 1813 when the British burned the courthouse. In 1812 Cattaraugus was annexed to Allegany County, and from 1814 - 17 county records for the eastern towns of Olean and Ischua were kept in Belmont and for the western town of Perry, in Buffalo.

  • Cattaraugus County Clerk has Land Records from 1817, Court Records from 1817 and 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. The 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.
  • Cattaraugus County Surrogate Court Clerk has Probate Records from 1817. The 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.
  • Cattaraugus County Treasurer is responsible for the collection of taxes.
  • Cattaraugus 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.

Cattaraugus County, New York Census Records

Cattaraugus County, New York Vital Records

Cattaraugus County, New York Resources

Cattaraugus County, New York External Links