Otsego County, New York Genealogy Guide

Otsego County, New York (Map It) was created on February 16, 1791 from Montgomery County. The county was named for a Native American word meaning "place of the rock" .

Otsego County is bordered by Herkimer County (north), Montgomery County (northeast), Schoharie County (east), Delaware County (south), Chenango County (southwest), Oneida County (northwest), Madison County (northwest).

Otsego County Cities and Towns include Oneonta, Burlington, Butternuts, Cherry Valley, Decatur, Edmeston, Exeter, Hartwick, Laurens, Maryland, Middlefield, Milford, Morris, New Lisbon, Oneonta, Otego, Otsego, Pittsfield, Plainfield, Richfield, Roseboom, Springfield, Unadilla, Westford, Worcester. Villages include Cherry Valley, Cooperstown, Gilbertsville, Laurens, Milford, Morris, Otego, Richfield Springs, Unadilla.

Otsego County, New York Courthouse Records

Otsego County, New York Courthouse
Otsego County, NY Courthouse

The Otsego County Courthouse is located in Cooperstown, 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 Otsego 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.

  • Otsego County Clerk has Land Records from 1791, Court Records from 1791 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.
  • Otsego County Surrogate Court Clerk has Probate Records from 1791. 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.
  • Otsego County Treasurer is responsible for the collection of taxes.
  • Otsego 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.

Otsego County, New York Census Records

Otsego County, New York Vital Records

Otsego County, New York Resources

Otsego County, New York External Links

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