Tompkins County, New York Genealogy Guide2016-06-15T18:29:09+00:00

Tompkins County, New York Genealogy Guide

Tompkins County, New York (Map It) created on April 7 1817 from Cayuga County and Seneca County. The county was named in honor of Daniel D. Tompkins (1774–1825), the 6th Vice President of the United States.

Tompkins County is bordered by Cayuga County (north), Cortland County (northeast), Tioga County (southeast),Chemung County (southwest), Schuyler County (west), Seneca County (northwest) .

Tompkins County Cities and Towns include Town of Caroline, containing Brooktondale, Caroline Center, Caroline Depot, Slaterville, Slaterville Springs, Speedsville; Town of Danby, containing, Danby, West Danby; Town of Dryden (town), containing, Village of Dryden, Village of Freeville, Etna, Varna, West Dryden; Town of Enfield; Town of Groton, containing, Village of Groton; City of Ithaca; Town of Ithaca, containing, Village of Cayuga Heights, East Ithaca, Forest Home, Northeast Ithaca, Northwest Ithaca, South Hill; Town of Lansing, Village of Lansing; Town of Newfield, containing, Newfield Hamlet; Town of Ulysses, containing, Hamlet of Podunk, Village of Trumansburg.

Tompkins County, New York Courthouse Records

Tompkins County, New York Courthouse
Tompkins County, NY Courthouse

The Tompkins County Courthouse is located in Ithaca, 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 Tompkins 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.

  • Tompkins 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.
  • Tompkins 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.
  • Tompkins County Treasurer is responsible for the collection of taxes.
  • Tompkins 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.
  • Tompkins County Health Deptment

Tompkins County, New York Census Records

Tompkins County, New York Vital Records

Tompkins County, New York Resources

Tompkins County, New York External Links

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