The County Clerk's Office since 1993 has made records accessible electronically, and more recently has been back scanning older documents to expand the base of available information.
These electronic records have been and continue to be available in the Clerk's Office at publicly accessible computer terminals. The data (summary information) and images (copies of original documents) have also been available to customers through an intranet subscription.
Upgrades to our technology now allow expanded access to our data on the internet.
By clicking here, you will be linked to this data. You may also log on directly at ecclerk.erie.gov. The data which is available includes deeds and mortgages recorded in Erie County from 1986 forward, as well as other records such as assumed names, corporations and liens from February 21, 1994. Data (summary information) is available at no charge. Images (copies of original documents) involve a $5.00 charge per document. Procedures are explained at the link.
To view a list of document codes and description of thos document types click here:Document Codes And Descriptions
The records recorded and filed at the Erie County Clerk's Office cover a wide variety of matters concerning real estate (such as deeds and mortgages), local businesses ("do business as" certificates and records of corporations), and individual legal transactions (judgements, military discharges). By state law, these records are available for public access and copying.
Birth, death and marriage records are available through the Registrar of Vital Statistics in the city or town where the birth, death or marriage occurred. (The County Clerk's Office maintains some limited birth and marriage records.) You may also contact the New York State Health Department for information on such records:
Specialized reports and data files extracted from our computerized records are available upon written request. Please include any specific criteria such as document type, location, data ranges, and so forth in your request.
Copies of records maintained in the Offices of the Erie County Clerk can be requested. When ordering, please provide the index number of the document, as well as the type of record sought, a filing date, and the name or names of the parties or businesses.
Pursuant 10 NYCRR 35.5, in order to provide you with an uncertified copy of a marriage record or an abstract of a marriage record, you must provide a signed, sworn and notarized statement indicating that you know that the parties to the marriage are deceased and that the information sought is for genealogical research only and will not be used for commercial or profit making purposes. You must also provide payment of the applicable statutory fees. It is recommended that you provide a copy of the each deceased party's death certificate.
All uncertified copies, abstracts or information issued for genealogical research purposes will be clearly marked with the statement "for genealogical purposes only".
At present "Record Requests" can only be accepted by written request and mailed to:
Erie County Clerk's Office
92 Franklin Street
Buffalo, New York 14202
Attn: Record Request
No phone orders will be accepted.
General Rules for Requesting Information
Requests for searches can be done in writing and mailed to the Erie County Clerk's Office, 92 Franklin Street, Buffalo, New York 14202. For additional information, please call (716) 858-8785.
The search request should be accompanied by a check or money order in the appropriate amount made payable to the Erie County Clerk. Payment can also be made at the time copies are picked up at the Clerk's Office.
Copies of records are $0.65 per page, with a minimum charge of $1.30. The minimum charge for a certified copy is $5.20 and covers a document up to 8 pages. Each additional page of a certified document is $0.65 and the maximum charge per document, whether certified or not, is $40. You may find the chart for copy fees by clicking here.
Unless the recording information (book and page that identifies the document) is included in your request, a search charge is incurred. Generally, if the document was recorded after 1988, the search charge will be $5 for every two years, per name, per document type or type of record searched, i.e., deed or naturalization record. If you are requesting a search of a record prior to 1988, the search will be done manually and the charge is $10 for every two years per name, per document type.
If you have included a daytime telephone number, we will contact you when the documents are ready for pick-up. If you have made your request by mail, please include a self-addressed stamped return envelope. Records stored off-site and records of a genealogical or archival nature may take longer to retrieve.
Record Request Form
All out-of-office requests for secure files must be submitted with a Secure Record Request Form. The Form is designed to provide confidentiality and security in cases where personal retrieval of a file is not practical. The Secure File Record Request Form can be downloaded by clicking here.
Information about Particular Record Retrievals
Divorce records are generally only available to the plaintiff, defendant or attorneys of record. A person who is not a party to a divorce may only review the file by obtaining a notarized statement from one of the litigants or with a court order. For Family Court judgments, consult with that Court for relevant information.
The person requesting such records must provide proper identification. In requesting the records, it is helpful to have as much information as possible such as the index number, the type of record sought, a filing date and the name of the parties.
Naturalization records are filed with the Erie County Clerk for the period from 1827 through 1929. The Immigration and Naturalization Service also has records of naturalization, created on and after September 27, 1906. Such records prior to 1900 only contain the name of the applicant, date of naturalization, country of allegiance and names of witnesses. Per the Immigration and Naturalization Service, before 1922, wives and children became citizens through the naturalization of the husband and parent. Some records of arrival from 1891 to 1897 are at the Port of New York and certain other ports. Records of arrival prior to 1891 are maintained by the Central Reference Section, National Archives, Washington, D.C. 20408.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service can be accessed on the internet at: http://www.uscis.gov
Records of persons naturalized by the United States District Court, Western District of New York, may be found at the United States Court House. Questions or comments concerning these records and/or the manner of their storage may be directed to the District Court Clerk, United States District Court for the Western District of New York, United States Court House, 68 Court Street, Buffalo, New York 14202 (phone: 716-551-4211).