Genealogy

The Erie County Clerk's Office keeps microfilm for certain genealogical records available for viewing in our Basement Record Room located at 92 Franklin Street during regular office hours. 

Birth Records

Birth Records from September 17, 1881 – December 15, 1913 for the City of Buffalo ONLY; Delayed Birth Certificates; No Index available. You must come in person to research the microfilmed records in the Clerk’s Office, as there are no available personnel to perform this service. Birth Records may also be researched at the Town or City in which the person was born: For those born in the City of Buffalo, a request may be made by contacting the City of Buffalo, Vital Records, 1302 City Hall, 65 Niagara Square, Buffalo NY 14202.

Birth Records may also be obtained from the State of New York, Department of Health. Write to Vital Records Section, Certification Unit, PO Box 2602, Albany, New York 12220-2602.  

Census

For years 1850, 1855, 1860, 1865, 1870, 1875, 1880, 1892, 1905, 1915, and 1925. To search the census records, you must know the individual’s name, address, election district, and ward. The books are kept by election ward, then district and block, street name and house number. You must come in person to research the microfilmed records, as there are no available personnel to perform this service.

Census records may also be search at the Buffalo and Erie County Library, Central Branch.

Death & Burial

These records are not available at the Erie County Clerk’s Office. You may obtain a Certificate of Death by contacting the City or Town Clerk’s Office where the death occurred. Buffalo City Hall has some death records from 1886. The address for your request to the City of Buffalo is Vital Records, 1302 City Hall, 65 Niagara Square, Buffalo, New York 14202.

Burial records may be obtained by writing the cemetery in which the deceased was interred.

Naturalization Records

The County of Erie has naturalization records covering from 1827 to 1929. for the Supreme, Superior and County Courts.  Records prior to 1900 list only the name of the applicant, date of naturalization, country of allegiance, and names of witnesses. Some records contain name and residence, age, date and place of birth, physical description, spouse and child(ren), last foreign residence, when and how the immigrant entered the United States (vessel, bridge, etc). Prior to 1922, wife and child(ren) automatically became citizens through the naturalization of the husband and parent.

Supreme Court naturalization records are now on the computer. Some records of arrival between 1891 and 1897 can be researched at the Port of New York or certain other Ports of Entry. For records of arrival prior to 1891, write to the Central Reference Section, National Archives, Washington DC 20408, or go to www.archives.gov.

Records of persons naturalized by the United States District Court, Western District of New York are located at the United States Court House, 2 Niagara Square, Buffalo, New York 14202.

Records of persons naturalized between September 27, 1906 and April 1, 1956 may be obtained from the Immigration and Naturalization Service at http://www.uscis.gov by searching “Genealogy” or by emailing: Genealogy.USCIS@dhs.gov. General information may be obtained by writing to: Information and Customer Service Division MS 2260, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, 11 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20529-2260.

Deeds

From early 1800s. You must come in person to research by Grantor or Grantee name, as there are no available personnel to perform this service.

Marriage Records

From 1878 to April 29, 1935. All other records can be obtained from the City or Town Clerk’s Office where the marriage license was purchased. For Buffalo City records, write to Buffalo City Hall, Marriage Records, 65 Niagara Square, Buffalo, New York 14202.

The Marriage Record will contain the names of the husband and wife, officiate, witnesses, Affidavit for License to Marry that contains the following information: place of residence, age, race, occupation, wife’s maiden name and birth country, number of previous marriages, name(s) of former spouse.  

Divorce Records

Are recorded at the Erie County Clerk’s Office from the early 1800s to the present. Divorce records are sealed for 100 years pursuant to New York State Law. Within the 100 years the divorce documents can be obtained only by parties to the action or their respective attorneys. After the 100-year period, any parties may obtain these records.

Divorce Certificates may also be obtained from the State of New York, Department of Health. Write to Vital Records Section, Certification Unit, PO Box 2602, Albany, New York 12220-2602.

All uncertified copies, abstracts or information issued for genealogical research purpose will be clearly marked with statement: “For genealogical purposes only.”

Military Discharges

From March 8, 1919 to current. These records are continuously accepted for recording. The honorable separation from or service in the armed forces of the United States of any veteran may be recorded in any one county, in the  office of the county clerk, and when so recorded shall constitute notice to all public officials of the facts set forth therein. It shall be the duty of the county clerk to record the original certificate upon presentation thereof without the payment of any fee. Records may NOT be searched by the public. The record contains the name and address of the person discharged; Branch Service Serial Number; grade and division of service; date and place of separation; date and place of birth; military history (date of induction, date of active service; battle and campaigns; decorations and citations); immunization records; reason for separation; pay data; and insurance notice. A certified copy of these records can be furnished without charge to the veteran, or parent, spouse, dependent or child of the veteran,  No filed certificate or any information contained therein, shall be disclosed to any person except the veteran or parent, spouse, dependent or child of the veteran, representative of the estate of the deceased veteran or a public official, acting within the scope of his or her employment, unless such disclosure is authorized in writing by the veteran.