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Our Shared History. Our Shared Purpose.


WNYGS logo Eight Counties of Western New York

Western New York’s strategic location on the Great Lakes has made it both a terminus and gateway of migration. First home to Native American communities, the region was later settled primarily by New Englanders following the Revolutionary War. The opening of the Erie Canal provided an easy route west, attracting the first of many waves of immigrants from Europe. Many people remained in the area and have been followed by immigrants from around the world.


The Society's Mission and Objectives:


Founded in 1974, The Western New York Genealogical Society's mission is to help preserve and encourage interest in the rich genealogical heritage of the eight counties of Western New York that were part of the original Holland Land Company Purchase - Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming. Our objectives are to:

  • facilitate the collection and preservation of genealogical records relating to the history and peoples of Western New York's eight counties;
  • make these records available to researchers;
  • further genealogical knowledge and research through education; and
  • foster record preservation by government agencies, organizations, and individuals.


    You're Invited to Our First Program of the New Year!

    Saturday, January 21, 2023
    Virtual (Zoom) Member Program
    "Mysterious Codes: Passenger Manifests Letters and Numbers” with Christine Cohen
    Free - Advanced registration required.


    Helping You Document and Explore Your Family History


    Monthly Library Collection Assistance
    The Society's volunteer schedule has been announced for January.

    Sat., 1/14 1-5 p.m.
    Thurs., 1/19 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
    Sat., 1/28 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.


    Click the link above for complete program details.
    Location: Buffalo & Erie County Public Library - Central Library

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