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Our Shared History. Our Shared Purpose.


Western New York’s strategic location on the Great Lakes has made it both the terminus and the 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 remained in the area and have been followed by immigrants from all over the world.

The Western New York Genealogical Society was founded in 1974 to help preserve and encourage interest in the area's rich genealogical heritage. Our work focuses on the eight counties of Western New York - Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Wyoming, Orleans, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany - that were originally part of the Holland Land Company Purchase.


Target Counties of Western New York

The Society's Objectives:

  • To collect and preserve available records of early settlers in the eight Western New York counties.
  • To make these records available for research.
  • To further genealogical knowledge and research.
  • To foster awareness of record preservation by government agencies, organizations, and individuals.

    Recent News and Events


    11/01/2016: Honor A Veteran: WNYGS encourages the Public to participate in the Library of Congress' Veterans History Project.

    06/01/2016: WNYGS named as a sponsor of the 2016 New York State Family History Conference in Syracuse.

    02/06/2016: The Society and its members' efforts featured in the Buffalo News


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