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Our Shared History. Our Shared Purpose.


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 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.


Important COVID-19 Related Updates:

PROGRAM CANCELED: Saturday, March 21, 2020
Genealogical Lineage Societies
with Jeanette Sheliga

PROGRAM CANCELED: Saturday, April 18, 2020
WNYGS Field Trip and Member Meet-Up: Rochester Genealogical Society's “Genealogy in Bloom”
featuring Mary Kircher Roddy, CG

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Monthly Library Research Assistance TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED until April 1, 2020.


Target Counties of Western New York

The Society's Objectives:

  • To collect and preserve all available records relating to early settlers in Western New York.
  • To make these records available to researchers.
  • To further genealogical knowledge and research through education.
  • To foster record preservation by government agencies, organizations, and individuals.


    Recent News, Events, and Updates


    03/15/2020: COVID-19 UPDATES: An Important Message from Society President Bob Balistreri

    12/15/2019: Society's Spring Meeting and Event Schedule Announced

    12/01/2019: Board Announces 2020 Society Board Members

    11/19/2019: Updated Version of WNYGS Library Catalog (2019 Nov) Now Available For View and Download

    09/21/2019: Proposed Changes to Society By-Laws Approved By Vote of the Membership

    09/06/2019 : Proposed By-Laws Amendment for a Consolidated Secretary Position Announced


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    https://twitter.com/WNYGSOutreach/