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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.


    WNYGS Fall Lunch Lecture
    Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs, Deputy County Clerk (Legal) Patricia Fulwiler,
    and Erie County Historian Douglas Kohler
    from 10:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
    at Michael's Banquet Facility, 4885 Southwestern Blvd, Hamburg, New York 14075

    Click here for complete event information.

    Recent News and Events

    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

    11/21/2015: WNYGS Announces Newly Elected Board Members

    11/01/2015: WNYGS Encourages Continued Participation in the Library of Congress's Veterans History Project

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