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Western New York Historian Project

About the Project

What is the Western New York Historian Project?

In the summer of 2020, we reached out to the village, town, city, and county historians of the eight counties of WNY and asked them to participate in the society's Western New York Historian Project. We did this by emailing or mailing a questionnaire to each of the historians for whom we had an email or address listed. We hoped they would share with us their response to our questions.

What is the purpose of this Project?

 

We wanted to learn from the historians, in their own words, about

  • their job and role as the guardians of their municipality's history

  • the historic records and collections within their village, town, city or county

  • the means they use to provide this information to the community at large

  • their goals, as historian, for the next four years, and

  • how, and in what ways, WNYGS could help them in achieving these goals.

image of Genesee County History Department's Research Library in Batavia New York

Image: Genesee County History Department Research Library (Batavia, NY)

WNY Historian Project Chair:

 

Marie-Cecile Tidwell, PhD 

historianproject@wnygs.org

What have we learned so far?

 

The WNY historians are very dedicated and loyal keepers of history. Some are new to the task, while others have been in their role for as many as 45 years. They often fulfill their duties with little or no pay; even office and storage space can be limited, if any. Some historians work in conjunction with the county and town historical museums and societies, as well as with local government officials. Municipality websites may have sections devoted to local history and often include material presented by their local historians.

What is our goal as a result of the Historian Project?

 

Our goal is to share with our membership what we have learned through this project in order to help them with their family research of their WNY ancestors. It is our hope that in addition to learning more about the history of the eight counties of WNY, our membership, as well as others in the community, will volunteer with these local historians and societies in the preservation of these important and often irreplaceable pieces of family and local history.

The mission of the Western New York Genealogical Society is to preserve public and historical records, and to encourage interest, knowledge, and research in the WNY region's rich genealogical heritage. This is a mission we share with all local historians across WNY.

image of map showing Western New York and county founding dates

 

Events of Interest In Western New York

 

Erie County:

Event: "Family History Day at Concordia"

Location: Concordia Cemetery,

438 Walden Ave. Buffalo NY 14211

Date: Saturday, July 20, 2024

Time: 10am – 2 pm

 

Description:

Come and meet our Volunteer Genealogists and bring your family search questions. Several genealogy groups from the community will also have tables with information available and volunteers will help you locate your ancestors’ grave at Concordia.

Genesee County:

Exhibit: "Heavenly Traditions & Holy Matrimony: Weddings Through Time"

Location: Holland Land Company Office,

131 West Main Street, Batavia, NY 14020

Run Dates: May 16, 2024 to December 31, 2024

Description:

  • "Heavenly Traditions and Holy Matrimony: Weddings Through Time,” is an exhibit that will take you through decades of wedding dress styles, and traditions. This exhibit will show how one of the most sacred events for a couple has changed through decades and even centuries. Various influences and societal changes are at the heart of the traditions and events that hold weddings today. Come view items from the 19th century through the 20th century, that represent different eras and how we have ended up with the weddings that we know today. The exhibit will be on display during normal museum hours.

Click here for full exhibit information

HLOMmatrimony.png

Lecture: Java with Joe E.: Dr. Michael Eula, “Historic Chronicles of Genesee County”"

Location: Holland Land Company Office,

131 West Main Street, Batavia, NY 14020

Date: Thursday, May 23, 2024 9:00 am - 10:30 am

Description:

  • The Holland Land Office Museum welcomes back Genesee County Historian Michael Eula as he shares snippets from his new book, “Historic Chronicles of Genesee County". Admission is free with coffee and pastries. To register, contact the museum at 585-343-4727 or hollandlandoffice@gmail.com.

  • “The dramatic events of American history have left an indelible mark on the life and culture of New York’s Genesee County. The Cold War threat of nuclear destruction led to local preparedness drills in the 1950s, and Genesee classrooms and homes were not spared. Social movements, the Great Depression and New Deal-era policies reshaped how residents viewed the role of government in county life. Genesee women led the charge for women’s suffrage in the twentieth century and helped forge new opportunities for female roles in work and public life. Historian Michael J. Eula presents a variety of historical essays from throughout Genesee County’s past and shows how the nation’s story unfolded from Batavia to Bergen.”

Click here for full exhibit information

 

Society-Published Historian Profiles 

Click title to download and view the PDF.

The Role of a Town Historian: "In Her Own Words"

WNYGS JOURNAL - Vol. 47, No. 4, p. 145-150

By Marie-Cecile O. Tidwell, PhD and

Jeanne Mest, Town of Sheldon Historian

Historic "Gems" of Genesee County

WNYGS JOURNAL - Vol. 48, No. 1, p. 7-12

By Marie-Cecile O. Tidwell, PhD

The Historians of Erie County

WNYGS JOURNAL - Vol. 48, No. 2, p. 52-56

By Marie-Cecile O. Tidwell, PhD

The Historians & Treasures of Cattaraugus County

WNYGS JOURNAL - Vol. 48, No. 3, p. 76-81

By Marie-Cecile O. Tidwell, PhD

Orleans County: Its Historians and Treasures

Western New York Genealogist, Vol. 49, No. 1, p. 13-16

by Marie-Cecile O. Tidwell, PhD 

Wyoming County: Its Historians and Treasures

Western New York Genealogist, Vol. 49, No. 2, p. 35-42

by Marie-Cecile O. Tidwell, PhD 

Allegany County: Its Historians and Treasures 

Western New York Genealogist, Vol. 49, No. 3, p. 52-56

by Marie-Cecile O. Tidwell, PhD

Niagara County: Its Historians and Treasures 

Western New York Genealogist, Vol. 50, No. 1, p. 13-20

by Marie-Cecile O. Tidwell, PhD

Chautauqua County: Its Historians and Treasures 

Western New York Genealogist, Vol. 50, No. 2, p. 32-40

by Marie-Cecile O. Tidwell, PhD

When you become a member, you'll receive this and other helpful content in The Western New York Genealogist.

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