Finding Aids

Special Collections and Subjects at the Livingston County Historian’s Office

Note: Use of these collections is for serious research and by advance request and permission of the Livingston County Historian’s Office. Use of some documents may be restricted due to condition or confidentiality. 

To arrange to conduct research with a collection, contact Holly Watson, Livingston County Historian, by mail at: 5 Murray Hill Drive, Mount Morris, NY, by phone at (585) 243-7955 or e-mail the Livingston County Historian.


Series – A record type by which materials are defined; ex. books, calendars, or newspapers.

Collection – A group of records, which may comprise many different types of materials, generated or compiled by an entity and kept together to preserve contextual information.

Subjec– An area of topical interest that may involve records from several series or collections; ex. World War One, a local institution, or the American Red Cross.Image of The Letter Box newspaper

Click to jump to a section:


Cemetery Records

Diary Collections

Individual Collections and Subjects

Military Collections and Subjects

Organization, Business, Government, and Institution Collections and Subjects   




Almanac Series

Extent                   .20 linear feet

Date Range         1817-1892 (bulk 1857-1878)

Abstract           This series comprises almanacs with subjects ranging from agriculture, mechanics, and medicine to general information. The almanacs are primarily from the northeastern United States, including New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, with several from Ohio. Two of special note focus on abolition and temperance.

Almanac Series Finding Aid

Autograph Books Series

Extent                   .5 cubic feet, 19 items

Date Range         1852-1928 (bulk 1878-1890)

Abstract               This series includes personal autograph books, mainly those of young people in Livingston County, New York. They are inscribed with signatures of friends, classmates, and relatives, sometimes with small notes, drawings, or poems. Most are typical of the era, though the series also includes a birthday book and a travel diary, which belonged to Clara F. Mann, suffragist and political figure.

Autograph Books Series Finding Aid


Glass Negatives Series

 Extent                   7.9 linear feet of records; 114 digital images

Date Range         c. 1890s – c. 1920s

Abstract             This series comprises glass negatives that have been collected by the Livingston County Historian’s Office over the years. Some items have lost their provenance, but there are several known collections. These include the Daniel A. Fink (1938-1995) Collection from local author and architecture professor, Daniel Fink; the Jason Sanford Hewitt (1862-1960) Collection, by Portage photographer Jason Hewitt; and the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary Glass Negatives Collection, along with other images relating to the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary at Lima, New York, with estimated attribution to Professor Adam Clarke Works. Two collections of digital copies of glass negatives attributed to Floyd G. Ingraham (1881-1920) and the Johnson Brothers of Springwater, Livingston County, New York, are also included and portray scenes primarily from Springwater and Hemlock, Livonia, New York.

Glass Negatives Series Finding Aid


Naturalization Records Series

Extent                  10.5 cubic feet

Date Range         1818-1956

Abstract           This collection comprises records relating to immigration and naturalization in Livingston County, New York. The contents span from just prior to the formation of the Livingston County in 1821 until 1956. The collection includes original declarations of intention, naturalization orders, petitions, certificates of arrival, and naturalization certificates, and indexes to some of these records. Naturalization papers are indexed by name on the County Historian's Record Index

Naturalization Series Finding Aid


Scrapbooks Series

Extent                   Approx. 18.2 cubic feet

Date Range         c. 1860s – 2017 (bulk 1880-1980)

Abstract             This series comprises primarily personal scrapbooks with a few volumes created by organizations, institutions, or businesses. The personal scrapbooks are generally for the purpose of collecting mementos specific to an individual’s life, such as programs, clippings, drawings, photographs, and small items, or recording events of the times, such as through local or national newspaper clippings. The few volumes by organizations and other entities chronicle single events or mementos from various happenings over a period of time. Besides the individuals’ scrapbooks, entities and subjects represented include cinema in Geneseo and Mt. Morris, Livingston County, New York, the Livingston County Home Bureau, the American Red Cross, the Yellow Front Pharmacy in Geneseo, and the Tuberculosis Hospital in Mt. Morris.

Scrapbooks Series Finding Aid

Vital Records Series

Extent                     .5 linear foot, some digital records

Date Ranges          1847-1850; 1908-1935

Abstract                This collection comprises birth, death, and marriage records, marriage certificates, and indices for marriages executed in Livingston County, New York. The early vital records, between 1846-1849, were created by the town clerks of Caledonia, Conesus, Geneseo, Groveland, Leicester, Lima, Livonia, Mt. Morris, North Dansville, Nunda, Portage, Sparta, Springwater, West Sparta, and York, Livingston County. They give basic information for births, marriages, and deaths, sometimes including residences, marital status, ages, occupations, causes of death, and parents’ names.

The bound marriage records from 1908-1935 were created by the Livingston County Clerk. Two of the bound volumes are only indices; one only records the names of bride and groom and provides no date of marriage. The other provides the names of both parties and the date of marriage but no other information. The three volumes containing full certificates provide the vital and other information for the bride and groom.

Vital Records Series Finding Aid


Cemetery Records Collections

County Historian’s Cemetery Survey (1944-1947) Collection

 Extent                   .83 linear feet

 Date Range         c. 1928-1947

Abstract               This collection comprises original handwritten and typed cemetery survey sheets created and/or collected by the Livingston County Historian’s Office between about 1944 and 1947. They encompass all known cemeteries in Livingston County, New York at the time, and record all legible stones in those cemeteries bearing dates between about the 1790s and 1885, with occasional entries of veterans’ gravestones through the 1930s. Several lists copied from 1928 D.A.R. inscription lists are also included. All sheets have been digitized.

County Historian's Cemetery Survey (1944-1947) Collection Finding Aid


Douglas Morgan Digital Photograph Cemetery Survey

Extent                   55,770 digital images

Date Range           2004-2006

Abstract             This collection comprises digital images created by Douglas Morgan, Lima Town Historian, between about 2004 and 2006 of gravestones in cemeteries across Livingston County, New York. It represents a relatively thorough survey of marked burials from Avon through York. There are a number of old or non-extant burial sites that were not photographed, including Pennycook Cemetery in Portage. The collection also includes only a few images from Greenmount Cemetery in North Dansville. Indexes are available and digital copies can be requested at no charge.    

Douglas Morgan Digital Photograph Cemetery Survey Finding Aid           


Diary Collections

Diary of Maggie Adelia Crine, 1882

 Extent                         1 volume, approx.. 150 pages, 3” x 5”

 Date Range                January – December 1882

 Abstract                      This collection comprises one diary for 1882 written by Maggie Adelia Crine of Wayland, Steuben County, New York. She began working at Our Home on the Hillside (also known as the Jackson Sanitorium) in Dansville, Livingston County, New York, in December 1881 and wrote each day through 1882. The entries are brief and generally comment on work, handiwork projects, and people she spent time with. Occasionally, her family is mentioned, as well as the deaths of several friends in the vicinity of Wayland and Dansville.

Diary of Maggie A. Crine (Full Transcription)

Diary of Maggie Adelia Crine Finding Aid

John Milroy Donnan (1858-1939) Diary Collection

 Extent                   .3 cubic feet       

Date Range         1893-1906

Abstract             This collection comprises a short series of diaries by John Milroy Donnan of York, Livingston County, New York. The diaries are typical of the era, being small with brief entries related to agriculture and farm laborers.

John Milroy Donnan Collection Finding Aid

James B. Harrison (1838-1924) Diary Collection

Extent                   1.5 linear feet; 22 diaries

Date Range         1905-1930

Abstract               This collection comprises diaries created by James B. Harrison of Groveland and his second wife, Mrs. Katie M. (Bailor) Harrison (1875-1930). They deal with everyday rural life and detail purchases and payments made and received. Family members and acquaintances are mentioned frequently.

James B. Harrison Collection Finding Aid


William Hartman (1820-1890) Diary Collection

 Extent                  1.5 cubic feet; 49 diaries

Date Range         1860-1932

Abstract           This collection comprises diaries of William Hartman and son William H. Hartman of Dansville, Livingston County, New York. The collection includes personal diaries about farm work and life, personal financial accounts, and receipts.

William Hartman Collection Finding Aid


 Peabody Diary Collection            

Extent                 1.5 linear feet

Date Range        1807-c. 1956 (bulk 1850s-1890)

Abstract             William Peabody (1786-1859), his son Sheffield Winslow Peabody (1830-1914), and grandson George Lincoln Peabody (1866-1937) of Canadice, Ontario County, and Springwater, Livingston County, New York, left behind a collection of daybooks, autograph books, and diaries that characterize rural life in the 19th century. The materials chronicle daily chores and projects, people the Peabodys visited and worked with, and itemized purchases for everyday life. Belle Ray Peabody (1874-1939), Mary M. Robinson Peabody (1846-1913) and others are also represented through an autograph book and several photographs that enhance the diaries, which are the core of the collection. All diaries are transcriptions and have been indexed.

Peabody Diary Collection Finding Aid

Peabody Diary Collection Name Index


George and Sara Penning Diaries Collection

Extent                            2 cubic feet

 Date Range                1926-1960

Abstract                     This collection comprises the diaries kept by George and Sara S. Penning from Conesus, Livingston County, NY. The diaries follow the couple’s lives in the local community beginning in middle age. The earliest diaries kept by George Penning date from 1926-1928 and mention his first wife Onolee (Shafer) Penning (1882–1930) and then later his courting of and marriage to his second wife, Sara (Sliker) Smith Penning, in 1935. Both authors in the collection were very thorough in their entries, including details about their neighbors and friends within the Conesus community. There are also frequent entries regarding world events, such as World War II, the Lindbergh kidnapping, and the Cold War.

George and Sara Penning Diaries Collection Finding Aid

Kimball W. Russ (1829-1902) Diary Collection

Extent                   .9 cubic feet, 37 diaries

Date Range         1857-1902

Abstract               This collection comprises diaries by Kimball W. Russ of York, Livingston County, New York. They record daily agricultural and personal activities. The series is fairly complete, with some gaps.

Kimball W. Russ Collection Finding Aid


 Stephen B. Shull (1885-1985) Diary Collection

 Extent                   .75 cubic feet, 60 diaries

Date Range         1917-1984

Abstract               This collection comprises diaries of Stephen Bennett Shull of Dansville, Livingston County, New York. Except for a gap between 1928 and 1930, there is a personal diary for every year between 1923 and 1984. The collection also includes two personal finance books.

Stephen B. Shull Collection Finding Aid

Lucius Warner (1811-1882) Family Diary Collection

Extent                   2.25 cubic feet, 54 diaries

Date Range         1860-1920

Abstract               This collection comprises diaries of Lucius Warner and son Lucius W. Warner of Geneseo, Livingston County, New York. The collection includes personal diaries about farm work and life; also included are a series of field books created by Lucius W. Warner when he served as Assessor for the Town of Geneseo. The collection also includes various financial records and papers relating to the Frank Barber estate.

Lucius Warner Collection Finding Aid


Individual Collections

Irene A. Beale Collection

Extent                   1 linear foot

Date Range         1980-1994

Abstract             This collection comprises papers, notes, and research materials collected and created by Irene A. Beale of Geneseo, Livingston County, New York, for the purpose of writing several local history books, including Genesee Valley Women, Genesee Valley People, Genesee Country Senecas, and Genesee Valley Events. The papers include notes, brochures, pamphlets, receipts, bibliographies, correspondence, and some excerpts from published books.

Irene A. Beale Collection Finding Aid


William A. Brodie (1841-1917) Collection

Extent                   9.2 cubic feet

Date Range         Roughly 1830-1980 (bulk 1860-1910)

Abstract           The collection relates to the Brodie and Coddington families of Geneseo, New York, particularly William A. Brodie, former County Treasurer and Grand Master of Masons in New York State, and his descendants. Includes New York State Masons reports and correspondence, Statue of Liberty cornerstone ceremony documents, Geneseo Normal School documents, Geneseo Presbyterian Sunday school lessons and photographs, Wadsworth Estate documents, County Treasurer reports, and William A. Brodie's personal and business correspondence and documents. Holdings also include family members’ diaries, correspondence, photographs, clippings, programs, and accounts.


Charles R. Cameron (1875-1946) Papers

Extent                   2.5 cubic feet

Date Range         1901-1936

Abstract               Charles R. Cameron, born in York, Livingston County, worked about forty years in the American Foreign Service, acting as Consulate in South America and Consul General in Japan, and Superintendent of Schools in the Philippines. Items in this collection were created by Charles R. Cameron and associates through correspondence and normal course of business.  Records were used to document Cameron’s work abroad, and contain correspondence, clippings, reports, maps, photo albums, and journals.  Scope of records includes Cameron’s work in Chile, Cuba, Sao Paulo in Brazil, the Philippine Islands, and Japan.

Captain Festus Cone (1784-1875) Family Papers

Extent                   .25 linear foot; 179 items

Date Range         1833-1937 (bulk 1837-1849)

Abstract           This collection was created and collected mainly by Captain Festus Cone (1784-1875) and Mrs. Elizabeth Lewis Cone (1785-1875) of Moscow, Leicester, Livingston County, New York. A significant portion of the correspondence is from their daughter and son-in-law, Elisabeth L. Cone Bolton (1819-1846) and Thomas Bolton (1809-1871), who settled in Cleveland, Ohio. There are also many letters to and from other Cone and Bolton relatives, including Bartlett L. Cone, George F. Cone, Cornelia A. Cone, James H. Bolton, and other friends, associates, and relatives. These include Joel Hall of Chatham, Connecticut, and Mary Cone Bolton Olmstead (1867-1949).

Captain Festus Cone (1784-1875) Family Papers Finding Aid

Paul T. Culley Genealogy Papers

Extent                    .75 cubic feet

Date Range            1790-1980 (bulk 1810-1925)

Abstract            This collection was created by Paul T. Culley of Alfred, New York, during personal genealogy research. Records contain primarily census transcriptions from western New York counties, with some scattered correspondence, newspaper clippings, copies of published genealogies, photographs, and several original documents.  Also included are census records from Michigan, A Record of the Descendants of John Baldwin of Stonington, CT, by John D. Baldwin (1880), and “Descendants of John North.” Most surnames have one to several pages, but the following are more abundant: Booher, Carnes, Cully / Culley, Neff, Plumb, Shay/Shays, Weaver, and Woodruff.

Paul T. Culley Genealogy Papers Finding Aid


Dailey-Logan Photograph Album

Extent                   .5 linear feet, 120 items

Date Range         c. 1860s – c. 1960s

Abstract              This collection comprises 120 items from a large photograph album. Most are photographs and tintypes, while there are a few pieces of ephemera, including newspaper clippings, a calling card, and correspondence. The collection comprises photographs of members of the Logan, Dailey, Nixon, Gilbert, McIlravy, and Wooster families of Mt. Morris and Leicester, Livingston County, New York, as well as extended family.

Dailey-Logan Photographs Finding Aid


Lockwood R. Doty Collection 

Extent                   2.5 cubic feet

Date Range         1841 – 1930 (bulk 1919 – 1930)

Abstract           Collection was created by Hon. Lockwood R. Doty and his associates through correspondence. Doty was former county judge, president of the Livingston County Historical Society, and first Livingston County Historian. Records were used to administrate and plan events held regionally and in Livingston County, including the Geneseo Celebration of WWI in 1919, Boyd and Parker Celebration in 1927, Sesquicentennial Celebration of the American Revolution in 1929, placement of historical markers, straightening of the Canaseraga Creek, a proposed county tuberculosis hospital, writing of the History of the Genesee Valley, and other projects. Records contain correspondence, newspaper clippings, reports, maps, blueprints, ephemera, and administrative, financial, and legal documents.

Lockwood R. Doty Collection Finding Aid


Faulkner Home Collection

Extent                         164 MB (digital)

Date Range              1852-2023

Abstract                    This collection comprises images and research accumulated by Alice Burdick about the history of her home located at 37 West Avenue, Dansville, Livingston County, New York. Contents include several photographs showing the interior and exterior of the home, notes detailing the construction of the home, and family research on the prominent Dr. James Faulkner family that resided there.

Faulkner Home Collection Finding Aid

Daniel A. Fink (1938-1995) Collection

Extent                   Approx. 3 linear feet

Date Range         c. 1880s – 1979 (bulk 1880s-1910s, 1979)

Abstract         This collection comprises items from Daniel A. Fink’s personal collection and images made for historical documentation projects. It includes about 200 color slides and black-and-white photographs made by Mr. Fink of structures in Livingston County, New York, which were of architectural and historical interest. It also contains a significant collection of glass negatives that Mr. Fink collected and which encompass local and regional subjects, mostly representing architectural examples.

Daniel A. Fink Collection Finding Aid


Howd / Mosher Family Collection

Extent                 .75 linear feet

Date Range        1818-c. 1960 (bulk 1852-1917)

Abstract             This collection comprises correspondence, personal papers, and photographs created and preserved primarily by the Edwin Cook Howd (1803-1881) family of Nunda, Livingston County, New York; the William Henry Mosher (1832-1885) family of Nunda and Owosso, Shiawassee County, Michigan; and the Byron and Grace Anna Mosher Dawes (1870-1960) family of Owosso, Michigan. The collection includes, in part, correspondence from relatives of Mary Warner Gear Howd from the New York City area and Howd and Mosher family daguerreotypes.

Howd / Mosher Family Collection Finding Aid

Emmett H. Jennings (1865-1921) Collection

Extent                  220 images

Date Range         c. 1880-1910

Abstract             This collection comprises photographs and some glass negatives of Emmett Jennings (1865-1921) and Ella Durand Jennings (1864-1939), their friends, and relatives in and around Avon, Livingston County, New York. Subjects include horses and various horse-drawn vehicles, including breaks and the Red Jacket Coach. The Jennings estate, Charlton, is featured, as well as the home known as the Jolly Farmer. Home life and leisure including horse and carriage events, vacation photographs, and early carriage excursions and picnics are featured. The original collection is held by the Town of Avon Historian, Avon, New York.

Emmett H. Jennings Collection Finding Aid


Horatio Jones III (1806-1863) Papers

Extent                   1 linear foot

Date Range         1822-1862 (bulk 1836-1857)

Abstract             This record group comprises correspondence sent to Horatio Jones III (1806-1863) of Leicester, Livingston County, New York. Jones was postmaster for the village of Moscow and therefore many papers relate to general matters of the postal system. He was also justice of the peace for many years, and the collection includes assorted judgements, bills, executions, and receipts. Some correspondence relates to land matters. There are a few scattered letters to Horatio Jones III from family, including from his siblings John Hunter Jones, Jr., William C. Jones, Maretta Jones, and George W. Jones, and a cousin, Dick C. Jones.

Horatio Jones III (1806-1863) Papers Finding Aid


Kellogg Collection

Extent                   .75 linear feet

Date Range         c. 1967-1972

Abstract              This collection comprises a series of photographs of homes and buildings mainly in the village of Geneseo, Livingston County, New York, taken by Miss Elizabeth Williams of Geneseo in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The collection documents many historic structures and those of importance in the village. It also includes scattered images of historic and significant structures in the town of Geneseo and some from the town of York, Livingston County. Occasionally there are a few older images included, though most are undated.

Kellogg Collection Finding Aid



Warner Lake (1765-1848) Collection 

Extent                90 items; digital extent 45.6 MB

Date Range      1791-2008 (bulk c. 1815-1890)

Abstract           This collection comprises personal correspondence, papers, and photographs of the Warner Lake family, which migrated from Harpersfield, Delaware County, New York, to Mt. Morris and Portage, Livingston County, New York, and beyond. The papers help trace the family’s life as they moved west and document Lake, Clarke, Parmelee, and Bennett descendants into the 20th century. Correspondence includes letters from Matthew L. Lake and William D. Lake in the Civil War. Photographs are of Lake, King, Clarke, Parmelee, and Bennett family members. The collection also includes biographical reminiscences and a family register of David P. Lake of Portage and a list of Mt. Morris marriages from c. 1830s.

Warner Lake (1765-1848) Finding Aid

Frank S. Lee (1852-1936) Papers

Extent                   2.58 linear feet

Date Range         1863-1926 (bulk 1865-1890)

Abstract               This collection comprises correspondence relating to Frank S. Lee (1852-1936), the Lee and Wells families of Conesus and Groveland, Livingston County, New York, and their relatives and friends. A significant portion of the collection contains letters between Frank S. Lee and his future wife, Anna M. Parker, between 1882 and 1890. The collection also includes correspondence between Frank and young female friends in the late 1860s through the 1870s, correspondence between the Lee brothers, their parents and relatives, Frank’s diaries, and letters from G. Wiley Wells during and after his service in the Civil War.

Frank S. Lee Papers Finding Aid


Letters to Charlie

Extent                   .5 linear feet

Date Range          1887-2006 (bulk 1887-1896, 2004-2006)

Abstract               This collection, compiled by Linda Dodd, is based on 137 original letters to Charles Monroe Root (1872-1930) of Springwater, Livingston County, New York and Rochester, New York. Letters addressed to Root are from a variety of friends and family, including girlfriends, half-sister Zella A. (Root) Farley and parents James Monroe Root and Adelaide (Hopkins) Root. Letters are personal and chatty in nature and represent a period of time when Charles Root lived in Rochester and corresponded with those in Springwater. The Emory Thayer murder at Avon, Livingston County, New York in 1885 is discussed.

Letters to Charlie Finding Aid

Miss Edna M. Neff (1880-1970) Papers

Extent                   .66 linear feet    

Date Range         1911-1925

Abstract              This collection comprises personal correspondence sent to Miss Edna M. Neff of Geneseo, Livingston County, New York, mainly by her sister, Grace L. Neff, with letters also from her brother, Dr. Everett R. Neff, and friends.

Miss Edna M. Neff Papers Finding Aid


 Nancy Farnum O’Dea Collection

Extent                   1.8 linear feet

Date Range         c. 1950s-2006 (bulk 1950s-1970s)

Abstract          This collection comprises research materials generated by Nancy Farnum O’Dea of Geneseo, Livingston County, New York. Included in the collection are papers detailing and documenting projects by the Association for the Preservation of Geneseo (APOG), such as the listing of the National Historic Landmark in the Village of Geneseo and the village walking tour, and organization reports and minutes. This collection includes clippings of articles and extensive research on the homes and business buildings in Geneseo, which formed the basis for the APOG book Historic Geneseo: Components of a National Landmark Village (1995). It also comprises much of Mrs. O’Dea’s raw research which was never published, including notes and contemporary photographs.

Nancy F. O'Dea Collection Finding Aid


Paine and Halsted Photograph Album  

 Extent                   1 album, 46 photographs

Date Range         c. 1880s-1900

Abstract               This collection is comprised of one photograph album created by Mrs. May C. (Paine) Halsted of Nunda, Livingston County, New York. It includes photographs of friends and relatives, with a significant portion representing Paine family relatives from the Nunda area, including Dalton and Barkertown. Other local, New York State, and Midwest surnames include Chittenden, Smith, Tyler, McMaster, and Doolittle. There are also many unlabeled photographs with only the photographer’s name, city, and state given. The photograph album is property of the Nunda Town Historian and the original remains in the archives at Nunda.

Rev. Levi Parsons, Jr. (1829-1901) Family Papers

Extent                  6.5 cubic feet

Date Range         1794-1972 (bulk 1850-1930)

Abstract               This series comprises two collections pertaining to, and created by, Rev. Levi Parsons, Jr. (1829-1901) of Mt. Morris, Livingston County, and related ancestors, descendants, and friends. Records include Mt. Morris Presbyterian Church sacramental registers, personal and church account books, diaries, and papers, scrapbooks and clippings, photographs, documents relating to Lorenzo Warriner Pease’s missionary work in Cyprus, correspondence, and other miscellaneous papers and pamphlets.

A considerable portion of the collection is composed of correspondence between Parsons and Pease family members, also including members of the extended family with surnames Cady, Foley, Gilbert, Humphreys, Leonard, Platt, Rice, and Wadsworth.

Rev. Levi Parsons, Jr. Family Papers Finding Aid

Isaac and Hannah Alsop Riley Family Collection

Extent                1 linear foot

Date Range        c. 1850s-1920s (bulk 1870s-1900)

Abstract              This collection comprises mainly photographs of Riley family members descending from Isaac and Hannah (Alsop) Riley of Connecticut, Maine, and New York, with a focus on the Richard Alsop Riley (1799-1874) and Anna (Haynes) Riley (1811-1863) family of Geneseo, Livingston County, New York. Some ephemera relating to genealogy of Riley ancestors is included. The collection was compiled by members the Richard A. Riley line, ending with Maud E. (Riley) Squires (1873-1926).

Isaac and Hannah Alsop Riley Family Collection Finding Aid

Joseph N. Reed Family Collection

Extent                   1 linear foot

Date Range           1851-1940 (bulk 1855-1882)

Abstract              This collection comprises primarily letters and a few photographs amassed by Joseph N. Reed and his wife, Mariah Goodrich Reed (1822-1882), of Cuylerville, Geneseo, and Groveland, Livingston County, during the mid- to late-19th century. The letters are mainly those of relatives writing to Joseph and Mariah but also relate to their children, including David Abell Reed (1859-1929) and his family.

Joseph N. Reed Family Collection Finding Aid


Alberta Z. Rosebrugh Collection

 Extent                   1.2 linear feet

Date Range         c. 1821-1981 (bulk 1964-1980)

 Abstract           This collection was created by Alberta Z. Rosebrugh (1902-1980), wife of James Ralston Rosebrugh (1893-1967), in the course of her family research from the 1940s to 1980. It comprises mainly genealogical notes and books, though there are a few letters and other original ephemera relating to Moses K. Rosebrugh (1833-1874), James R. Rosebrugh, family, and others. Information on Rev. John Rosebrugh, Revolutionary War chaplain, is also featured. Main surnames included in the genealogical material are Rosebrugh / Rosebrook, Kelly, Gardner, Dickerson, Neufang, Harrison, Reynolds, Warriner, Webb, and others.

Alberta Z. Rosebrugh Collection Finding Aid


Wadsworth Family

Extent                   Approx. 2 linear feet

Date Range         1777-2006 (bulk 1880s-1980s)

Abstract             This subject relates to the Wadsworth family who settled in Livingston County, New York, beginning in 1790 with James Wadsworth (1768-1844) and William Wadsworth (1761-1833) from Connecticut. The Wadsworths and descendants were fundamental in advancing the white settlement of the Genesee Valley, and influential in education, land stewardship, business, politics, and civil life on a local and national level. The Wadsworths were responsible for the establishment of the Genesee Valley Hunt Club and the family name is synonymous with the Genesee Valley, especially Geneseo, Livingston County, to the present day.

The subject is primarily represented in the County Historian’s archives by published books, reference clippings, photographs, slides and postcards, and some ephemera.

Wadsworth Family Finding Aid


James Jeremiah Wadsworth (1905-1984) Collection 

Extent              Twelve flat boxes (7.77 cubic ft.) and four legal document boxes (1.82 cubic ft.)

Date Range     1905-1972

Abstract           This collection comprises photographs, correspondence, scrapbooks, reports, and other paraphernalia regarding James J. Wadsworth’s life and career in politics. Beginning in the early twentieth century, Wadsworth was a moderate Republican and a well-known leader in Geneseo, Livingston County, N.Y. The majority of the collection focuses on his influential work at the United Nations and the FCC during the 1960s and 1970s where he would regularly traverse between Washington D.C. and his hometown of Geneseo.

James J. Wadsworth (1905-1984) Collection Finding Aid



Watkins Collection

Extent                           2 legal-sized archival boxes, 1 oversized flat box

 Date Range                Circa 1850-1930

 Abstract                     This collection comprises personal correspondence, papers, and photographs of the Watkins family and its ancestors. These family branches include Guile, Ashton, Ames, Hyde, Miller, Andrews, and several others. The majority of materials trace the family to the Brooks Grove and surrounding Mt. Morris area in Livingston County, NY, while letters from other family members and friends show they also migrated to East North Central Division of the Midwest. Correspondence and financial papers include letters from Thomas G. Guile and his son Joseph A. Guile. The collection of photographs are portraits of the family members and friends. These portraits, paired with the corresponding papers, builds a more complete profile of each family member and their connection to the area.

Watkins Collection Finding Aid

William B. Wooster (1828-1912) Papers

Extent                   455 items (299 originals and 156 in digital form only)

Date Range         c. 1830-1982

 Abstract               This collection comprises amassed items generated and relating mainly to William B. Wooster (1828-1912) of Cuylerville, Livingston County, New York. The majority of the papers are related to land transactions, estates, personal and business correspondence, and personal and business finances. Included is correspondence with Wooster’s future wife, Margaret Jane “Maggie” Gifford, in the mid-1850s; Wooster’s estate management papers of Miss Marion Malloch, c. 1890-1898; Wooster family and associates’ agreements, mortgages, bonds, and deeds for land, including in Leicester and York, Livingston County, New York. A sizable portion of papers are related to Wooster’s time as Town of Leicester Supervisor during the Civil War, and discuss bounties, quotas, and enlistments credited to Leicester, as well as a few scattered letters related to teachers of common schools in Leicester. Also included are items relating to William B. Wooster’s time as Livingston County Sheriff; a personal diary, and photographs of Wooster family members and relatives.

William B. Wooster Papers Finding Aid



Military Collections and Subjects


Sullivan Campaign (Revolutionary War Era)

Extent                   3.1 linear feet

Date Range         1879-2022 (bulk 1927-2008)

Abstract              This collection comprises records and information relating to Sullivan’s Campaign of the Revolutionary War in 1779 and its impact on Livingston County, New York, the western limit of the campaign. Included in the collection are books and pamphlets about the history and events of the Sullivan Campaign; photographs, programs, papers, and clippings relating to commemorative events held in Livingston County, which marked the 100th, 150th, 175th, 200th, and 225th anniversaries of the campaign in 1879, 1927 and 1929, 1954, 1979, and 2004, respectively. The holdings also contains photographs, clippings, programs, and papers relating to other commemorative and memorial events, educational events, and commemorative sites in Livingston County. Only one known original photograph exists in the series of the 1929 pageant, though there is information and several artifacts relating to the event. 

Sullivan Campaign Finding Aid

Troop M Records (World War I, World War II, and New York National Guard)

Extent                  .8 linear feet

Date Range        1916–1960 (bulk 1920-1945)

Abstract             This subject comprises assorted materials created by individuals and groups associated with Troop M, 1st New York Cavalry, New York National Guard; Troop M, 101st Mechanized Cavalry Regiment; Troop G, 121st Cavalry, N.Y.N.G.; Troop I, 121st N.Y.N.G.; and 27th Reconnaissance Company at Geneseo. Topically related items include rosters, reports, photographs, programs, diaries, correspondence, books, and pamphlets.

Troop M. Finding Aid


Operation Morale Collection (Vietnam War Era)

Extent                  10.2 cubic feet

Date Range         1967-1972

Abstract           Operation Morale was run by Mrs. Kathryn “Mama Kay” Clark and Livingston County, New York residents between 1967 and 1972; the organization sent packages to servicemen during the Vietnam War.  Documents in this collection were created by Mama Kay, her associates, and servicemen. Records contain correspondence, press releases, newspaper clippings, photos, greeting cards, survey forms, and ephemera. 

Operation Morale Name Index

Veterans Files Originals Collection

Extent                         3.9 cubic feet (3 boxes)

Date Range               1815 – 1946 (Bulk 1914-1946)

Abstract             This collection comprises original materials collected by the Livingston County Historian’s Office (New York) regarding local veterans involved in American military conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the Gulf War. The bulk of these originals are military service surveys that were distributed by the County Historian’s Office after World War II to collect information from veterans, particularly those veterans of World War I and II. Questions on the survey include names of family members, dates of enlistment and discharge, service details, record of injuries, and any medals received. Many of the surveys were completed by the veterans themselves. The collection also includes letters and other original documents created by or about veterans in Livingston County, New York.

Veterans Files Originals Finding Aid

Veterans’ Services Agency Collection

Extent                   120 files

Date Range         1916-2005

Abstract           This collection was compiled by the Livingston County Veterans’ Services Agency in the course of normal operations, mostly in the 1960s to 2005. The materials comprise copies of military discharges, death certificates, military records, and some claim and service-connection paperwork generated by the Veterans’ Services Agency. Most files are for veterans of WWI, but several files relate to deceased WWII veterans.  Please contact the County Historian if you are searching for a veteran.


Organization, Business, Government, and Institution Collections and Subjects


Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation (CNR) Collection

Extent                   1.8 linear feet

Date Range         c. 1964-2017 (bulk 1982-2005)

Abstract           This collection comprises photographs, a scrapbook, annual reports, and one guestbook, created by the Livingston County Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation (CNR) and the director and administrator (1992-2018) of the CNR, Franklin N. Bassett. The facility was formerly known as the Livingston County Infirmary (located in Geneseo, Livingston County, NY) and the Skilled Nursing Facility (Geneseo and Mt. Morris, NY). The photographs document the daily life of residents, but primarily are concerned with special events, outings, and holiday activities. Portraits and snapshots also include residents’ families, visiting groups, and staff. Most images are from the Geneseo location on Millennium Drive, though one album contains images from the Mt. Morris Campus Skilled Nursing Facility. One photograph album details the construction of the new Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation on Murray Hill, Mt. Morris, New York. Additionally included is the Certificate of Need Application, 2002. The scrapbooks cover progress and news items about the Skilled Nursing Facility and CNR, as well as Frank Bassett’s tenure as director.


COVID-19 Collection

Extent                         362 digital files

Date Range               2020-2023

Abstract                    Compiled by the Livingston County Historian’s Office beginning in March 2020 and continuing as material is collected, this collection documents the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Livingston County businesses, government operations, and residents. The scope includes Livingston County and its towns with references to national and international news for context. The collection focuses on Livingston County’s response and includes reference materials, a timeline of county government actions and occurrences, emails, photographs, and resident experience narratives.

COVID-19 Collection Finding Aid

Craig Colony Records

Extent                   11 cubic feet

Date Range         1896-2018 (bulk 1910-1975)

Abstract               These documents were created and collected mainly by the New York State institution known over time as Craig Colony for Epileptics, Craig Colony and Hospital, and the Craig Developmental Center, located in Sonyea, Livingston County, New York. Records were also created and collected by employees and other parties associated with Craig Colony and the Craig Colony and Hospital State School of Nursing. 

Discrete collections within the subject include: the Leila Buchanan Collection (C103) which relates to the School of Nursing, c. 1950s-1979; the Edna Schmidt Carney Collection (C162) which relates to the School of Nursing, c. 1940s-1970s; the Culbertson Collection (C134), which relates to the School of Nursing c. 1940s  and baseball at Craig Colony; the John R. Barnard Collection (C135) which includes photographs from c. 1930s-1980s and especially details the occupational therapy department at Craig Colony during the mid-century; and the Groveland Correctional Facility Collection (C136), which contains paperwork for the planning, administration, and finances of Craig Colony over its entire operation.

The records also include photographs, negatives, and postcards of the grounds, patients, employees, physicians, and events; postcards; financial and institutional ledgers; financial and legal documents and property records; correspondence and ephemera; newspaper clippings; employee and service contracts, assessments, and payroll; annual reports and bulletins; manuals and pamphlets on epilepsy and nursing; nursing certificates; artifacts; maps; and reference information. Includes documents relating to occupational therapy techniques during the 1950s-1970s, cemetery listings 1896-1979, cemetery plot maps, lists of graduates from the School of Nursing 1899-1974, and baseball association documents.

Some documents are digitized and/or indexed. There are no patient records available for research. However, by comparing patient autopsy information in the 1918 and 1920 annual reports against the Craig Colony cemetery listings, over 70 possible matches have been identified. This list of matches means that summary medical records may be available for those individuals.

Dansville and Mount Morris Railroad Company Records

Extent                   Approx. 57 cubic feet

Date Range         1891-1984 (bulk 1926-1976)

Abstract             Created by and pertaining to the Dansville and Mt. Morris Railroad Company based in Dansville, Livingston County, New York from 1891 to 1984. The records span the lifetime of the company and are composed of financial ledgers and accounting, payroll and tax documents, freight and shipping papers, quarterly, monthly, and annual reports, legal proceedings, maps and surveys, stockholders’ papers, and other miscellaneous materials.

Dansville and Mt. Morris Railroad Company Finding Aid

Downtown Partnership Collection

Extent                         3.5 GB (digital)

Date Range               c. 1993-2013 (bulk 2006-2010)

Abstract                    This collection comprises photographs and inventories of businesses and buildings in eight downtown districts in Livingston County, New York: Avon, Caledonia, Geneseo, Lima, Livonia, Mt. Morris, North Dansville, and Nunda. These materials were created to support applications for New York Main Street Grants through the Downtown Partnership revitalization program of Livingston County Economic Development. The Village of Mt. Morris is particularly well represented, with draft and final building inventories as well as many photographs of before, during, and after rehabilitation projects. Additional documents, including building inventories and individual project plans, were added to the collection from Livingston County Economic Development in 2023. While some do not fit directly with Downtown Partnership, they all relate to downtown revitalization.

Downtown Partnership Collection Finding Aid


Genesee Country Historical Federation Collection

Extent             .16 linear feet; 3 folders

Date Range                1917-1979

Abstract                     This collection was amassed over a period of years by several individuals associated with the Genesee Country Historical Federation, including presidents of the organization Dr. Arthur C. Parker of Rochester and Wyoming County Historian Harry S. Douglass. The federation’s scope included historical societies, groups, and individuals all western  New York counties, from Seneca Lake to Lake Erie. The materials include copies of historical background and correspondence, while the bulk of the collection is composed of Genesee Valley Historical Federation Bulletins from 1939-1979.

Genesee Country Historical Federation Collection Finding Aid

Genesee Valley Hunt Collection

Extent                         Digital - 6.25 GB

Date Range               1877-1919

Abstract                    This collection was created over many years by the Genesee Valley Hunt Historian Linda Gibbs in her role as the historian for the Genesee Valley Hunt. The collection chronicles the history of the Genesee Valley Hunt, formed in 1876 and based in Geneseo, New York, and recognized as one of the oldest continual fox-hunting organizations in the United States. The collection comprises newspaper articles (photocopies and transcriptions), original and transcribed fixture cards, original photographs, and copies of publications focusing on the Genesee Valley Hunt and its participants.

Genesee Valley Hunt Collection Finding Aid

Genesee Wesleyan Seminary Alumni Lists, 1900-1952

Extent                .5 linear feet

Date Range       1900-1964

Abstract           This collection is a compilation of handwritten and typeset papers, correspondence and pamphlets representing the alumni of the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary (GWS) in Lima, Livingston County, New York, between 1900 and 1952. The materials were collected and lists compiled by Alva E. Margeson, GWS Class of 1913, for the purpose of encouraging class reunions and networking among alumni. There may be some copied clippings and other materials inserted into the collection by a former Livingston County Historian.

GWS Alumni Lists Finding Aid


Livingston County Fire Police Association Collection

Extent                          1 cubic foot

Date Range                1960-2011

Abstract                     This collection comprises scattered documents compiled by the Livingston County Fire Police Association of Livingston County, New York. These documents include meeting minutes, awards, conventions and events, membership lists, and publications. The documents build a timeline for the association and how it has developed alongside other local emergency response groups.  

Livingston County Fire Police Association Collection Finding Aid

State Survey Photographs, 1947-1948 

Extent                1 linear foot

Date Range       1947-1948

Abstract            This collection comprises a series of photographs made by the New York State Education Department, Division of Archives and History, during two sessions in 1947 and 1948. The collection scope encompasses historic sites and structures throughout Livingston County, New York, ranging from military campsites and mills to private residences and churches. Also included are accompanying papers, including correspondence about the project, site information sheets, and photograph lists (both proposed and completed).

State Survey Photographs Finding Aid


Woman’s Relief Corps Collection

Extent                      .25 linear foot

Date Range             1954-c. 2001

Abstract                 This collection comprises materials collected by Lorraine Orton, Past Department President of the Woman’s Relief Corps, New York, and National Historian of the National Woman’s Relief Corps. Included are minutes, correspondence, a scrapbook, and papers relating to the National Woman’s Relief Corps, the Genesee Valley Federation of the Woman’s Relief Corps, and the A. A. Curtis Woman’s Relief Corps #64, which was the local chapter at Geneseo, Livingston County, New York.

Woman's Relief Corps Collection Finding Aid


Van Dorn Papers

 Extent                   .45 linear feet, 370 items

Date Range         c. 1832-1881 (bulk 1840-1857)

Abstract               This collection comprises handwritten notices and flyers probably submitted to Hugh Harding, the editor of the Mt. Morris Spectator published in Mt. Morris, Livingston County, New York, and subsequent newspapers. The items’ topical span covers event publicity, lost and found notices, election results, business advertisements, marriage and death announcements, educational institution notices, legal classifieds, town government meeting bulletins, and other types of newspaper notices. Besides the Spectator, they may have been published in the Livingston Union, Union and Constitution, and Mt. Morris Union. The items have been indexed for internal and genealogical use.

 Van Dorn Papers Finding Aid 


Updated August 2022