Where can I find birth, marriage, and death certificates from the early 1800s?

Unfortunately, they may not exist. New York State did not require birth, death, or marriage records to be kept until about 1880 (with the exception of a brief time between 1847-1849; we do have these records indexed by name on our Online Records Database.) After 1880, birth and death records may be available from the local registrar of the municipality where the event occurred. Marriage records are available from the Town Clerk where the marriage license was issued. If the location of these events is unknown, check Reclaim the Records to access an index.  

For vital events before 1880, you can work with newspapers, published histories, church records, census records, and other resources to help fill in your family tree. Keep in mind that events prior to 1850 in this region of New York are poorly documented, and many times it is impossible to prove relationships or important dates. Contact us with your questions, hopefully we can help!

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1. What is the difference between the Historical Society and the County Historian's Office?
2. What year was my house built? How do I learn about my property's history?
3. Where can I find birth, marriage, and death certificates from the early 1800s?
4. I have old newspaper clippings from my relative. Does the County Historian want them?
5. The historic marker in front of my house was stolen. Who do I call at the state to get another one?