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Genealogy & Local History in Buffalo, NY

History of Birth, Marriage, and Death Records in New York State

Births
Deaths
Funeral Home Records
Marriages
Prison Records


p to 1879
1880-1914
1914 to present
No statewide vital records law exists. A few cities & towns have a (very) few mid-19th century vital records. Researchers usually have to use church records instead. First statewide vital records law passed in 1880, but Albany does not collect copies from Buffalo or Yonkers. Compliance is uneven. In Buffalo, surviving records are not comprehensive. Vital records law is changed and all municipalities send copies to Albany. Records should be comprehensive.  However, privacy restrictions still apply.

Vital & Other Original Records in Greater Detail

RECORD TYPE

PLACE

DATES
AVAILABLE

CONTACT

REMARKS



Birth Certificates
City of Buffalo 16 Sept. 1881 to
30 Dec. 1913
(incomplete)
Western NY Genealogical Society Collection at the
Grosvenor Room of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library

Erie County Clerk
Erie County Hall
92 Franklin St.
Buffalo, NY 14202
716-858-8865

On 112 rolls of microfilm in sometimes random chronological order. No index. No staff available for this research. 
1878 to present Vital Statistics Office
Room 1308, City Hall
Niagara Square
Buffalo, NY 14202
716-851-5847
716-851-5848
The cost for copies varies.   Also try Vitalchek.com.
1914-1932
Grosvenor Room, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library An index on microfiche from the NY State Dept. of Health
Erie County towns
Dates of First Vital Records in Towns & Villages of Erie County Town Clerk in the community
Erie County Directory of Public Officials--includes town clerks
Records will be incomplete prior to 1914. Why is this?
1881-1939
Grosvenor Room, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library An index on microfiche from the NY State Dept. of Health
Buffalo & Erie County


1881-1958 New York State Archives An index on microfiche
1914 to present
New York State Dept. of Health

Certified copies cost up to $15.00. Cashier’s check only.


Death Certificates City of Buffalo
1880 to present Vital Statistics Office
Room 1308, City Hall
Niagara Square
Buffalo, NY 14202
716-851-5847
716-851-5848

Or try Vitalchek.com

Death certificates are private for 50 years. The exception is if you are a spouse, parent, or child of the deceased or you have a court order.  The cost for copies varies. 
1914-1958
Grosvenor Room, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library An index on microfiche from the NY State Dept. of Health
Erie County towns
Dates of First Vital Records in Towns & Villages of Erie County Erie County Directory of Public Officials--includes town clerks  
1881-1958
Grosvenor Room, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library An index on microfiche from the NY State Dept. of Health
Buffalo and Erie County 1881-1956 New York State Archives An index on microfiche
1914 to present New York State Dept. of Health  

Funeral Home Records Western New York Unknown Funeral Home Directory
Up to the 20th century, most people cared for their own dead. Undertaking first became a profession during the Civil and First World Wars. For what might have happened to these records, see my FAQ page.
Funeral Home Record Links
Buffalo and Erie County
Amigone Funeral Home has a look-up service for its records


Marriages Buffalo & Erie County 1811 to 1900 (incomplete)

Zintz, June Partridge
Index of Marriages from Buffalo, New York Newspapers, 1811-1884
Hamburg, NY : June P. Zintz, 1999

Zintz, June Partridge
Marriages from Buffalo church records 1825-1900, volume 1: Transcribed from microfilm of English-speaking Protestant church records and compared with marriage license records in Erie County Hall
Hamburg, NY : June P. Zintz,
2004

In book form only, not online.

Has index of brides' names and grooms' names.

Available at various libraries and through interlibrary loan.

Buffalo & Erie County 1877 to 1935 (incomplete) Western NY Genealogical Society Collection at the
Grosvenor Room of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
On 156 rolls of microfilm in chronological order. No staff available for this research.

Indexed in loose alphabetical order on the first 20 rolls of film

City of Buffalo
1877 to present Buffalo City Hall
Marriage Bureau
Room 1301
Buffalo, NY 14202
716-851-5444
City Hall's website says that marriage records are sealed. After 50 years, if both bride & groom are deceased, a marriage certificate may be requested for genealogical purposes. The cost for copies varies. 
1908-1957
Grosvenor Room, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library An index on microfiche from the NY State Dept. of Health
Buffalo & Erie County 1881-1956 New York State Archives An index on microfiche
1914 to present NY State Dept. of Health  
Erie County towns
Dates of First Vital Records in Towns & Villages of Erie County Town Clerk in the community
Erie County Directory of Public Officials--includes town clerks
 
1881-1957
Grosvenor Room, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library An index on microfiche from the NY State Dept. of Health
Justice of the Peace Marriages only Buffalo & Erie County 1837 to 1876 Western NY Genealogical Society Collection at the
Grosvenor Room of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
On one roll of microfilm. No staff available for this research.


Prison Records Erie County Correctional Facility (Jail) Unknown
Erie County Correctional Facility
11581 Walden Avenue
Alden, NY 14004
716-937-9101
Fax: 716-937-5595
I have heard that only mid- 20th century records are on the premises.
1842-1908? New York State Archives Several prisons are collected here and it is not clear if this date span represents every prison's records.
State Prisons (Attica, Auburn, etc.) Varies New York State Department of Corrections Records, New York State Archives Some privacy restrictions apply
Prison Record Links Varies
Varies
Attica Correctional Facility Inmate Case Files
Erie County Penitentiary, 1895



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Updated 6 June 2012


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