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The Town of Benton and Its Records


The town of Benton was organized (as Vernon) in 1803 from part of the town of Jerusalem in Ontario County; it then included all of modern Milo and Torrey as well as Benton. Because there was another Vernon in Oneida County, the name was changed to Snell (after Jacob Snell, a state senator from Montgomery County) in 1808; this proved unpopular, so in 1810 it received its modern name, after Levi Benton, one of the earliest settlers. After Milo was taken off in 1818, Benton retained all of township 8 in the first range of Phelps & Gorham's Purchase, and the land that lay east of it to Seneca Lake. Part of Torrey was removed from this tract in 1851. The part of the village of Penn Yan which lies north of North Avenue is in the town. Benton was one of Yates County's original five towns. 

The town is rural, with fine rolling farmland, a short frontage on Seneca Lake, hamlets at Benton Center and Bellona, and part of the incorporated village of Penn Yan. 

Please note that Benton is the only town to have retained the registers of vital records from the state's first attempt to require them in the 1840s and again in 1864. A transcript of the record book from these years is available on-line; see below for links. 

The town clerk's office in the town hall, located in the hamlet of Benton Center, at 1000 Rte. 14A, Penn Yan NY 14527. 


RECORDS

ASSESSMENT ROLLS
1866-1972 

MINUTE BOOKS
1806 - 1989 [Minute book 1, 1806-1830, is indexed.]

VITAL RECORDS REGISTERS
Births and marriages 1847; Births, deaths and marriages 1848 -1849; Deaths1864, Naturalizations 1896-1905, Delayed birth registrations 1867-1918, Births, deaths and marriages 1883-1901, [INDEX] Births 1901-1923, Deaths 1902-1923, Births 1924-1933 and deaths 1924-1934, Births 1934-1980 and deaths 1934-1945, Deaths 1946-1970; Births 1977-1994 and deaths 1970-1993, Marriages 1902-1907, Marriages 1908-1927, Marriages 1928-1961, Marriages 1961-1983, Marriages 1984-1994 

HIGHWAY SURVEYS
Survey of roads 1844-1862, Survey of roads 1846-1871, Survey of roads 1864-1894, Road records 1871-1914, Highway districts 1834 

[NB: Minute Books, 1806 - 1947, also includes minutes of Highway Commissioners and some road surveys]  [INDEX]

CHATTEL MORTGAGE AND CONDITIONAL SALES INDEXES
Chattel Mortgages 1849-1890; 1890-1913; 1914-1923; 1924-1939; 1940-1949; 1950-1955; 1956-1961; and 1962-1964; Conditional Sales 1924-1928; 1928-1933; 1934-1939; 1940-1949; 1950-1955; and 1956-1964 

JUSTICE DOCKETS
Justice Blood 1892-1899; Justices Blood and Long 1899-1910; Justice Long (papers) 1906-1910; Justice Rolf (criminal cases and summary proceedings) 1912-1934; Justice Rolf (conservation law cases) 1926-1934; Justice Rolf (criminal) 1929-1941; Rolf (papers) 1929-1941; Rolf (papers) 1934-1945; Rolf (criminal) 1934-1945; Rolf (civil) 1937-1944; Rolf (papers) 1936-1954; Rolf (criminal) 1945-1952; Rolf (criminal) 1945-1956; Justice Becker (civil) 1900; Blood (criminal) 1920-1929; Blood (civil) 1946-1948; Emerson 1957-1967; Emerson (criminal) 1959; Emerson (civil) 1958-1964; Justice Travis (civil) 1960-1975; Travis (criminal) 1961-1977; Schroeder (civil) 1969-1979; Schroeder (criminal) 1969-1974; Schroeder (criminal) 1973-1983; Justice Schroeder (criminal) 1974-1977; Schroeder (criminal) 1977-1983; Schroeder 1978-1989 

DISTRICT SCHOOL RECORDS
Papers 1807-1950; Schoolhouse restoration project file 1990-1994; District #8 record 1820-1830; Common schools fiscal record 1839-1918; District #8 trustees' minutes 1855-1952; Supervisor's school account book 1871-1902; Supervisor's school account book 1903-1924; School accounts 1917-1918; School accounts 1917-1919 

OATH BOOKS AND MISCELLANEOUS RECORDS
Oath of office book 1917-1931; Oath of office book 1952-1975; Oath of office book 1975-1989; Oath of office book 1989-1995; Board of Health minutes 1883-1965; Supervisor's book 1862-1892