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The Town of Italy and Its Records


The town of Italy was first settled soon after 1790, part of the original 1789 Ontario County town of Middletown. The name was changed to Naples in 1808 and then in 1815 Italy was set off from its parent town. It was one of the more remote parts of Phelps and Gorham's Purchase, sold in its entirety to Robert Morris and then by him to the Pulteney Syndicate. The earliest maps show vast unsurveyed lands, with alternate lots going to the Pulteneys and the Hornby estate. 

The land was eventually surveyed, but instead of the regular grid so evident in the County's other towns, Italy is divided into several separate surveys, which overlap in a sometimes disconcerting way. The agent for the Hornby lands was a man named John Greig, who sold farms to most of the settlers by means of land contracts, which were paid off over many years in small installments procured by the sale of wheat at 70 cents a bushel or less. This circumstance makes the earliest settlers somewhat hard to document through land records. 

The town was originally covered by luxuriant forest, pines on the long ridges and a growth of elm, basswood and maple in the bottom lands that historian S. C. Cleveland described as a "rich and matted jungle." Almost all of this growth was cleared during the 19th century for the pasturing of sheep, but much of it has since regrown today. Italy has the smallest population of any of the County's towns, though its wild and beautiful terrain has made it popular as a site for seasonal homes. 

The town was apparently named with reference to Naples, its parent town. It includes the seventh town in the third range of Phelps & Gorham's Purchase and was one of Yates County's five original towns. The town clerk's office is in her home at 6085 Italy Valley Road. 


RECORDS ON MICROFILM


The town has a good set of records. All the following series have been microfilmed, and except for the Vital Records, they may be viewed at the County Historian's office in Penn Yan or at the New York State Library in Albany.
 

ASSESSMENT ROLLS
1866-1972 (missing 1868) 

MINUTE BOOKS
1862 - 1992 

VITAL RECORDS REGISTERS
Births, deaths and marriages 1883-1910 [INDEX], Births and deaths 1866-1914, Births and deaths 1914-1927, Births and deaths 1927-1980, Births and deaths 1976-1993, Marriages 1908-1993 

HIGHWAY SURVEYS
Minute Books, 1862 - October 1944 includes minutes of Overseers of Highways 

CHATTEL MORTGAGES AND CONDITIONAL SALES INDEXES
Chattel Mortgages 1850-1880; 1881-1907; 1907-1918; 1953-1963; 1964; Conditional Sales 1949-1964 

JUSTICE DOCKETS
Justice Barker (civil) 1848-1854; Doubleday (civil) 1854-1863; Clark (civil) 1854-1862; Doubleday (civil) 1864-1870; Wixom 1876-1910; Wolven 1879-1909; Shaw 1881-1904; Paddock (criminal) 1895-1912; Badeau and Thompson (civil) 1903-1913; Wixom, Wixom and Potter 1909-1918; Paddock (civil) 1912-1920; Shay (civil) 1918-1921; Potter (criminal) 1918-1919; Kennedy (civil) 1923-1927; Thompson (civil) 1923-1926; Kennedy (criminal) 1923-1926; Long (civil) 1926-1928; Shay (criminal) 1928; Clute (criminal) 1931-1935; Clute (civil) 1932-1937; Donley (civil) 1934-1935; Chapman (criminal) 1937; Eddy (civil) 1947-1948; Criminal dockets of Justice Duane Shay 1968-1975; 1975-1979; 1979-1990 

DISTRICT SCHOOL RECORDS
[See below under Oaths and Miscellaneous] 

OATHS OF OFFICE AND MISCELLANEOUS RECORDS
District school records 1930-1968; Oaths of office 1927-1980; Oaths of office 1930-1933; Oaths of office 1980-1986; Oaths of office 1987-1995