*To search our Vital Records Indices please click on the searchable pdf links below. After opening the document press “Ctrl f” on your keyboard to open the find tool. *
In the Beginning 1847-1849
In New York State vital records legislation was passed in 1847. It remained extant for the years 1847 through 1849 but because compliance to the law in the state as a whole was very uneven the law was short lived.
The towns in Yates County did comply with the law for the three years that it was in force. Because of that we have complete records (on microfilm or as original documents) for all towns for the three years 1847-1849.
Current Law 1880
The present law requiring vital records registration was passed in 1880 and by 1900 or so compliance was close to 100 percent.
Births and Deaths
Births and deaths are recorded in the town or village in which they occur. So when births moved from the home to the hospital the place where a person lived may not necessarily tell you where that person was born.
In Penn Yan Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital opened its obstetrics ward in 1921. Thus many births were recorded there until the ward closed in the mid 1970s,
NB - Birth and death records are restricted in their use. They are not available to the general public until 75 years (in the case of births) or 50 years (in the case of deaths) after they occur. Microfilm copies of these records are subject to the same restrictions.
A marriage license may be obtained from any town clerk in the state and, regardless of where the marriage takes place, the record will be kept in the municipality where it was procured. It is therefore important to know not only where a marriage took place but where the license may have originated.
1880-1907 - Marriages were recorded along with births and deaths and kept by the village or town. We have these records on microfilm.
1908-1935 - Marriages were recorded separately by town clerks and a paper copy of the record sent to the county clerk. We have these records in the archive.
Early vital records were recorded in a journal. There are no certificates available for these records. Our office can, however, issue a transcript of a given journal entry. There is a small fee for this service.