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Our Shared History. Our Shared Purpose.

Western New York’s strategic location on the Great Lakes has made it both the terminus and the gateway of migration. First home to Native American communities, the region was later settled primarily by New Englanders following the Revolutionary War. The opening of the Erie Canal provided an easy route west, attracting the first of many waves of immigrants from Europe. Many remained in the area and have been followed by immigrants from all over the world.

The Western New York Genealogical Society was founded in 1974 to help preserve and encourage interest in the area's rich genealogical heritage. Our work focuses on the eight counties of Western New York - Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Wyoming, Orleans, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany - that were originally part of the Holland Land Company Purchase.

Target Counties of Western New York

The Society's Objectives:

  • To collect and preserve available records of early settlers in the eight Western New York counties.
  • To make these records available for research.
  • To further genealogical knowledge and research.
  • To foster awareness of record preservation by government agencies, organizations, and individuals.


    Understanding and Utilizing the City of Buffalo Inactive Record Center

    Join us as we takes our October meeting on the road for a special "members only" talk
    and tour of the Inactive Record & Research Facility in Buffalo, New York.

    Saturday, October 22, 2016
    at 85 River Rock Road, Suite 301, Buffalo, NY 14207
    Sessions at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

    Click here for complete event information.

    Recent News and Events

    06/01/2016: WNYGS named as a sponsor of the 2016 New York State Family History Conference in Syracuse.

    02/06/2016: The Society and its members' efforts featured in the Buffalo News

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