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Our Shared History. Our Shared Purpose.


Western New York’s strategic location on the Great Lakes has made it both a terminus and 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 people remained in the area and have been followed by immigrants from around 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

Join Us at GRIP - Amherst for the following FREE lectures proudly sponsored by WNYGS:

Monday, July 30th 7:00 p.m.
“DNA Test Results and GPS Bust Through Brick Walls: A Case Study” with Karen Stanbary, CG

Tuesday, July 31st 7:00 p.m.
“Scouring New York Records in Search of the Parents of William Dalton (1796-1836)”
with Angela McGhie, CG


Thursday, August 2, 2018 7:00 p.m.
“Erie Canal Genealogy” with John Colletta, Ph.D.

Seating is limited. Advance registration not required. Click the link above for complete details.

Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh
Daeman College, Wick Center, 4380 Main Street, Amherst, NY 14226

The Society's Objectives:

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


    Recent News and Events


    06/15/2018: WNYGS Announces GRIP (Amherst Session) Scholarship Opportunities for Society Members

    03/15/2018: "Help Make A Difference" - 2018 WNYGS Volunteer Recruitment Drive

    02/10/2018: Programming Committee Announces 2018 Spring and Summer Programs

    12/11/2017: Board Announces Updated Society Media Ethics Policy - "Research Inquiries Involving The Living"


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