April 2017 Program

Courthouse Square - Orleans County, New York

Courthouse Square in Orleans County – from the Historical Album of
Orleans County, NY, published 1879 by Sanford & Co. of New York.
[Courtesy of the Orleans County Department of History]

Spotlight on Orleans County Research

Date: Saturday, April 22, 2017
(Meeting moved one week later to accommodate Easter holiday and BIGS Annual Gathering of the Clans.)

Location: Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Central Branch, Central Meeting Room, 1 Lafayette Circle, Buffalo, NY 14203

Program Schedule:
10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. – Welcome
10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. – Part I Presentations
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Part II Presentations

Free and open to the public.

>>Click here to download a PDF version of the event flyer.

Part I: Understanding the Orleans County Department of History with County Historian Matthew Ballard

The frontier wilderness that was Orleans County was a stopping point for thousands of pioneers traveling from New England to western lands. The Orleans County Department of History is a frequent “first stop” for genealogists looking for information about early settlers and families who passed through the region in the early half of the nineteenth century. However, the collections within the historian’s office are different from what one might find in other offices and historical societies throughout Western New York. This program will highlight what the Orleans County Historian has and does not have in regards to collections and information.

About the Presenter: Matthew Ballard has served as Orleans County Historian for two years, taking over for the long-tenured C.W. Lattin who concluded his service after 36 years. Ballard authors a weekly column that appears in the Orleans Hub and Batavia Daily News entitled “Overlooked Orleans” as well as a monthly column entitled “Out of the Past”. Current projects in the Historian’s office include an online database of historic markers and sites in Orleans County and the creation of a biannual publication called The Pioneer Record, a historical newsletter for disseminating local history.

In addition to his part-time duties as historian, Ballard is also the Interim Director of Library Services at Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary in Rochester, where he serves as faculty liaison to the School of Arts & Humanities. He graduated in 2010 with a B.S. in History from SUNY Brockport, completed his M.L.S. in 2012 from the University at Buffalo, and is currently pursuing a M.A. in American History from SUNY Brockport.

Part II: Family Farming in Orleans County with Local Genealogist and Author Holly Ricci-Canham

Genealogist and local author Holly Ricci-Canham has just released her latest work, Mom & Pop Farming in Orleans County: The Past Brought To Life. Praised by the local historical community, the book includes nearly 400 photographs and 150 farmer interviews. After two years of extensive research, she will discuss the project and offer an intimate profile of a nearly vanished local lifestyle – one filled with hard work and close-knit communities centered around neighborhood churches and schools.

About the Presenter: Holly Ricci-Canham is the Founding President of the Orleans County Genealogical Society and the Town of Carlton Genealogist. Prior to her latest work, she authored several other books including Legendary Locals of Orleans County and Carlton and Point Breeze. She is also the recipient of the 2015 Heritage Hero Award. Ms. Ricci Canham grew up on a family fruit and vegetable farm in Kenyonville, New York which later relocated to Albion.

Courthouse Square - Orleans County, New York

Last updated: March 1, 2017