Herkimer County Historical Societies

The historical societies and individual historians listed below want to help guide you in your family research. We're aware that there are other historians but not everyone wants to be listed in a public forum or has the time to give extensive help. Few townships have a budget to assist their historians. Most town historians are not paid by their local area but have been appointed or are volunteers - helping you is often an out-of-pocket expense.

"Research Tips Worth Reading"

  • When writing for assistance, please  always include a S.A.S.E. and several additional stamps, offer to pay copying and mailing costs, collect phone calls, etc. Historians receive many requests for assistance, and appreciate it if you submit one focused research question about a particular person or family unit at a time.
  • Always call the societies and historians well ahead to confirm hours (sometimes seasonal or limited), types of assistance available, and types of information each society has.
  • To ensure that the research request volunteers and historians, don't "burn out and drop out", please limit yourself to one reseacher/facility at a time.
  • During my visit to Herkimer County back in September 1997, I was told that some of our site visitors were sending the same research requests to different historians who, after each putting in hours of volunteered time, later find out from each other that they'd reinvented the wheel. It's a small world in the two counties and they're using the identical historical resources to help you. Legitimate grumbling was heard - and this is not unique to our two counties' historians. Don't be "that jerk". We all know this research is exciting, but when you come right down to it our ancestors are most exciting to ourselves.
  • Advise each researcher/facility what has been done for you already (i.e. a list of all books and newspapers, censuses, cemetery lists, etc. used to date for your research question) and who has assisted you. Since everyone knows each other, they can then confer about your research problem.
  • If you've done original research on your own and are now looking for more info or have gotten some new leads, state clearly in your request letters what books, census years, etc. you yourself have covered already. You don't want to open an envelope of info that you paid for containing information you already have. Haven't been able to do any research or you're a "newbie"? Let them know that as well, so no resource is overlooked.
  • When able, provide the historian with specific townships, villages, dates, etc. that can help them zero in on your specific Herkimer or Montgomery ancestor/family. This is important as your family might have moved out of the area and you receive a pack of info for unrelated persons who moved in 50 years later! The society, library or historian is not to be blamed for trying to be thorough and helpful.
  • Keep in mind that your own ancestor might not have left a paper trail, especially for the pre-vital records time period. If this is the case, the historian is still entitled to compensation for their time and effort.
  • Your providing time period and location is to your advantage as a local researcher may know another descendant living in the area you mention to consult with. Blanket requests to the historians for "anything about the surnames "Snell", "Bellinger", "Petrie", etc." and other widely spread-out surnames are not helpful as genealogies of the old families are available by interlibrary loan or purchase (See our Libraries and Look-ups sections for some of these). Of course, nothing compares to the experience of doing our own research in the ancestral homes. The historians would love to meet the people who write to them and hope you'll come visit.

Don't take our word about what's what at the local societies and libraries. Read the experiences of your fellow researchers. Check out our Research Reviews!

The County Courthouses

Herkimer County Clerk's Office
County Office Building
109 Mary Street Suite 1111
Herkimer, NY 13350
(315) 867-1129
County Clerk: Sylvia Rowan

To save time and effort, call ahead to confirm what types of records they have available to the public, time periods of type of record, and their fees and any necessary forms for you to fill out.

NEWBIE ALERT! ***New York State did not require registration of births or deaths at the county level until 1880.*** Compliance with this varied by county.

(Photo at Right: Herkimer County Courthouse, Herkimer, NY


An up-to-date list of Town Historians for Herkimer County is provided on the Town Historians page of the Herkimer County Historical Society website.

Herkimer County Historical Societies

Herkimer County Historical Society

The Herkimer County Historical Society is located at 400 North Main Street, Herkimer, NY. Take Exit 30 off the Thurway. Turn right onto Mohawk Street. Stay on Mohawk Street - it dead ends into South Main Street. Turn left and go to the traffic light. It becomes North Main Street after you go through the intersection. You will go past Green Street, Mary Street and then the next Street is Court Street. Turn left on to Court Street. There are parking meters, 25 cents for an hour. If you can find a spot on the opposite side of the street, there are no meters. The Resource Center is located in the Eckler Buidling (Green Building); if you park on Court Street you will see the brick Society Building. There is a sidewalk next to it, follow that and it will bring you to a handicap ramp and steps. The Eckler Building is straight ahead. There's a sign and a plaque that says 1870.

The Society is open Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. There's a $5.00 fee for non-members to use the Resource Center.

Herkimer County Historical Society Web Site
Herkimer County Historical Society Facebook Page
Tel: 315-866-6413
E-mail herkimerhistory@yahoo.com or

Herkimer Library
Follow driving instructions above - located just before you get to Mary Street, on the left hand side. It has on street parking with meters or parking lot out back on Prospect Street. You would have to drive around the block to get to Prospect Street. Go up North Main Street, and turn left down Church Street and turn left onto Prospect Street. The parking lot is next to H.M. Quackenbush Company.

Fairfield Town Clerk
Mary Ann Dineen
439 Kelly Rd.
Little Falls, NY 13365

There is no Post Office in Fairfield, as it was closed a few years ago. Please keep in mind that in New York State official birth registration was not required until after 1880, and not enforced until many years later. Official death registration was not required in NY State until shortly after 1900. Please save yourself time by keeping in mind that records before those dates do not exist. The Town Clerk will NOT have vital records before those times and does NOT have baptismal records. Please enclose a S.A.S.E. when enquiring about records and fees.

Kuyahoora Valley Historical Society
7435 Main Street
Newport, NY 13416
315-845-8434 Their website is at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/%7Enykvhs/

Kuyahoora Valley Historical Society, formed in the early 1980s, is the regional historical society housed at the Newport Historical Center. It serves the Towns of Newport, Fairfield, Russia, and Norway, and the villages of Poland, Cold Brook, Newport, and Middleville. They have bi-monthly meetings which meet in the different communities, depending on program content and the season of the year. The president of the Society is George Dieffenbacher. The Society's materials and artifacts are housed at the Newport Historical Center, which the Town and Village of Newport maintain for their public records and the office of their historian, Muriel Fenner and her assistant Pat McKerrow. (We regret to tell all of Newport's friends that historian Marge Foss passed away in 1999.) Read the Newport Historical Center listing for the types of records available.

If you wish to become a member of the Kuyahoora Valley Historical Society, the extremely reasonable yearly membership for 1997 is: $15.00 for a family and $10.00 for an individual. Checks should be made payable to KVHS, and mailed to: Janet Burt, Treasurer, 200 Burt Road, Newport, NY 13324. For your membership you will receive their yearly newsletter, Kuyahoora Chronicle and help them continue their good work. Membership numbers are important to those who fund the small societies. The KVHS sponsors great programs and activities.

Written for this page a number of years ago:

Norway History Center

The Town of Norway acquired the 1830 Baptist Church, which was dedicated last November as our town's history center. We have many old church records plus artifacts, photos, and genealogical information; and we accept any old family records, photos, or artifacts anyone is willing to donate to us. The center will be open for perusing, looking up information, or just visiting to see the old church, starting in June and throughout the summer. Fund raisers were held last year and we raised enough to have the building painted. We hope to raise enough money this year to repair and paint the belfry. Our historical group is called the "Norway Historcal Commission" and we meet once a month.

The Norway Historical Center will be open on Tuesdays and Sundays from 1:00 pm. until 4:00 p.m., starting June 10th.

For more information, email Helen Wheatley.

Helen Wheatly
1329 Newport/Grey Road
Newport, NY 13416

Ms. Wheatly has historical records (what's left) for Norway, which is 4 miles north of Newport. Please remember to send a S.A.S.E. when making inquiries about your Norway ancestors and thank her for her time.

newport historical center

Newport History Center
P.O. Box 445
7435 Main Street
Newport, NY 13416



Written for this page a number of years ag. Be sure to click on the link to their website for more current hours and availability of their staf f:

The Newport Historical Center is the 19th century limestone building behind the dark car on the left. Walk through the window-paned door and peruse indexes of local births and deaths, cemetary lists, newpaper articles, photos, some family files, church & other historical documents, and atlas maps reflecting property owners for the Town of Newport. Hours are M-W-F afternoons after 1:00pm. Copy machine available when visiting Center at 25 cents a copy. Very laid back, friendly atmosphere and a strong sense of humor goes far here. A self-addressed stamped envelope, with a 3 or 4 extra first class stamps for good measure, is a must. These wonderful women are trying to organize a lot of good material with a budget comparable to your kid's allowance and have contributed much general information to us for presentation on the site. If you'd like to show appreciation for personal research done, donations are gratefully accepted for general maintainance of the Center and can be made to the "Newport Historical Center", as that is where your research is being done. It gets cold in that old stone building in the long Herkimer County winter.

To enhance their holdings and assist other long-distance researchers, the Newport Historical Center historians look forward to photocopies of research notes on your own local lineage, obits or other info about former residents and their descendants, etc. - anything relating to the townships of Newport, Norway, Russia, Fairfield and Ohio. Historian and director of NHC Marge Foss, who assisted many of you, passed away in 1999.

Herkimer Town Clerk (not town historian)
Jennifer M. Edwards
114 North Prospect St.
Herkimer, NY 13350
Website is at http://www.townofherkimer.org/clerk.html
For recent vital records within the town, not village.

Little Falls City Clerk
659 E. Main St.
Little Falls, NY 13365
Has village records.

Little Falls Town Clerk
124 O'Hara Road
Little Falls, NY 13365
Website is at http://townoflittlefalls.com/page3.html

Town of Schuyler Historian
Jean Finster
416 Millers Grove Road
Schuyler, NY 13340

Schuyler Town Clerk's Office
Website is at http://townofschuyler.com/page3.html

Town of Warren Historian
Garry Aney
929 Rock Hill Rd.
Mohawk, NY 13407

Little Falls Historical Society Museum
319 South Ann Street
Little Falls, NY 13365-1362
Their web site is at http://www.lfhistoricalsociety.com

Ilion Free Public Library
78 West Street
Ilion, NY 13357-1790

The Ilion Free Public Library has a small amount of genealogical material such books, city directories, pamphlets and obits. Donations are always appreciated when making a request of a small local library.

Village of Herkimer Library
245 N. Main St
Herkimer, NY
(315) 866-1733

The village of Herkimer library, the Frank J. Basloe Library, has a small genealogical section but we're not sure of their holdings or ability to assist with research. Best to call ahead for hours, and for mail and phone research requests be sure to ask about and offer to cover expenses at initial contact.

Little Falls Public Library
706 East Main St.
Little Falls, NY 13365

Little Falls Library has newspapers on microfilm 1824-present, and hard copy newspapers 1824-1924. They also have Little Falls historical material including phone books, genealogies, and local history books. No indexed obits or census on microfilm. Thank you to Gale Norman for making an onsite visit (June 1998) and report for us. Please call ahead for hours and availability of their genealogy and local history room.

Little Falls Public Library Website

Town of Webb Historical Association

Their web site is at http://www.webbhistory.org/

Peg Masters, Town of Webb Historian, sometime pre-2007 told us: "Our museum is located at the corner of Gilbert and Main St. in Old Forge across from the postoffice - the Goodsell Memorial Home. We are open Tu. & Thurs from 9-2, Saturday from 9-1, and during July and August, Wed. evenings from 7-8pm. This summer we are offering FREE Historic Walking Tours of Main St., Old Forge on Saturdays in July and August from the front porch of the museum. The tour is approximately 1-1 1/2 hours long. We also have a special exhibit in our Carriage Barn featuring the "Hotels and Guest Houses of the Fulton Chain." All exhibits are free, but donations are appreciated. " Phone # is (315) 369-3838

That was written years ago. Their website currently lists hours as Tues. - Sat., 10am - 3pm or by appointment. The phone number remains the same.

Also, check out the Webb Town Historian's page on the official Town of Webb website.

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Last Updated: 1/4/16
Copyright ©1996 - 2016 M. Magill
Photo of Newport Historical Center Copyright © 1997 - 2016 Bill McKerrow
Photo of Herkimer Co. Courthouse Copyright © 1997 - 2016 M. Magill
All Rights Reserved.