Monroe County Genealogical Resources

Including addresses and phone numbers

Dick Halsey


Rochester Public Library
Ogden Farmers' Library
Monroe Co. Clerk's Office
Monroe Co. Surrogate Court Office
Rochester Records Management Office
Rochester regional LDS libraries
Monroe Co. Historian
Genealogical Researchers
For more information


Rochester Public Library
115 South Ave.
Rochester, NY 14604

Telephone: (585) 428-7300 (general)
Telephone: (585) 428-8370 (Local History and Genealogy Dept.)
RPL Website


B and L Bldg Rundel Bldg

The Local History and Genealogy Department has a collection of printed genealogies, county and town histories, both federal and Monroe County census, Rochester directories (1827 - present), suburban directories (1932 - present), maps, newspaper index (1818 - 1902), tombstone records, high-school yearbooks, scrapbooks, photos and more.

Because of the need to safeguard the many fragile and unique materials in the collection, Local History does not allow photocopying of certain materials including city directories, scrapbooks, many indexes and anything that was published more than 75 years ago.

Local History is located on the second floor of the Rundel Building and has ample space for genalogical researchers. Most items in their collection are in open stacks. Still in closed stacks are the extensive newspaper clipping collection and some very fragile books. The newspaper clippings which began in the 1940's includes many obits and other biographical clippings.

Local History has in-house access to and Heritage Quest. Heritage Quest may also be accessed from home with a Monroe County library card number.

The old local newspapers on microfilm, which begin in 1818, are housed in the Records Retrievel area on the first floor of the Rundel Building. At least 90% of the microfilms are in open cabinets in that department. A few newspaper microfilms are in stacks and may be asked for at the Records Retrieval desk.

The Records Retrieval department also has the set of microfiche with the indexes to the NY State vital records. NY State began keeping vital records in 1880. The indexes only show the person's name, date of the event, place of the event and a reference number. Because of privacy restrictions, only births older than 75 years and marriages and deaths older than 50 years are open for research.

The Records Retrieval department is also responsibile for creating the Life Records Database, which is an index to births, marriages and deaths that were in the Rochester newspapers in the last few decades.

The B&L Building, with the majority of the general book collection, and the Rundel Building are connected to each other via a tunnel that runs under South Ave.

The Local History and Genealogy web page has links to on-line databases and indexes that should be checked for your family names. Most notable are the on-line collection of Rochester City directories and the on-line newspaper index. Also on the upper left of that page is a search box for the library catalog, named "LIBRA."

Ogden Farmers' Library
269 Ogden Center Road
Spencerport NY, 14559

Telephone: (585) 352-2141
Ogden Library Website


The Ogden Farmers' Library is a small town library with a larger than normal collections of genealogy and local history materials. Most materials in the collection are reference and must be used in the library. Most items are cataloged and entered in the Monroe County Library System catalog, LIBRA, although there is a small selection of materials not cataloged.

The collection, which mostly covers towns in the northwestern part of Monroe County, are kept in the Genealogy/Local History section at the back of the General Reference area. There are cemetery records, church records, local newspapers, etc. which were greatly enhanced by donation of the Haines-Weirich Genealogy Collection. The Uncataloged Resources List has items arranged by topic.

A digital microfilm/fiche reader/printer is available for use in the reference section of the library. The list of microfilm holdings shows what is available in the library.

The library has access to and Heritage Quest. must be used in the library, but Heritage Quest is available for use from home by those users who have a valid Monroe County Library System library card. (See link above in Rochester Public Library.)

Monroe County Clerk's Office
39 West Main St.
Rochester, NY 14614

Telephone: (585) 753-1600
Clerk's Website

Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9:00 - 5:00

They have deeds, mortgages, naturalization records, and divorce judgements. Most original records are now off-site and they may need a few days to be retrieved back to the Clerk's Office. Microfilms of deeds, mortgages and some naturalization records are available in the office.

Copies of records are 65¢ per page. A $1.30 minimum charge is required. The fee for a certified copy is $5 for a document up to four pages in length, plus a charge of $1.25 per page for each additional page when applicable. Also, an extra fee of $5 for every 2 years searched is charged whenever a search of the records is involved. Payment may be made at the time of pickup, at the Clerk's office. The County Clerk's Office accepts cash, checks, Visa and Master Card. Mail-in Requests can be made in writing and mailed to the Monroe County Clerk's Office along with a check for the appropriate amount of money made payable to the Monroe County Clerk.

Deeds and mortagages, beginning Feb. 1984 and other civil and court records beginning 1993 are available on-line at the Electronic records page. You will need to create a password before you can search the records. The records are in TIFF multi-page format so you may to download some software that will view TIFF documents if you don't already have something that will view those kinds of documents.

Some of the early deeds, mortgages and naturalizations have been filmed by the LDS and available from any of their Family History Libraries around the world. Search for available records at the Family Search Website (under "Library Tab").

Monroe County Department of Health
111 Westfall Road
Rochester, NY 14692

Telephone: (585) 753-5141
Dept. of Health Website

Hours: Mon. - Fri. 8:30 - 4:25

They have original Monroe County birth and death records beginning 1880. It is important to note that there are no indexes available for searching. All searches must be preformed by staff. NY State law says that birth records less than 75 years old and death records less than 50 years old are considered confidential although they usually will let you have a certificate for a direct line ancestor that is "newer" than the 75 years. See the Genealogical Information page on records available. What you will get is a transcript of the record. If you order from the New York State Department of Health, you get a copy of the original certificate. The wait time for a reply from the State varies from 6 months to a year. So Monroe County is faster but you are not sure if you have a complete document.

Rates: $22 for a year years genealogical search (regardless if a certificate is found or not). Use this form for a faster response. If a certified copy is needed expect to pay $30 for each document.

Note: Marriage records are still with the Town Clerks or the Rochester Records Management Office in the City of Rochester.

Monroe County Surrogate Court Office
Room 541
Hall of Justice
99 Exchange St.
Rochester, NY 14614

Telephone: (585) 428-5200

Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9:00 - 4:00

They have probate records including wills and estate papers beginning with the formation of the County in 1821. All records are filed together in a file by decedent. The files occasionally include other things such as genealogy charts, death certificates and even cancelled checks. Inactive records from are in storage off-site so a few days may be necessary to get the records back to the office.

The office only has paper records if the case is are still open. The index for all cases back to 1821 are on a computer in the office. Some but not all cases from 1983 to the present have documents available on the same computer with the index. Some records are available on microfilm. All records are filled by file number, which is the year of the death and a hyphen and case number. That is the most important number to the urrogate Court Office.

Research rates: By mail - $90 per search and 25¢ per copy. In person - search for free and paper copies are 25 cents (film copies $1).

The LDS Family History Library has filmed the index to all Surrogate Court records through 1970 and they also filmed the wills from 1821 - 1901 but they did not film the entire file. Search for available records at the Family Search website.

Some wills many be obtained through the commercial firm Sampubco.

Rochester Records Management Office
414 Andrews St.
Rochester, NY 14604

Telephone: (585) 428-7331
Records Management Website

Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9:00 - 4:00

This is the archives for the city of Rochester and they have the original marriage records for 1876 - 1967. These records are indexed 1876 - 1907 and may be searched in person. Remember that when looking for a marriage record:

  1. People can get a marriage licence in any municipality in the state and then get married somewhere else. In that case the licence will be filed where the licence was obtained.
  2. The City of Rochester was much smaller in the 19th century than today. So places currently in Rochester may have been in the suburbs in the past.
  3. Rochester is sometimes used as the name of the region and not just the City of Rochester, proper.

They also have a collection of Rochester City directories and the government records for the city. There is also a collection of old public works photographs which occasionally have homes in the background. They would like to have you fill out a "freedom of information form" and call for an appointment.

The marriage index from 1876 to 1937 are on-line at the Historic Marriage Records Research Site. you can view the information in a marriage record online or order a copy of the records for $11.

Rochester regional LDS Family History Centers

All of the local LDS Family History Librarys have limited hours. One method of faster research time is to go to the Family Search website and click on the "Library Tab" and do the research ahead of your visit. Then you can use your time at the local Family History library to order and view microfilms.

Monroe County Historian
Rundel Building
115 South Ave.
Rochester, NY 14604

Telephone: (585) 428-8352
Historian's Website

The Monroe County Historian does not undertake genealogical research. The office has the original copies of the Monroe County portion of the NY State census for the years 1855 - 1925. The current Historian is Carolyn Vacco and she is usually in her office weekday mornings. Assistance is available for those visiting the office in person.

Genealogical Researchers

These researchers will do genealogical research for a fee (no recommendation is made or implied):

  1. Julie Bushnell
    43 Hidden Valley Rd.
    Rochester, NY 14624

  2. Dorie Lioy
    126 Stonehenge Rd.
    Rochester, NY 14609


For more information.....

In August 2006 the Rochester Genealogical Society agreed to publish my book, Genealogical Guide to Monroe County, NY, 3rd edition (52 pages) which lists more genealogical sources by subject. Go to the publication page for more details and ordering information.

Monroe Go back to GenWeb of Monroe County, NY.

This page created 2 Nov. 1996
update - 1 Nov. 2011

Send corrections or additions to: Dick Halsey.