Niagara County Information
Niagara County is in the extreme western
part of New York State, just north of Buffalo and is bounded on
the West by the Niagara River and on the North by Lake Ontario.
It is bounded on the South by Erie County and on the East by Orleans
County. The Canadian province of Ontario is located on the other
side of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario.
The primary geographic feature of the
county is Niagara Falls. The Niagara River and Niagara Falls,
are in effect, the drainage ditch for four of the Great Lakes
which constitute the largest supply of fresh water in the world.
The water flows north from Lake Erie, then through the Niagara
River, goes over Niagara Falls, and then on to Lake Ontario and
the St. Lawrence River, eventually emptying into the North Atlantic
Ocean. The other geographical feature of the county is the Erie
Canal which bisects the county. The proximity to Canada and the
Canal both have been important elements in the History and Genealogy
of Niagara County.
As genealogists we need to be aware of
the history of our governments when reseaching old records. When
the original counties were established for the New York colony
in 1683, the present Niagara County was part of Albany County
which was an enormous county. It included the northern part of
New York State as well as all of the present State of Vermont.
IN 1798 the Holland Land Company became owner of two-thirds of
Western New York including many areas originally occupied by the
Over a period of many years the state
continued to be split into smaller counties with Genesee County
being created in 1802. By that time the Holland Land Company had
established a sales office in Batavia since all of their land
was in Genesee County. By 1840 all of Holland's lands had been
sold to various individuals and investors. Thus all of the lands
of Niagara County can be traced back to the Holland Land Company.
Niagara County was created from Genesee
County in 1808. It was, however, larger than the present Niagara
County even though it consisted of only the Town of Cambria. In
1821 the present Erie County was created from Niagara County.