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 Native Americans.

    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.

Today's Niagara County

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Three Cities
• Lockport
• Niagara Falls
• North Tonawanda

Twelve Towns
• Cambria
• Hartland
• Lewiston
• Lockport
• Newfane
• Niagara
• Pendleton
• Porter
• Royalton
• Somerset
• Wilson
• Wheatfield
Eleven Other Municipalities
• Village of Barker
• Gasport
• Village of Lewiston
• Village of Middleport
• Olcott
• Ransomville
• Rapids
• South Lockport
• Village of Wilson
• Wrights Corners
• Village of Youngstown

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