New York Books - Erie County
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New York - Erie County

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Erie Co. WWII Honor Roll

Map of Erie Co. (1895)

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Records Kept by County Clerk

Erie County was created in 1821. It lies on Lake Erie and the Niagara River in the extreme western part of New York. The land area is 1,071 square miles, and the Lake Erie area 160 square miles.

Although this region was familiar to the French about the time Manhattan Island was being settled, and although they were the first to settle here, they had little influence on the region. Once the British took over, the area came to be a part of the new American State. The lands never had the mixed titles of most areas. With the exception of the Indian Reservation and the "One Mile Strip" along the Niagara River, all the county was included in the Holland Purchase. The Indian lands were gradually bought over a period of years. The first settlements in the region were on the site of present–day Buffalo about 1795. The Holland company was very generous with funds spent to build roads, bridges, mills, taverns, which led to the rapid development of the area. But there were to be set–backs to the progress. War was declared against Britain in 1812 and the lake sections were those most open to invasion. In 1813, the British came from Canada and captured Black Rock and Buffalo. The thriving village of Buffalo was burned, and Erie County was in great distress and poverty that winter.

A flood of settlers entered this part of New York after the war.  There was great demand for transportation to all points of New York State and beyond. The roads were unsurfaced paths through new, largely unpopulated country. There was little communication with the outside and no outlet for produce. When the Erie Canal was completed in 1825, it had more to do with Erie County's destiny than any other event.  There was a railroad from Black Rock to Buffalo in 1834, but horses were used instesd of steam engines. During the 1850's a railroad system was built which supplied the county with rail transport, somewhat ahead of other parts of the State.

In 1850 the population of the county was just over 100,000, with Buffalo a city of 42,000 and already a great grain and lumber port. Both Buffalo and the county were prosperous. The breaking out of the Civil War slowed progress some, but the natural advantages of the location of Erie County won out in the end, and the region flourished. To care for the lake traffic, the great breakwater at Buffalo was projected in 1895. Buffalo, which had not been to any large extent an industrial city, became the home of hundreds of manufacturers. When the World War I was thrust upon the nation, there were few sections in the State which so promptly switched its industries to those needed by the United States. The combined resourcefulness of Niagara and Erie Counties did more to supply the essentials of warfare than any other area of the country.

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Click on the links below for book titles and history specific to that county.

From what or whom did the name of each county originate? Click here to find out.

County Date
Parent County County
Albany 1683 original county Albany
Allegany 1806 Genesee Belmont
Bronx 1914 New York Bronx
Broome 1806 Tioga Binghamton
Cattaraugus 1808 Genesee Little Valley
Cayuga 1799 Onondaga Auburn
Charlotte 1772 Albany renamed Washington in 1784
Chautauqua 1808 Genesee Mayville
Chemung 1798 Tioga Elmira
Chenango 1798 Herkimer, Tioga Norwich
Clinton 1788 Washington Plattsburgh
Columbia 1786 Albany Hudson
Cortland 1808 Onondoga Cortland
Delaware 1797 Ulster, Otsego Delhi
Dutchess 1683 original county Poughkeepsie
Erie 1821 Niagara Buffalo
Essex 1799 Clinton Elizabethtown
Franklin 1808 Clinton Malone
Fulton 1838 Montgomery Johnstown
Genesee 1802 Ontario Batavia
Greene 1800 Ulster, Albany Catskill
Hamilton 1816 Montgomery Lake Pleasant
Herkimer 1791 Montgomery Herkimer
Jefferson 1805 Oneida Watertown
1683 Original county Brooklyn
Lewis 1805 Oneida Lowville
Livingston 1821 Genesee, Ontario Geneseo
Madison 1806 Chenango Wampsville
Monroe 1821 Genesee, Ontario Rochester
Montgomery 1772 Albany (as Tryon to 1784) Fonda
Nassau 1899 Queens Mineola
New York City
1683 Original county New York
Niagara 1808 Genesee Lockport
Oneida 1798 Herkimer Utica
Onondaga 1794 Herkimer Syracuse
Ontario 1789 Montgomery Canandaigua
Orange 1683 Original county Goshen
Orleans 1824 Genesee Albion
Oswego 1816 Oneida, Onondaga Oswego, Pulaski
Otsego 1791 Montgomery Cooperstown
Putnam 1812 Dutchess Carmel
Queens 1683 Original county Jamaica
Rensselaer 1791 Albany Troy
Staten Island
1683 Original county St. George
Rockland 1798 Orange New City
St. Lawrence 1802 Clinton, Herkimer, Montgomery Canton
Saratoga 1791 Albany Ballston Spa
Schenectady 1809 Albany Schenectady
Schoharie 1795 Albany, Ostego Schoharie
Schuyler 1854 Tompkins, Steuben, Chemung Watkins Glen
Seneca 1804 Cayuga Ovid, Waterloo
Steuben 1796 Ontario Bath
Suffolk 1683 Original county Riverhead
Sullivan 1809 Ulster Monticello
Tioga 1791 Montgomery Owego
Tompkins 1817 Cayuga, Seneca Ithaca
Tryon 1772 Albany (renamed Montgomery 1784)
Ulster 1683 Original county Kingston
Warren 1813 Washington Lake George
Washington 1772 Albany (see Charlotte) Hudson Falls
Wayne 1823 Ontario, Seneca Lyons
Westchester 1683 Original county White Plains
Wyoming 1841 Genesee Warsaw
Yates 1823 Ontario, Steuben Penn Yan

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