Franklin County was formed on March 11, 1808, from Clinton County, and named for Benjamin Franklin. The county seat is in the Village of Malone. The first European settlements were made around 1796, but earlier settlements were made by Native Americans from Caughnawaga and Oswegatchie under the guidance of Jesuit Priest Anthony Gordon about 1760.
The county is in northern New York State, bordering the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario. The land of Franklin County was once part of either the Old Military Tract in 1786, which set aside land for veterans of the Revolutionary War, or Macomb’s Purchase in 1791, which was part of Alexander Macomb’s purchase of land from New York State. The St. Regis Mohawk Reservation, also called Akwesasne, is located in Franklin County on the border of Canada. Timelines for each town may be found in the New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer.
A great countywide resource to visit is the Franklin County Historical and Museum Society. Their collections include family histories and genealogies, Adirondack history, cemetery information, census materials, directories and phone books, early assessment rolls, maps, newspapers pre-1900, obituaries, scrapbooks, school yearbooks, and vital records. Additionally, their special collections include the Clarence Kilburn Papers and 16th Regiment Civil War Papers.
Franklin County also has many great local resources and repositories. If you are looking for records in Chateaugay for instance, a must-see resource is the Chateaugay Historical Society. Their holdings include cemetery indexes, Catholic church records (ca. 1863–1920), birth and marriage listings from Protestant churches, and histories of Franklin County. The society and archives are located in the Chateaugay Memorial Library.
Another must-see tip for searching for records in Franklin County is in the Winter issue of the New York Researcher. In “The Neighborhood Did Not Move: A Case of Misassigned Census Pages” by Denise E. Cross, the author highlights the necessity of examining evidence, including images found on websites like Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org. If you’re a Findmypast subscriber or a NYG&B member, you have access to the New York Researcher and can read more about it here: https://blog.findmypast.com/new-york-genealogy-tips-1686935549.html?_ga=1.256089417.357590285.1459191053
NYG&B members have access to all our original county guides on our website. Each guide was created by experts in the field in order to direct researchers to these local, unique resources. To learn more about the benefits of membership, see our membership page HERE.
Additionally, last year we published the New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteer, which is filled with gazetteers, maps, and research guides to each of New York’s 62 counties. Since our last printing, there have been many updates and changes noted. For the list of additions and corrections to Franklin County, see our website: http://newyorkfamilyhistory.org/others/additions-and-corrections-franklin-county
Good luck with your research!