Originally part of Genesee County, Cattaraugus became an independent entity in 1808. Settlers were attracted to Cattaraugus because it was the only area in western New York to have a navigable river that led to Ohio, which at the time was considered the western frontier.
Cattaraugus County lies in southwestern New York directly on the state’s southern border with Pennsylvania. It is also bordered by Erie and Wyoming Counties to the north, Allegany County to the east, and Chautauqua County to the west. The county seat is the village of Little Valley. According to the 2010 federal census, the county’s population is 80,317 and is divided into 2 cities, 32 towns, 9 villages, and 3 Seneca Nation reservations. The county’s land area is approximately 1,322 square miles.
If you are looking for records in Cattaraugus County, try visiting the Cattaraugus County Historical Museum and Research Library. Their holdings include county histories and genealogies, vital statistics 1847–1849, marriage records 1908–1925, county censuses 1820–1880, federal censuses 1892–1925, cemetery stone abstracts, obituary abstracts 1984–present, surrogate’s court records, maps, deeds, and Civil War information.
If you are searching the Ischua Valley region, a great resource to check out is the Ischua Valley Historical Society. Their holdings include family files, books, local histories, cemetery records, school censuses (1840s), business records, scrapbooks, newspapers, obituaries, diaries, directories, letters, ledgers, military material, photographs and postcards, and yearbooks documenting history of Farmersville, Franklinville, Ischua, Lyndon, and Machias.
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. Visit our website to learn more about the benefits of membership.