The 10,000 vital records in this work were drawn from the marriage and death columns of five western New York newspapers published before 1850: the Republican Advocate of Batavia, the Steuben Farmers Advocate of Bath, the Geneva Gazette, the Jamestown Journal, and Palmyra’s Wayne Sentinel. Birth announcements were not published in these early newspapers, but many of the marriage and death notices mentioned birth years, birthplaces, and parents’ names, and where appropriate such data has been copied off and recorded here.
All persons who were subjects of death notices are listed in alphabetical order, marriage officials are identified in the appendix, and all others mentioned in the text are listed in the index. Towns of residence are by no means confined to western New York, for communities in the rest of the state as well as New England and the Midwest are frequently identified.
The bulk of the work, however, concerns itself with the marriages and deaths of residents of western New York, and in the absence of “official” vital records of the area it stands as an admirable substitute. Like official records of a later date, the records of marriage and death abstracted here furnish names, ages, dates, places of residence, and frequent references to family members, and a good deal of other information besides. No other work available covers the genealogical records of western New York so comprehensively, nor indeed does any other work hold out so much promise.