Seneca County, NY GenWeb Genealogy History

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Old queries are still available for viewing on the Surname Index to Queries page. Most of these queries were posted pre-2000. The old hand-placed queries page is no longer updated or maintained, but kept up as their contents may be useful to new researchers.

Seneca County was formed March 29, 1804 from Cayuga County and comprised an area of 820 square miles. Over the next years, Seneca County gained and/or lost land to Tompkins, Wayne, Ontario, Schuyler, and Yates counties. It now comprises 390 square miles, is 156 miles from Albany (the State Capital of New York), and lays between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region.

Sullivan's expedition, which passed along the banks of Seneca Lake in 1779, first brought the area to the attention of settlers. Many of the soldiers were so attracted by the beauty and fertility of the lands that they settled there after the war. The first settler, Job Smith, settled in Seneca Falls in 1787, and the second, Andrew Dunlap, settled in Ovid in 1789. After 1790, settlement progressed rapidly. The county was part of the extreme western portion of the Military Tract.

Seneca County is a half-shire with the county seats located at Ovid and Waterloo. Other towns in Seneca County are Covert, Fayette, Junius, Lodi, Romulus, Seneca Falls, Tyre, and Varick.

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© 1997-2007 to Diane Lerch Kurtz, former Seneca County NY coordinator, and to Betty Auten, former Seneca County NY historian.